November 4, 2012
For me, the Sierra Club is a place where a love of exploring the wild places of the earth leads naturally to protecting the natural and human environment for future generations.
By joining many people in this endeavor, I've gotten strength and endurance to stay in the fight for the long term.
-- Nancy Shiffler, Michigan Chapter Executive Committee member and long-time Sierra Club volunteer
October 29, 2012
I was introduced to the Sierra Club in 2005. When I opened an eco-friendly / sustainable cafe in the same neighborhood as the Michigan Chapter. I was welcomed with amazing support and generosity by the staff. Sierra Club was a major factor in our success. I was invited to be a speaker at the Chapter annual retreat in 2008 and fell even more in love with the organization and its phenomenal members.
When I decided to close my cafe to be home with my children, Sierra Club couldn't have been more supportive despite the hungry bellies left in the wake of the cafe's departure. They found a place for me in the organization so that I could continue to work for the environment.
Without the Sierra Club, I would likely have continued a long career in the restaurant business, horribly conflicted between my personal beliefs on environmental stewardship and making a living in the incredibly destructive hospitality industry. Thank you, Sierra Club!
October 17, 2012
In the 1980s while living in California, I got hooked on the Great Outdoors and joined the Sierra Club. It was a place I found kindred spirits, and Sierra Magazine got me dreaming of hiking trips to all the in national parks.
Since I moved to Michigan 15 years ago, I've really enjoyed Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore and all the other natural wonders in this state, and I try to pass on that love of nature to my students.
-- John Philbin, Grand Valley State University film professor and Grand Rapids resident
July 26, 2012
What does Sierra Club mean to me? Communication. In 2010 I was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for my work exposing the polluting practices of factory farms, but it is because of Michigan Chapter that I received this great honor.
The Sierra Club has supported me throughout my long fight to tell the truth about these operations, which aren’t farms at all. It has given me a voice, a platform to communicate to the world. To be able to say, this is wrong. This needs to change. I’m forever grateful for that.
Lynn Henning, Lenawee County farmer and Sierra Club Water Sentinel (Follow her on Twitter @CAFOCrusader)
June 26, 2012
The Sierra Club has always been a great way to meet like-minded people to get out and enjoy the outdoors. When I worked in L.A. 100+ hours a week, I really appreciated getting up into the mountains to hike trails and connect with the natural environment. It was a great way to clear the mind (and lungs!).
The Sierra Club always had outings I could join or information to learn about new places to explore. More than anything, just finding people with the same enthusiasm for the outdoors was worth joining. Since then, I've hiked all over the world and seen some amazing natural places.
I've barely scratched the surface here in Michigan. It really is a natural wonderland.
May 15, 2012
Without the Sierra Club, Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit would miss out on the chance to work with some strong and inspiring women!
Since 2005, we've worked with Sierra Club's Rhonda Anderson who is passionate about environmental justice. Take a tour with her and you learn about industry's legacy of pollution, danger and devastation and meet valiant residents of the 48217 zip code who won't give up their struggle for justice!
Melissa Damaschke, another SC staffer in Detroit and passionate advocate for the Great Lakes, works with the People's Water Board, teaching about water conservation and rain barrels, and Michelle Martinez worked on air quality--from toxic stuff in the atmosphere to truck emissions in southwest Detroit—until her final day with the Club last week.
Finally, the tenacious Anna Holden is a volunteer who has worked for 20 years to close the Detroit incinerator and bring green jobs and curbside recycling to the city. I'm honored to work with all of these dedicated, passionate women!
Gloria Rivera is an Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister and the Great Lakes Detroit Coordinator for Bioneers.
April 2, 2012
Sierra Club means family to me. Twenty-five years ago I saw an announcement in the paper and I tried to join a Sierra Club hike but didn’t know my way around enough to find the group. When I finally did, I was warmly welcomed at the Group Outings Scheduling meeting. And they promptly put my ideas for two canoe trips on the calendar!
Now, as I look back as Outings Chair for the Southeast Michigan Group, I reflect that if not for the overwhelming family feeling this group gave me, I would’ve wound up mis-spending my youth elsewhere. I credit my good health to the Outings Committee that has been so supportive and keeps me outdoors doing what I love every week.
--Phil Crookshank, Detroit area, SEMG Outings Chair
March 2, 2012
In the spring of 2006, my first experience with Sierra Club Lobby Day sharply--and probably permanently--changed the trajectory of my citizenship engagement. Intensely involved in political activism since the fall of 2003, I discovered in lobbying a new and compelling avenue to influence under the excellent leadership of former Chapter Legislative Director Gayle Miller. The opportunity to dig in, learn the issues, and deliver reliable information of real importance directly to decision makers--in a very focused manner--was both exhilarating and empowering, and it remains so.
I have participated in every Lobby Day since. The challenge has not diminished, for with experience comes new sensitivities to personal shortcomings and opportunities for improvement, and the stakes for our environment mount daily.
Shirley Kallio is a long-time Sierra Club member and volunteer with the West Michigan Group.
February 12, 2012
Sierra Club has consistently taken the right positions on issues for all the right reasons. As a person with a broad interest in protecting the environment alongside a keen sense of the importance of the common good, I've really appreciated the opportunity to work with people whose stances are so sensible and comprehensive.
For example, the Michigan Chapter has opposed coal fired power plants not only because of their negative impacts on the environment and public health, but also because they represent a poor investment, with eventual adverse consequences for energy companies, the overall economy, and the ratepayer. This has been personally satisfying for me but, more important, has resulted in positive outcomes for everyone.
February 8, 2012
Lynne Stauff and Dave Errickson can honestly say the nation’s oldest environmental organization changed their lives. The Lansing residents met on a Club outing in Glacier National Park in 2006, got engaged at another park and tied the knot last August.
“My first Sierra Club outing brought me the love of my life,” says Errickson. “In five years of membership, I have gotten back far more than I could ever give.”
“We courted over trail work, splashing boulders in a muddy stream, rinsing off in a cold creek, sharing meals with like-minded people while watching the sun set over the mountains,” Stauff adds. “We still enjoy Sierra Club trips and volunteering with our local chapter. It’s been an adventure of a lifetime!”