The Midlands Group of the South Carolina Sierra Club

The Midlands Group

Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Orangeburg, Newberry, Richland and Saluda counties

We aspire to increase the capacity of our group to engage and empower with equity and justice more and diverse people in communities.  For outreach, we produce two “meaty” newsletters per month. On the 4th Monday of every month we host an educational program presentation via Zoom, for both members and the public, on a wide variety of subjects directly related to environment, justice, and equity. Our goal is to inform and to inspire people to take action. Speaking of education, our strength is in educating both the public and the seekers of elected office through our justice and environmental candidates’ forums.

Volunteer with us!   ~  Thanks to all who joined our cleanup on February 18!

Our next Adopt-A-Highway event is rescheduled for Saturday, MAY 20, 2023!

 Please email Lawrence Haselden for more info:


Midlands November monthly Program:  

plastic refuse


PLASTICS:  Solutions to Deadly, Unjust Threats to Health and Climate

Monday, November 27: 6:45 - 8:00 PM on ZOOM

    Despite plastics’ unjust damages to health, climate, and communities, stopping the overwhelming flood of plastics into our world and bodies are slow to catch on. South Carolina law prevents local jurisdictions from creating ordinances to control plastics, but that is no excuse to avoid combating the exponential increases of production and insertion of toxic plastics into our lives. We can reduce plastics to improve health outcomes, combat environmental injustice, and move the needle on climate change.
     Follow Pamela Greenlaw as she lays out compelling evidence of the proven, negative health and climate impacts of plastics while exposing industries’ green-washing tactics. Enter into guided discussion of solutions from the scale of individual choice to organizational.

Join here:
Passcode: 721148
Dial by your location:
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC

Midlands October monthly Program

(click below for the recording link)

"Insights Into PFAS “The Forever Chemicals”

     Join longtime Sierra Club members Ron Sobczak, retired chemistry professor USC-Spartanburg and Kathleen Kempe, retired attorney, for an informative overview of PFAS, “The Forever Chemicals”.

We will learn how they enter the environment and our bodies, why they are harmful, ways to avoid them and how we can take action to regulate them.


+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington) ; Passcode: 721148



PFAS are “forever chemicals” that don’t break down in the environment and have been found to cause
cancer in people. They are virtually unregulated by the US government, meaning that industries are
legally allowed to flush PFAS chemicals down wastewater drains where they settle out in the solid
materials during wastewater treatment. Across the US, this sewage sludge is frequently spread on
farmland and pastures where it enters our food supply and drinking water. Chances are good that
you have PFAS in your blood.



Come Celebrate 10 Years of the Rosewood Community Orchard!



On Saturday afternoon, October 14, we are celebrating our ten-year relationship with the Rosewood Community Orchard. In 2013, Columbia Resilience took over the project of managing the orchard.  Since then it has become a symbol of both unity and diversity as well as a place of peace and sanctuary for all who visit.  


Please come and celebrate this event with us.  Help us honor the people and efforts that have made it possible and share our plans for the next ten years, with YOUR continuing support and participation.  


Celebration details:  


Date: October 14

Place: Rosewood Orchard, 1401 Jim Hamilton Blvd., Columbia 29205

Time: Starting at 4 pm

Event Schedule:

4:00 pm - Flower Crafts

5:00 pm - Hot Dogs (vegetarian option available)

5:30 pm - Remarks

6:00 pm - Drum circle

BYOP - Bring Your Own Plate.  To minimize waste, we encourage you to bring your own plate and cup.  We will also have paper options available as needed.

Look at This!

Columbia Green tree giveaway3


Midlands Group September Program Presentation ~ Environmental Justice! Part 2

September 25, 2023  *announcements at 6:45pm, Program begins at 7pm

Join in on Zoom:
Meeting ID: 293 490 9472
One tap mobile
+13092053325,,2934909472# US
 +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
 +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)


Previous Programs....

"Energy Democracy 101"

May 22th 2023 

Our power bills are rising, but so are we - join us for an overview of how decisions are made about energy here in South Carolina and learn how we can use our power to make a difference.

On Monday, May 22nd, our presenters gave us insight on yet more strategies for dealing with climate change. Paul Black, community organizer in South Carolina for Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, and Mikaela Curry, the Senior Campaign Representative for NC and SC's Beyond Coal Campaign, will guide us into ways to bring about energy democracy!

Paul shared the town hall/energy burden work he has been doing. 

Paul Black
Mikaela Curry

Mikaela will present information around our legal intervention and engagement in energy utilities' Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs)  and other work at the Public Service Commission (PSC.)


Click HERE to see the Midlands Group April Program:

"Reduce the Climate Change Crisis

through Choices about Food"


     Please join Furman University Professor Emeritus and Conservation Chair of the Sierra Club Foothills Group, Frank Powell, for presentation about the connections between climate and food.

Frank Powell

     He will explore Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) and greenhouse gases. He will help us consider the effects of food waste and the health effects of eating meat raised and processed ways which are damaging the environment and cruel to the animals themselves.

     Modern feeding operations and farming practices used to grow food contribute to loss of carbon sequestration through degradation of the soil and loss of tree cover as well as cause human health problems.

According to Project Draw down, yes, we can and should mitigate our health and climate disruption through our food choice decisions. This covers not only what we choose to eat and how it is raised, but also what we choose to throw away.


*We did not record the March Program -

Please email Priscilla Preston with any questions and for meeting notes: 

 HERE is the link to the recorded session of our February Program


   We will consider the safety issues facing the renewal permitting of the 49-year-old Oconee Nuclear Facility and its earthen dam.
    We will also learn about the processes and the problems facing the community and the facility from Diane Curran, one of the country’s leading lawyers for  environmental and nuclear safety; Frank Powell, Conservation Chair of the Foothills Group, Paul Gunter, the Director of the Reactor Oversight Project Beyond Nuclear, and Jeff Mitman, nuclear engineering and probabilistic risk analysis consultant.   
Diane Curran
Frank Powell
Paul Gunter
Jeff Mittman




HERE is the link to the recording of our February Program

Oconee power station




January Program

Monday, Jan. 23 at 7pm (announcements at 6:45)

Plutonium  Disposition, WIPP Expansion, and Plutonium Pit Production

Link to recorded session can be found HERE.

Cindy Weehler, Co-Chair, 285 Alliance will talk about  the increased transportation risks uninformed residents will experience if WIPP (a site for plutonium waste disposal in New Mexico),  is expanded to hold more nuclear waste and she will explain how the  Department of Energy (DOE)  is violating State and Federal Law by changing the WIPP mission.   She will also discuss the problem of surplus plutonium disposition, especially powdered plutonium.


plutonium powder


plutonium pits

Tom Clements, from SRS Watch in Columbia, SC  will discuss how the latest plans by DOE relate to plutonium pit production.  Savannah River Site (SRS) is a site for plutonium disposition and "pit" (trigger) production for new nuclear weapons.


We will also hear an update from those who attended the in-person hearing about plutonium disposition in North Augusta on January 19th.  There will be opportunities for questions and discussion during and after the presentations.  For additional questions, please contact

We hope to see you there!


November 2022 Program:

Greening Affordable Rental Properties

Please join the Midlands Group of the South Carolina Sierra Club and UofSC Public Health students

November 28th  from 6:45 – 8:00 for a Zoom presentation on Greening Affordable Rental Properties!


Permaculture illustration and design for Winnsboro Arms



The Greening Affordable Rental Properties Project is a project focusing on climate mitigation, adaption and resilience by improving soil health in rental properties yard areas and reducing energy usage and fossil fuel consumption in rental housing.   Currently  efforts  are focused on sustainable living in Fairfield County.

The team is taking steps towards transforming a multi-family affordable housing complex into a more sustainable and environmentally friendly environment by suggesting renewable energy and energy efficient upgrades, installing onsite composting and water collection, as well as constructing raised beds for organic gardening.

Fairfield County, SC map

Please join the meeting for details about how to foster therapeutic and regenerative gardening practices and reduce energy burdens in our state. 

We will be hearing from students of the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina on their roles in the project and all the exciting updates as well as hearing from our regenerative garden designed Matt Kip.

Join Zoom Meeting Here:

Meeting ID: 610 613 5191
Passcode: 721148

+13126266799,,6106135191#,,,,*721148# US (Chicago)
+16469313860,,6106135191#,,,,*721148# US
Find your local number:



Click HERE to view the recorded October 2022 presentation!



Summer is over yet it is still good to prepare for the increasingly hotter temperatures in our future.  Dr. Kirstin Dow, professor in UofSC's School of Geography, headed up a nationwide research project in which volunteers collected data on heat, humidity and other factors in famously Hot Columbia.  Dr. Dow is awaiting the analysis of the data which she expects to receive this fall.

        On Monday, October 24, from 6:45 to 8:00 PM on ZOOM Dr. Kirstin Dow herself will  explain and discuss the extreme heat problems  along with solutions. We also welcome from UofSC Dr. Susan Yeargin, Associate Professor of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health, to present what extreme heat does to the body and how to prevent and mitigate those effects.

Dr. Kirstin Dow


Dr. Susan Yeargin


Join Zoom Meeting:

or – call: 929-205-6099
Meeting ID: 610 613 5191
Passcode: 72114


September 2022 Program

“Putting Your Bed to Bed, Next Steps for Your Garden/

Yard at Summer's End”

Watch Our Program here!  --->

     Now that summer is over, what do you need to do to prepare the soil, seeds, and plants in a way to achieve you vision for your yard or garden for the next seasons? Joint presenters Jackie Kopack Jordan and Dr. Todd Beasley for an enlightening and practical program.

     Jackie is a longtime, urban horticulturalist and Clemson Extension Agent at the Sandhills Research Station in northeast Columbia. Todd, also a horticulturalist, is in the business of designing sustainable landscapes. His company is called Primitive by Design. After sharing their perspectives and information, they will happily answer your questions!



The entire chain of production, overuse, and "end-of-life" management of single-use plastics is increasing exponentially.

Single-use plastics are ruining quality of life everywhere.

Let’s explore facts, explode some myths, and commit to the challenge of reducing our plastic footprints!  

The focus is reducing, not recycling.

Our presenter is Pamela Greenlaw, Conservation Chair, Midlands Group of the South Carolina Sierra Club           

Join Zoom Meeting and invite everyone you know!




“Reduce Climate-Driving Wasted Food and Resultant Food Disparities”

Monday, May 23; 6:45 – 8:00 PM

According to Project Drawdown, wasted food plays a part as a major driver of
climate change. In addition, have food deserts in the midst of plenty. "Cleaning out the
refrigerator" can mean either hungry teenagers or clearing out food gone bad.

We can adjust our practices to address food, people, and planet care !
Adah Gorton,

Food Waste Prevention Specialist with DHEC’s Bureau of Waste Management

Layla Zarif,
Food Share Coordinator for Fairfield County




Midlands Group Meeting Information and Videos of Previous Programs:

Because of the pandemic, regular group programs are held via Zoom on the 4th Monday of every month from 7:00 to 8:00 PM - come at 6:45 to make or hear important announcements

You may watch a video of the October 2021 program Bringing Nature Home here Meeting Recording:

You may watch a video of the August 2021 program Environmental Justice - Part 1 here

You may watch a video of the June 2021 program Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel Plant here

You may watch a video of the May 2021 program Fairfield Forward Food Share Project here

You may watch a video of the April 2021 program Fighting climate change at home - Part 2 here 

You may watch a video of the March 2021 program South Carolina’s Black Farmers Building Back Better here

You may watch a video of the February 2021 program Fighting climate change at home here

You may watch a video of the January 2021 program Sierra 2021! Visions for Progress and Solidarity here

You may watch a video of the December 2020 program Allyship and Environmental Justice  here

You may watch a video of the November 2020 program A Celebration of Native American Heritage Month here

You may watch a video of the October 2020 program Poverty, the Pandemic, and Environmental Justice here

You may watch a video of the September 2020 program Public Safety Reform and Environmental Justice here

You may watch a video of the August 2020 program Is SC ready for a true energy democracy?  here

You may watch a video of the July 2020 program Heat Vulnerability and Climate Change in the Carolinas here

You may watch a video of the June 2020 program Degrowth - Is Relocalization the Future?  here

You may watch a video of the May 2020 program Health, Climate Crises, and Environmental Justice  here


Midlands Group, 11 Counties:

Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda


Executive Committee

Chair - Pamela Greenlaw

Vice Chair - Lawrence Haselden

Secretary -Treasurer - vacant

Chapter Delegate - Elaine Cooper

Environmental Justice - Tangee Jacobs

Conservation Committee Chair - Pamela Greenlaw

Program Committee Chair - 

Membership Chair - Tangee Jacobs

Political Chair - Elaine Cooper

More information about The Midlands Group's activities can be viewed on our Facebook page,

Greening Rental Properties

Greening Rental Properties - 1

Greening Rental Properties - 2


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