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Saturday, December 1, 2018

December Newsletter


DECEMBER 11 WINTER POTLUCK  Join us for good conversation, food, and fun at our annual winter potluck. This year, we'll gather on Tuesday, December 11 from 6 to 9 pm at the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, 401 West Ave. South. This is a change from the originally announced location. Park in the lot behind the building or take the MTU Circulator (stops at West Ave & Cass). Bring some food to share. Some beverages will he provided. All are welcome - members and friends. Email us, crsierraclub@gmail.com, with questions.

THE GREENER LIFE - JAN. 29  Our first program of
the new year will be on January 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House (8th and Main, La Crosse). Local author and sustainable living advocate CS Sherin will share ways to green your lifestyle and reduce your environmental impact. We’ll have more details in our (online only) January newsletter! In the meantime, let’s share ideas online and in our newsletters next year! Email your tips to crsierraclub@gmail.com or share on our FB page or on Twitter!

GO GREEN IN '19!  REDUCE YOUR USE OF RESOURCES! Don’t buy or use single use plastics like straws, bags, and bottled water. Use reusable coffee/tea filters. Carry a water bottle. Stop junk mail. Save and reuse clean-one-side paper. Read online rather than mailed (we still mail HUNDREDS of newsletters to those who could easily read online. If you’re one, tell us ONLINE ONLY! Buy/Sell used items or donate them. Buy in bulk. Take and reuse shopping bags. Take your own reusable “doggie bag” when you eat out. Use washable cloth rags and napkins. Repurpose when possible. Urge others, especially at work and school, to make changes, too!
You can’t hide this truth: without action, global warming will be catastrophic.
COULEE REGION EDUCATION GRANTS  Thanks to a grant from the Paul E. Stry Foundation, the Coulee Region Sierra Club is able to award environmental education grants of up to $200 every year. The application for 2019 grants is available at tinyurl.com/crscedugrantapp. Teachers and organizations who work with elementary and middle school children in the Coulee Region (Crawford, Grant, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau, and Vernon counties) may apply. The deadline is January 5, 2019. Call Maureen at 608 784-9324/784-5678 with questions.

SIERRA CLUB 2019 CALENDARS  Your purchase of Sierra Club calendars will benefit our club and environmental programs and protection activities. The calendars cost $14.95 for the wall calendar and $15.95 for the engagement book. Get your calendar at our winter potluck or order from Maureen Kinney: 784-9324/784-5678 or email maureen@ johnsflaherty .com SIERRA CLUB NOTE AND HOLIDAY CARDS are for sale at the online store.

YOUR INPUT REQUESTED!  The Coulee Region Group board is looking for your feedback! Please complete the short online survey so we can find
opportunities, programs, and activities that interest you. Please complete the survey by
January 5 if possible.

READY FOR 100 TEAM  At its October 2018 meeting, the Sustainable La Crosse Commission voted to recommend partner municipalities pursue Ready for 100 resolutions. The John Muir Chapter Sierra Club is producing a sign-on document for allies - businesses, non-profits, individuals, and others - to show broad support for this initiative and welcome more voices to the effort. The document should be available by January 1.

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat is still the only Coulee Region official on the Mayors for 100 list. Get your mayor onboard! (see sc.org/mayors-action)and join our Coulee Region Sierra Club Ready for 100 team. In January, we will begin educating our communities about the benefits of moving as quickly as possibly to 100% renewable energy sources. If you know of a club, group, or organization we could talk to or to join the effort or for more information, please email or call 608 315-2693 (leave a message).

GREEN NEW DEAL  On November 20, youth activists associated with the Sunrise Movement urged members of Congress nationwide to back a Green New Deal and the Sierra Club redoubled its calls for that platform. “A Green New Deal can create millions of family-sustaining union jobs upgrading our infrastructure, making our communities more resilient to the climate crisis, retrofitting and weatherizing our buildings, restoring our ecosystems, and moving our country to a 100% clean, renewable energy economy.” Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club.

GO GREEN IN '19!  BE A CLIMATE CITIZEN and VOTER! Monitor how elected officials vote and what environmental legislation they sponsor.  Call and send emails regularly. Attend open office/ town hall meetings and talk about climate and environmental concerns. Connect with environmental groups and participate in online and in person actions. Talk about the importance of voting and citizen lobbying to others. Write letters to the editor or articles for your organizations’ newsletters or websites about voting for the environment. Help people register to vote and get to the polls. If you can, donate to candidates and programs supporting a sustainable environment. Consider running for office.

BOARD ELECTIONS  Bill Katra’s term is expiring and he’ll leave the board after eight years of service. Thank you, Bill! Current board members Maureen Kinney and Avery Van Gaard are on the ballot as well as Nancy Hartje of La Crosse, an environmentalist and retired educator, and Jake
Schnepper, a junior UWL business major from Chicago who wants to further the goal of protecting our planet. You may also write in and vote for another if you wish. Please vote for up to four people to serve from 2019-2021. Bring your ballot to the December 11 Sierra Club event or mail it by December 20 to Maureen Kinney, 620 S 23rd St, La Crosse, WI 54601.
SOLAR GROUP BUY  In October we hosted a program about the Sierra Club’s solar group buy program which allows people to get a discount on solar PV installation from SunVest Solar, a
Wisconsin-based company. So far, 114 kw of installations are set up. You do not need to be a Sierra Club member to sign up for a solar site assessment, a personalized cost/benefit information packet, and, for those who move forward, complete installation of a solar system.

GO GREEN IN '19!  REDUCE ELECTRICITY USE  Most utility provided electricity in the Coulee Region is generated from coal and natural gas. Upgrade to Energy Star appliances, use LEDs, weatherize, and turn things off when not needed. Wash with cold water. Ditch the dryer. Turn an electric water heater down or off for three days or longer. Plan to reduce your use and monitor progress. Use solar for lights, heating, recharging. Be an energy hawk at your school or work. Turn off lights in empty meeting rooms and TVs in empty waiting rooms. Ask merchants what they are doing to conserve energy. Join the Ready for 100 movement in your community.

ARRIVE TOGETHER - EQUITY AND ACCESS  On October 23, the Sierra Club along with 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, WISDOM and WISDOM affiliates, the Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance released a report on transportation in Wisconsin - Arrive Together: Transportation Access and
Equity in Wisconsin. A first of its kind report, Arrive
Together shows how people’s needs are not being met by Wisconsin’s transportation system. The report examines the effectiveness of public transit access to major employers and other areas of interest in nine cities and regions across Wisconsin. It highlights stories from transit riders, opportunities for improvement within transit systems, and the serious barriers and needs for improvement at the state level. A media event at La Crosse’s Grand River Station Transit Center included several speakers highlighting important aspects of the study: Cassie Steiner, co-author; Obbie King of La Crosse Area Transit Advocates/; Maureen Freedland, CouleeCap; and Rep. Jill Billings. Thanks to the MTU staff, local speakers, and local media (see links to coverage in an earlier post). Read the report online.

We’re still looking for CR Sierra Club members around the region to email with news of events and issues in their communities so we can get more people involved . Email crsierraclub@gmail.com.

GO GREEN IN '19!   GREEN YOUR TRANSPORTATION! Vehicle emissions are the biggest source of greenhouse gases. If you can, trade your vehicle for a lower emissions, more
fuel efficient, hybrid, or electric one. Keep tires
inflated and do regular maintenance. Pledge to drive your fossil fueled vehicle less and monitor progress toward that goal. Group errands into one trip. If you can, work from home. Push for online meetings. Walk, bike, car pool, car share, take public transportation or use a combo - your bike on the bus or park and ride. Don’t idle your car
Teach your kids to use public transportation. Talk to your school about an anti-idling program. Push for better public transit, workplace rewards for car pooling, and better local transportation policies.


Environment and human health will improve because of election

One of the biggest winning outcomes from the election in Wisconsin was the environment!  All of the statewide races were won by pro-environment candidates and in Oneida County, we won the mining referendum. That is because of the tireless efforts of countless volunteers including many, many Sierra Club members that helped register voters and turn out folks to the polls.  The John Muir Chapter was particularly active in the 1st, 5th, 17th and 19th state Senate districts. Thank you for voting, and all the other hard work you did during the election!
Read the entire blog post at Muir Musings.
GO GREEN IN '19!  FOOD The Natural Resources Defense Council reports up to 40% of food is wasted annually in the US. Growing, processing, transporting, storing, and disposing of uneaten food is expensive, wastes resources, and contributes to greenhouse gases. Food is the number one addition to landfills nationwide. Meat and dairy have larger carbon footprints than grain or vegetable products. Organic food has a lower carbon footprint. Eat locally grown organic food and a more plant based diet including some meat/dairy free meals. Use shopping lists and menus. Label and date food. Monitor and rotate refrigerator and freezer items regularly. More tips at epa.gov/recycle/reducing-wasted-food-home

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

November Newsletter

through November 2, vote absentee in person at your municipal clerk’s office
(contact clerk for details) OR on Tuesday, November 6, vote at the polls.

For complete voting info, please visit myvote.wi.gov.
 
John Muir Chapter endorsements* for Coulee Region Group voters:
US Senate: Tammy Baldwin, 3rd US CD: Ron Kind,
 Governor: Tony Evers, Lt. Governor: Mandela Barnes,
SD 17: Kriss Marion (D-Blanchardville); SD 31: Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire),
AD 49: Mike Mooney (D-Platteville), AD 50: Art Shrader (D-Reedsburg),
AD 51: Jeff Wright (D-Plain) AD 68: Wendy Sue Johnson (D-Eau Claire),
AD 70: Carl Fay (D-Merrilan), AD 92: Rob Grover (D-Galesville),
AD 94: Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska), AD 95: Jill Billings (D-La Crosse),
AD 96: Paul Buhr (D-Viroqua)

* The Sierra Club endorses candidates who are and/or will be strong environnmental and conservation leaders working to stop attacks on recycling, renewable energy, transit, clean water and air, mining protections and more.
 
View all John Muir Chapter Sierra Club endorsements at tinyurl.com/jmcendorsements18
“Polls show that voters connsistently rank environmental issues among their lowest concerns in every election. ... Yet polls also show that tens of millions of Americans strongly prioritize progressive environmental policies - the real problem is that these people do not vote. Indeed, even in recent nation-wide elections, over 15 million individually identifiable environmentalists have stayed at home on Election Day.” - www.environmentalvoter.org/our-mission
Arrive Together: Transportation Equity and Access in Wisconsin  On October 23,  the Sierra Club along with 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, WISDOM and WISDOM affiliates, the Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance released a report on transportation in Wisconsin - Arrive Together: Transportation Access and Equity in Wisconsin.  A first of its kind report, Arrive Together shows how people’s needs are not being met by Wisconsin’s transportation system. The report examines the effectiveness of public transit access to major employers and other areas of interest in nine cities and regions across Wisconsin. It highlights stories from transit riders, opportunities for improvement within transit systems, and the serious barriers and needs for improvement at the state level.  

In La Crosse, a media event at the Grand River Station Transit Center included several speakers highlighting important aspects of the study: Cassie Steiner, co-author; Obbie King of La Crosse Area Transit Advocates; Maureen Freedland, CouleeCap; and Rep. Jill Billings. Thank you to the MTU staff for their gracious and generous support for the event and to local media: WKBT, WXOW, WLAX, WEAU and Wisconsin Public Radio.
"As a former county board member and now as a state legislator, I have seen firsthand how important proper transit funding is to ensuring vibrant communities, a thriving economy and a high quality of life for all of our residents." – Rep. Jill Billings, Assembly District 95.
SOLAR GROUP BUY  On October 16, Elizabeth Ward from the John Muir Chapter and Chris Collins from Sunvest Solar spoke to Coulee Region residents about the Sierra Club's solar group buy program. The solar group buy allows people to get a discount on solar PV installation from a Wisconsin-based company that will make a $500 donation to the Sierra Club for each completed project. So far, the group buy has lined up 114 kw of installations across the state, earning participants a rebate of at least $100 per kw of solar in their system! You do not need to be a Sierra Club member to sign up for this program which includes a solar site assessment, a persoalized cost/benefit information packet, and, for those who decide to move forward, complete installation of a solar system. For more information on the group buy, check out www.sunvest.com/programs/sierraclub/ 

READY FOR 100 IN LA CROSSE  At its October 2018 meeting, the Sustainable La Crosse Commission voted to recommend partner municipalities pursue Ready for 100 resolutions. This official first step will allow staff and elected officials to work on legislation and encourage public discussion. In the meantime, the Ready for 100  team is still looking for Sierra Club members to help educate our communities about the benefits of moving as quickly as possibly to 100% renewable energy sources. Please email us if you’d like to be on the team.

TWO OCTOBER CLEAN UP PROJECTS  On October 2, six Coulee Region Group members did our autumn clean up of La Crosse’s River Valley Drive through the La Crosse River Marsh. It was fairly clean and we completed the task in a little over an hour, after which four of us went to Rudy’s Drive-in to eat and socialize.

On October 20, Coulee Region Group members David Boen and Pat Wilson participated in the Kickapoo River clean up sponsored by the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. Pat and Dave were the only ones to paddle a canoe down the river on this cold windy day with occasional snow showers. The photo shows Pat and the heap of trash filling the canoe at the takeout. Unfortunately, there was a lot more we couldn’t get, deposited by the record flooding on the Kickapoo in September. 


GROUNDWATER POLLUTION UPDATE  In October 2017, the Coulee Region Sierra Club hosted a standing room only forum on groundwater pollution in La Crosse county.  A county water task force was set up at the end of 2017 and they have recently released their findings and recommendations.

As reported in the La Crosse Tribune on October 15, the team found that, “Much of the groundwater in the towns of Onalaska and Holland contains nitrate levels considered unsafe for human consumption, with the threat especially high for infants and pregnant women.”

The task force recommends further study, better eduction of residents about the need for proper water filtration systems, better zoning and enforcement, possible re-purposing of currently farmed land, and pursuing local and state legislation to further protect groundwater.

Also in October, three southwest Wisconsin counties (including Grant, a Coulee Region group county) agreed to help fund a new study of private wells to determine the amount and sources of contamination. Well water pollution is among the top issues of residents there.

Groundwater pollution and protecting the state’s water resources is one of the John Muir Chapter’s highest priorities and there is a state water team working to coordinate efforts around the state to help communities protect clean water resources. If you would like to be on the state Sierra Club water team, please call (608) 256-0565 or email cassandra.steiner@sierraclub.org.Also, see facebook.com/WisconsinWaterSentinels/


ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION GRANTS  Again this year, the Coulee Region Sierra Club is offering grants of up to $200 for environmental  education projects involving young people at the elementary and middle school level.

The application and more detalis are available at tinyurl.com/crscedugrantapp OR email crsierraclub at gmail and we can mail you an application. The application deadline is JANUARY 5, 2019. Please spread the word about this opportunity available to those in Crawford, Grant, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Trempealeau and Vernon counties. You may also complete the online application form.

SIERRA CLUB 2019 CALENDARS
  Again this year, your purchase of Sierra Club calendars will benefit our club and environmental programs and protection activities. The calendars cost $14.95 for the wall  calendar and $15.95 for the engagement book.

Get your calendar at our December gathering or order from Maureen Kinney: 608 784-9324/784-5678 or email maureen @ johnsflaherty.com. SIERRA CLUB NOTE AND HOLIDAY CARDS are available at store.sierraclub.org/calendars--cards-c28.aspx


Thank you Sue Knopf for editing and publishing the October issue of the
Coulee Region Sierra Club newsletter!
 
COULEE REGION GROUP BOARD ELECTIONS  We are seeking candidates to run for the Coulee Region Group board of directors! Board members will try to attend monthly meetings - in person or by phone or computer - and work to forward the goals of our club in the community. It would be fantastic if we could add some board members from counties outside La Crosse. Each area in our group has important issues and concerns (and potential programs and outings) and we would like to make sure all important matters are included in our program and event planning.

We will put a ballot in the December newsletter. If you are interested in serving on the board, please complete the online form at tinyurl.com/crscboardform OR call Pat at 608 788-8831 with your name, contact info, county of residence, and a brief description of your experience and interests demonstrating why you would like to serve on the board. 
LA CROSSE COUNTY NATURE GUIDE  The La Crosse County Nature Connections program has developed a one-stop electronic resource for connecting with nature in La Crosse County. This electronic Nature Guide aims to make outdoor, nature-rich places in La Crosse County easier to discover.

The Guide's interactive map allows you to search outdoor places by location with a specific page for each trail, identifying access points, directions, parking, and trail terrain and difficulty. A unique feature of the Guide is a biodiversity rating for each area (variety of different types of life throughout a given environment) and a listing of dominant features (i.e. scenic overlook) expected in each location.
NOVEMBER 14 PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPEN HOUSE  Please join the City of La Crosse Muncipal Transit Utility (MTU) for an evening of information, tours, free bus rides, and a celebration of Public Transportation! The OPEN HOUSE will be held on Wednesday, November 14 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Transit Center, 314 Jay Street. Please call 608-789-7350 with questions.

The private vehicle is a household’s largest contributor to greenhouse gases. By taking existing public transportation instead of driving a car, an individual can reduce annual carbon emissions by an average of 4,800 pounds, (tinyurl.com/apta-businfo), A strong public transportation system is good for the environment.
NOVEMBER 7 RESILIENCE AND EQUITY SYMPOSIUM  Vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards. This Novmber 7 symposium (8 am at the Lunda Center) will examine how these inequalities affect the entire community, what are the costs, how do land use and other policies contribute, and how to support local organizations and initiatives addressing these equity issues. Registration is $30 per person and includes breakfast. See tinyurl.com/resilequity
 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Arrive Together: Transportation Equity and Access

On Tuesday, the Sierra Club and our partners will release Arrive Together: Transportation Access and Equity in Wisconsin, a first-of-its-kind report that shows how people’s needs are not being met by the state’s transportation system. The report examines the effectiveness of public transit access to major employers and other areas of interest in nine cities and regions across Wisconsin, including La Crosse.
Community members, local leaders, and report authors will give an overview of La Crosse’s transit system, and transit riders will share their personal experiences and challenges using the transit system. With the growing recognition of the challenges in the state’s transportation system, the report’s analysis offers insight into the problems and solutions available to better connect people to opportunity.
Join us for the release and hear from transit riders, report authors, and more.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23
10:00 a.m.
Grand River Station Transit Center
Third & Jay Streets


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Triennial Water Standards Review

from Crawford Stewardship Project:


Triennial State Water Standards Review



 

Where should state environmental officials focus their efforts to protect surface water quality over the next three years? 
 
The Wisconsin DNR is currently reviewing state water quality standards and is asking the public for your input on a list of five water quality standards topics proposed as priorities for protecting Wisconsin's lakes, rivers, streams, and springs.

The draft of the current Triennial State Review can be found here on the DNR website

You can download the pdf file and rank topic priorities in the document and send them to Marcia Willhite (contact below), the deadline is January 25th.

And/or you can simply send your comments directly to Marcia, the deadline is October 5th.  

Marcia Willhite by email,  phone (608-267-7425) or by mail to Wisconsin DNR - WT/3, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707.

A public hearing will be held on September 21, 2018 from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. This hearing is for citizens to comment on or ask questions about the topics presented. Anyone who would like to participate is invited to join online through a webinar using the link posted on the DNR’s triennial standards review Web page, or in person at the DNR’s Madison office at 101 S. Webster St, Madison, in Room G27 in after signing in at the visitor’s desk.


CSP recommends that commenters note that nitrogen/nitrate criteria pollution needs to be highly prioritized (right now it is in"Group D" where "barriers to criteria development currently exist".) There are many scientific studies and expansive knowledge of the dangers and effects of nitrogen pollution in our waters. It is all too common that nitrate pollution, often from agricultural runoff and manure spreading and spills, is degrading our water quality all over the state.




Sunday, September 16, 2018

La Crosse Mayor Launches Home Energy Challenge


New Program Offers Incentives to Property Owners Who Make Energy Efficiency Improvements
La Crosse homeowners who want to save on energy bills this winter and increase the comfort of their homes now have up to $4,100 in incentives available to them, depending on the variables explained in the fact sheet attached. Mayor Tim Kabat is launching the Home Energy Challenge, which gives the first 100 households who sign up the ability to receive incentives to cover a portion of the costs of making their homes more energy-efficient through insulation and air sealing.
The launch event is taking place at the home of Casey and Sonja Meehan, who chose to make home energy improvements themselves and are encouraging other homeowners to do the same. Casey and Sonja moved to La Crosse in the summer of 2014. They loved the idea of being able to walk, bike, or bus to work, the proximity to all the amenities downtown and on local college campuses, and the potential to be part of a close-knit neighborhood. One detractor was the poor energy efficiency of the older 1920s home that they purchased, but quickly realized that was something they could fix.
“Our home still had the original insulation in the attic, so it was really cold in the winter. After we had the work done, we noticed right away that the temperature in the house was way more comfortable. In addition to making our house more livable, we knew that the improvements were going to save us money in the long run as we wouldn’t be using as much heat.  We also felt it was simply the right thing to do from an environmental standpoint,” said Casey.
For the Mayor, launching this initiative is also about La Crosse residents coming together to make the City one of the most sustainable communities in Wisconsin. “If we accomplish our goal of 100 homes, the City would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 290 metrics tons per year, the equivalent of 317,676 pounds of coal burned or taking 62 vehicles off the road. That’s a really great investment in our community and our planet,” said Mayor Tim Kabat.
At the launch event, the Mayor will be joined by the City’s partners in the Home Energy Challenge- Xcel Energy and Focus on Energy. In addition, several local employers will be present who will be encouraging their employees to participate in the challenge.
For more information on the incentives being offered and more details about the program, go to http://www.cityoflacrosse.org/energychallenge

Thursday, September 6, 2018

September 8 - RISE FOR CLIMATE!


Please join the Coulee Region Sierra Club and other local and regional organizations and leaders at the Rise for Climate event at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 8 in La Crosse's Riverside Park near the big fountain. 

Rise for Climate is a global day of action to end the era of fossil fuels. This event is one of thouands being held around the world to demand our local leaders commit to building a fossil free world that puts people and justice before profits. No more stalling, no more delays: it’s time for a fast and fair transition to 100% renewable energy for all. Read more about it at https://riseforclimate.org. 

The list of speakers below includes 
  • Coulee Region Group Vice Chair Kathy Allen talking about the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 campaign and the Sierra Club's endorsements in the upcoming elections: 
  • Ho-Chunk Nation Member Bill Greendeer to talk about holding leaders in  responsible for the well-being of existing and next generations (Seven Generations principle) and also the ethical idea of the Rights of Nature 
  • Organizer Janette Dean to welcome everyone and explain why environmental policy is the fastest way we can protect our planet 
  • Member of La Crosse's Hmoob/Hmong Community to share Hmoob environmental concepts that apply to climate protection
  • UWL Professor Paul Reyerson to speak on the latest global and national climate science and impacts 
  • Sustainability Institute's Casey Meehan to speak on Midwestern state impacts & some of the many opportunities and benefits of sustainability 
  • Speaker to share the city and county's emissions reductions progress as part of their Sustainability Indicators and related goals 
  • Coulee Region Sierra Club Vice Chair Kathy Allen to share their candidate endorsements and to share CRSC's Ready for 100 effort (100% renewables by 2050 or sooner) 
  • Ken Tschumper, Former Minnesota State Representative to talk about MN's clean energy legislation and MN's 2018 Candidates 
  • La Crosse Democrats spokesperson Avery Van Gaard to read a climate-related statement from WI Gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers & WI Rep. Jill Billings 
  • Charles (Chuck) Davis, Sr. of Tomah - Oglala Lakota, of the Oceti Sakowin (speaker and main musician as we begin to sing, dance and chant in circles)
We hope to see you there! 
Pat Wilson

Friday, August 31, 2018

September Newsletter


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 at 7 p.m. "Sustainability Indicators for the City and County of La Crosse" with Anders Olson, Sustainability Analytics co-sponsored by UWL Environmental Studies 3314 Student Union, UWL  In 2009 the La Crosse County Board and La Crosse Common Council adopted the City of La Crosse & La Crosse County Strategic Plan for Sustainability. The plan identified several sustainability indicators which would be monitored on a regular basis including governmental energy, fuel, and water use; paper and green product purchasing; transportation; solid waste and more. Anders Olson,
Sustainability Analytics of La Crosse, will discusss the outcomes of the most recent, 2017, indicators report. (Read the report at https://tinyurl.com/17suslaxrpt). We’ll also hear updates on other Sierra Club programs. Everyone is welcome. You don’t need to be a member to attend. 


This meeting is co-sponored by UWL’s Environmental Studies Department and will be in Room 3314 of the UWL Student Union. Park RIGHT NEXT TO THE UNION in Lot 12 (Cleary Center lot - East Ave & La Crosse St) or in the ramp (levels 1-3) where you will pay 25 cents per quarter hour until 7 pm (after 7 pm no charge for short term parking). The
#4 bus stops near the union hourly (cityoflacrosse.org/mtu) and the Union is accessible by foot and bicycle. The Student Union is #35 on the campus map at www.uwlax.edu/map and you can view floor plans of the building at tinyurl.com/uwlaxfloorplans. If you need more information or directions, please email crsierraclub@gmail.com


Sierra Club Endorses Candidates  Before each election, our volunteer-powered Political
Committee evaluates candidates’ voting records and commitments to conservation. The Political Committee program may include federal, state, and local government races, as well as ballot measures, and shall be conducted in compliance with applicable law and in accordance with the Club's electoral compliance guidelines.


The John Muir Chapter has endorsed Tony Evers for Governor, Tammy Baldwin for US Senate, and six candidates for Congress including Ron Kind who currently represents the Coulee Region group district. Additionally, the Chapter has endorsed candidates in state Senate and Assembly races. The full list of endorsements is in the news release: https://tinyurl.com/18jmcendorsements


The fall election will be Tuesday, November 6, but voters in many municipalities will be able to vote absentee in person at their clerk’s office as soon as ballots are ready. In La Crosse, “early voting” will begin on Monday, October 15. More about voting, registering, finding your polling place, etc. is at https://elections.wi.gov/voters


September 2 - Open Streets   Join the Coulee Region Sierra Club and other local organizations and businesses at the 2nd annual Open Streets event, Sunday, September 2 from noon to 5 p.m. Several blocks of downtown streets will be closed to cars leaving space for art, music, crafts, sales, activities, food, play, dancing, yoga, demonstrations, pets, conversations, and fun. Find the CRSC table on Main Street in front of Burns Park. More details at https://tinyurl.com/18oslax

September 8 - Climate Rally   Rise for Climate is a global day of action to end the era of
fossil fuels. Join the CRSC and other local and regional organizations and leaders at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 8 in Riverside Park near the big fountain. This event is one of thouands being held around the world to demand our local leaders commit to building a fossil free world that puts people and justice before profits. No more stalling, no more delays: it’s time for a fast and fair transition to 100% renewable energy for all. Read more
about it at https://riseforclimate.org


Coulee Region Sierra Club Environmental Education Grants   Two schools received environmental education grants in January. Here are reports about what was accomplished with the grant money. Applications for 2019 grants will be available in December.
First of all, thank you so very much for the grant money, The students and I learned and visually experienced so much. The students were so excited to receive the butterfly eggs in the mail. Little did they know that was just the beginning. Soon after we transferred the eggs to the little cups with the provided food the eggs grew into fat caterpillars, the students loved to lay on the floor and watch. Soon they became boring (to the eye) larvae, but then it happened one by one - the butterflies emerged. We had 26 out of the 33 hatch. Pre-K and 7th grade students planted butterfly bushes and prepared outdoor food. Then release day came! We hope to have eggs on our plants next year to start the cycle over. Thank you, Cheri Oglesby, Pre-K Teacher St. Rose, Cuba City, WI

On May 10, 265 5th graders from Meadowview Elementary School in Sparta visited the Sparta School Forest for a day of environmental learning. Students were divided into groups and visited several learning stations throughout the day. Thank you for helping fund our transportation request to get us to this amazing outdoor learning center. Stations included: wood craft - Mr. Cook and
students use a saw buck and single-person cross cut saw to “put up” wood for the wood pile. This station is located next to the Aldo Leopold Shack—an exact replica of the one located in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Students learned about Aldo, Phenology, and took part in simple wood craft. At other stations, students practiced nature crafts, drawing, and writing. Sparta High School Nature Club
participants helped lead some of the learning stations. Because of your donation, four busloads of kids made it to the woods!! Another group, Junior English, came the next day and were able to do so because of your generous gift!! As an educator and the coordinator of the Sparta School Forest, I thank you for providing our students with this wonderful opportunity! Respectfully from the woods, Joe Cook, Sustainability Coordinator Sparta Area School District  

Please help your club   We’re looking for helpers to make sure our club is connected. If you would like to help by posting about local environmental events and issues at our blog, submitting information for our monthly newsletter, please send your information to crsierraclub@gmail.com subject: NEWS. Also, please consider running for the board this fall. More details will be available in our November newsletter. Please help your club! We are also seeking someone to be our group’s
representative to the John Muir chapter executive committee. Our current rep is not able to continue because of other commitments. The executive committee works on strategic planning for the chapter and communication with the state’s groups and the national Sierra Club. Meetings are held six times per year (there’s an online option). The CR board will review applications until this volunteer position is filled. Read about current members at this link https://www.sierraclub.org/wisconsin/
contact. If you are interested in serving on this important committee, please email crsierraclub@gmail.com for more information or call Pat at 608 788-8831. If you would like to join the state water or transportation teams, please email for details.

Black River Canoe Camping   The July 14-15 kid-focused Black River canoe camping trip turned out to be a delightful trip, with a great group of active, adventurous kids and adults! The warm weather inspired lots of water play and swimming. We climbed a waterfall. We saw live clams, an immature eagle, a water snake, lots of frogs, butterflies and more. Oh yes, and we experienced our share of mosquitoes and flies. The water was a bit lower than desired, but we were lucky that the predicted storms never materialized.

September 11 - Foxconn Town Hall   Wisconsin Legislative Democrats are hosting a series of
Town Hall meetings around the state to discuss the economic and environmental issues arising from the state’s Foxconn deal. One of the Town Hall meetings will be held at Onalaska High School from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11. For more information, please contact the office of State Senator, Jennifer Shilling at 608 266-5490 or Sen.Shilling@legis.wi.gov.

Ready for 100   This fall, the Coulee Region Sierra Club Ready for 100 team will kick off an initiative to pass a Ready for 100 ordinance in the City of La Crosse by the end of the year. The mayor has already signed as a Ready for 100 Mayor. The City, through its partnership with the county on theLa Crosse Sustainability Commission has already acknowledged the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, and, through its 25 by 25 (see tinyurl.com/lax25x25) pledge, commited to reducing fossil fuel consumption and increasing energy derived from renewable sources. A Ready for 100 resolution, is the next logical as the full consequences of catastrophic global warming are becoming the new normal. Follow developments at cr-sierra.blogspot.com, to learn how you can
help move this important initiative forward in the coming weeks.

Chrysalis Farm Tour   Ten Coulee Region Group members experienced what it’s like to live in an earth friendly way and show a true love of the land, when they toured Marcia Halligan and Steven
Adams’ Chrysalis Farm on August 28. Marcia gave us a tour of the small organic farm she and Steven have lived on since 1985. Their beautiful and efficient house uses whole tree construction with wood and stone coming primarily from their farm. They use straw bales for insulation in walls and roof for energy efficiency, and have photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. They farmed
with horses until one of the horses died recently. With the horse gone and with floods from their fork of the Kickapoo River flooding their land more often, they’re cutting back on farming, though they still have a garden where they grow heirloom vegetables. Marcia and Steven were gracious hosts, and Marcia ended the visit by reading some excerpts from her book about life on the farm, “Hidden in the 13th Moon.” Those who carpooled from La Crosse were fortunate to be able to ride in Kathy Allen’s Chevy Bolt all-electric car. It’s a very quiet car of the future.

Solar for Good   Solar for Good, a project of RENEW Wisconsin, provides assistance and grants to non profits who install new solar systems. One 2018 recipient, Kevala Retreat in Norwalk (https://tinyurl.com/kevsol18), will host an open house on Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. to celebrate the completion of their installation which produces more than twice as much electricity as the center uses. Applications for 2019 Solar for Good grants will open on October 1. See renewwisconsin.org/solarforgood for details.





Seeking volunteer who could help produce the online-only newsletter in October and provide newsletter back up as needed. Email crsierraclub@gmail.com.