March/April Newsletter:

Greetings Northeast Ohio Sierra Club

I am Steve McPhee, your newly elected executive committee chair. I am honored by the opportunity to serve our group and hope I can help all of us enjoy, protect, and explore the planet.

First, a bit about my Sierra Club experiences. I joined back in the late 1980’s, looking for like-minded people to hike and camp with. I found many, including my wife, Christine. I found out about Inner City Outings in the NEO Sierra Club newsletter and Christine and I both became certified leaders. I continue to help ICO as the treasurer, and occasionally an assistant leader on outings. I have also held every other office for Cleveland ICO. A love of the outdoors and nature is what guides me and keeps me engaged in Sierra Club. I have heard this from many of the members of Sierra Club and Inner City Outings I have met. More recently I have joined the NEO Executive Committee, first as the ICO representative, then as an elected member. This is my third year on the ExCom and I am impressed with the expertise, commitment, and pride all of my colleagues bring. I hope that my leadership can help all of us succeed in our Sierra Club activism, events, and outings.

I will be communicating mainly with the ExCom, committee chairs, and the Ohio Chapter leadership and employees on a regular basis. I hope they will be tolerant of my learning what so many long time activists do without effort. To those of you just getting involved, maybe this is your first foray into our web site, newsletter, or e-mails, or social media postings.  Welcome.  I stand ready to help you find your niche in our group, as do the rest of the ExCom and committee chairs. Please reply, call, or come to a meeting or event.

What I have learned in my long ICO leadership tenure and my recent ExCom experience is that NEO Sierra club is what we make it. Northeast Ohio is “that place” many others hear of in the news and figure maybe their environment is not so bad by comparison. They also hear about the great improvements happening here and are inspired. I am sure that many of the Sierra Club members I know are responsible for that. Engaging in the smallest task for our environment added to the actions of our colleagues makes a huge difference. In just three years I have seen the sale of a state park for fracking stopped, coal-fired power plants retiring nearly a decade ahead of schedule, a wind turbine installed at the fairgrounds (Come to Earth Fest Sunday, April 21 and see!), and over 100 Water Sentinels trained to monitor stream water quality all across Ohio. Overall, Sierra Club is a force for a better environment and our tasks and actions are all important.

I look forward serving with all of you in 2013.  Please keep in touch and keep engaged.

Steve McPhee
Chair, Northeast Ohio Sierra Club
(440) 891-0714