September 28: Watch “The Erie Situation” at JCU (Free)



RETURNING to CLE for ONE NIGHT ONLY – The Erie Situation – A film about the toxic mix of big agriculture, politics, and water security rights.

WED., 9-28-22 – 7PM at John Carroll University’s Dolan Science Center/Donahue Auditorium


For updates and reminders, register here:

To learn more about the film and Lake Erie’s algal blooms, click here

Sponsored by: Northeast Ohio Sierra Club & JCU Department of Sociology

Download the flyer here.


Rainforest Meeting, July 28: Conservation of Andean Bears (Zoom)


The next meeting of the NEO Sierra Group’s Rainforest Committee will be held on July 28, 2022 at 7 PM via Zoom.  Travis Vineyard of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will be discussing the Zoo’s efforts to protect Andean bears both at the Zoo and in their natural, South  America habitat.  Please register below for this  presentation and join  us for a unique insight into one of the Andes’ iconic species.

Register here:

June 25: Sustainable Berea Hosts Native Trees and Plants for the Urban Landscape

Native plants

Lecture: “Native Trees and Plants for the Urban Landscape” by Garrett Ormiston
When: Saturday, June 25 from 11 am – 12 pm with discussion to follow
Where: Berea Public Library, Large Meeting Room

The urban environment poses a unique set of challenges for plants including pollution, salt run-off, poor soils, and invasive species. Join us as we learn about the many native plants that are well-suited to face these urban challenges, and how you can incorporate them into your own projects.

Garrett Ormiston is the GIS Specialist and Manager of Preserve Operations in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Natural Areas Division. He oversees the Museum’s land conservation work, provides coordination and support for the Museum’s stewardship and invasive species management efforts, and assists with conservation education initiatives including promoting the use of native plants for landscaping and restoration projects.

Huntington Beach Cleanup Recap (Sunday April 24, 2022)

fun cleanupA park cleanup of the Huntington Reservation and beach in celebration of Earth Day. The weather was sunny and 80 degrees with a nice breeze at the shore. The park was busy and everyone was in great spirits.

Organized by Northeast Ohio Sierra Club in partnership with Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, BayArts, and Bay Village Green Team. Hosted by Cleveland Metroparks at Huntington Reservation, and Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. Coffee and treats were donated by Mojo Coffee and More.

I thought the event went very well. It was the first cleanup Sierra Club has organized in Northeast Ohio since about 2018, and the first largely organized by volunteers since our Edgewater “Trash and Pancakes” events more than a decade ago. I must give special credit to Emily Obringer who handled the paper work, publication, and online registration. Also a special thanks to Chad Heck for his extra efforts to help us with our remote support table at the beach parking lot as well as our registration located at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center.

We registered 103 people on our campfire event page and an additional 12 at the event. The total attendance was 85 people including our event volunteers. There were 10 attendees helping with event organizing by working at registration, supplies, collecting and tallying bags, and directing participants. We collected 60 bags or buckets of trash and one tire.

I had many positive comments and everyone I spoke with were smiling. The common complaint was that there was not much trash to pick up. I am sure this is music to Chad’s ears. Certainly, Chad deserves high praise for the great job he and his staff is doing at making this park a great experience for all. I know some people put in extra effort to find trash in hillsides and vegetation. I also heard that it was a rewarding experience when park visitors thanked them for their efforts. A group of teens even brought a tire they found on the beach all the way to the registration site with great pride and enthusiasm (pictured). Thanks to Solon High School for your participation.

If there is a better way to celebrate Earth Day I can’t imagine what it would be!

Steve McPhee
NEO Sierra Club

April 24: Earth Day Clean Up at Huntington Beach

Earth Day Cleanup

Join Sierra Club Northeast Group at an Earth Day Clean Up on Sunday, April 24th from 10am -12:30pm! We will be cleaning up Huntington Beach and the trails surrounding the waterfront. Please dress appropriately, dress in layers and prepare for inclement weather, wear toe-covering boots/shoes, and/or items you don’t mind getting dirty. Gloves will be provided, but please bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated. Water and snacks will be provided as well. This event is put on in partnership with Bay Village Green Team, BAYarts, and Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.

Signup Instructions: Sign up here, and also, please fill out this online waiver prior to the clean up for all participants 18 and older. Here is the waiver for those younger than 18 (please have your parent or guardian fill this out).

Bring: Reusable water bottle. Closed-toe shoes. Dress in layers.

Additional Directions: Directions to specific meeting location and online waiver will be sent out prior to event. Please check your email prior to event.

May 12: Wunderle Speaks on Caribbean Birds

On May 12 at 7 PM Dr. Joseph Wunderle of the International Institute of Tropical Forestry in Puerto Rico will make a presentation via zoom concerning the conservation  status  of birds in  the Caribbean.  The presentation is being hosted by the Rainforest Committee  of the NEO Sierra Club Group.  Dr. Wunderle has decades of experience studying Caribbean bird populations and will explain to us how birds are responding to the challenges of climate change and the increasing frequency of severe hurricanes.  If you are interested in hearing the presentation, please register at  the following website:

Learn about Lake Erie Pollution: Participate in Panel Discussion April 4


A special opportunity for participants in this year’s Cleveland International  Film  Festival will occur on April 4.  After the 4:50 PM screening of The Erie Situation, an in-person panel discussion  will  be held with the film’s director, David Ruck, and other members of the filmmaking team.   The Erie Situation explores the problems of toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie and delves into the reasons why nutrient runoff from confined animal feeding operations continues to pollute Lake  Erie and cause the blooms.  Many Ohio residents  assume that the Ohio Environmental Protection  Agency  is taking care of the problem.  The film explains why that assumption is false and what needs to happen if we are to protect the lake and the people who depend on it.  If you  are concerned about the health of the lake and the quality  of your drinking water, then you should see the film  and attend the panel discussion.

There is no charge for the panel discussion but space is limited to 50 people.  The discussion will be held in the Stream/Gund Chat Room located in the Idea Center adjacent to the Allen Theater.  The discussion will  begin at approximately 6:35 PM.  For tickets to see the film, go to  Please spread the word!!!

May 7: 40th Annual Plant Sale at Shaker Lakes

Shaker Lakes Nature Center

The Northeast Ohio Sierra Club Group is pleased to announce sponsorship of the 40th Annual Plant Sale to be held May 7, 2022 at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. The event is an important fundraiser for the Nature Center and contributes greatly towards supporting the beloved public trails, natural habitats and acclaimed environmental education programs at Shaker Lakes.

The sale features an ever-growing variety of hard-to-find native plants, perennials, herbs, vegetables and annuals hand-selected by a local team of experienced gardeners. You may order plants online from March 21-April 9 as well.

For more information on the sale, please visit


April: Sierra Club Partners with Film Festival

NEO Sierra Club is again partnering with the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) to promote an environmentally themed film to be shown at the upcoming festival.  This year NEO is partnering on The Erie Situation, a documentary about the toxic algae blooms that forced Toledo to shut down its water treatment system for three days in 2014.  The film explores the root cause of the algae problem: a surplus of agricultural runoff.  Revelations about the struggle among the farm lobby, scientists, and citizens to resolve the crisis reveal much about Ohio’s political system and our concern for public health and water quality in Lake Erie.

The film will be shown on April 3 at 7:25 PM and again on April 4 at 4:50 PM in the Allen Theater at Playhouse Square, the new home of CIFF.  It will also be streamed online  between 11 AM, April 10 and 11:59 PM, April 17.  Tickets for either in-person or streamed screenings may be purchased online by going to   They also may be purchased by visiting the CIFF box office in the lobby of the State Theater or by calling the box office at 877-304-3456.  Sales to CIFF members begin on March 11, and sales to the general  public begin March 18.   Ticket prices for in-person screenings at Playhouse Square are $16 for non-members and $14 for CIFF members.   Prices for online streams are $10 for non-members and $8 for members.  By using the codeword, “SIERRA,” you can receive a $1.00 discount on each ticket purchased.

Please plan to see this important film and check out the CIFF website ( for more information  about the festival and a schedule for all of the films.  Remember, if you are not a resident of the Cleveland area, you may still see the films through the streaming option.  We may have an opportunity  to interact with the  director and/or others involved with the production of The Erie Situation; check the NEO Sierra website for future announcements about that.

Thank you to Cleveland City Council on the Balloon Release Ban Ordinance!

We are thrilled to announce that the Cleveland City Council has passed a balloon release ban ordinance. Balloon releases pose an environmental hazard, particularly to Lake Erie.

We invite you to read this letter thanking the Cleveland City Council for this important action. Thank you as well to Fran Mentch (NE Ohio Chapter), Bob Shields and Emily Obringer (Ohio Chapter Sierra Club) for their advocacy and for authoring this leter.

Read the letter here.