September 22, 2014

Celebrate National Drive Electric Week with a test drive!

National-Drive-Electric-Week001Sunday, September 21, 8 am – 3 pm, Marin County Civic Center parking lot, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael

As part of National Drive Electric Week, the Golden Gate Electric Vehicle Association (GGEVA) is hosting an event in Marin County to raise awareness of the widespread availability and benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles. Electric vehicles from nearly every electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer will be on display and many will be available for test drives. EV drivers will be on hand to share their experience, and information on charging stations, solar charging, are EV car-sharing will be available.

The celebration will be held alongside the Sunday Marin Farmers Market and will include food and family-fun activities. Anyone interested in learning about or sharing the economic advantages, environmental benefits, and fun of driving electric is invited to participate in this celebration.

Learn more about these and other National Drive Electric Week events at

An armchair tour of Mount Diablo

group in elephant rock1Wednesday, September 12, 7 pm, Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek

While we wait for the weather to cool off on our favorite mountain, come enjoy an armchair tour of Mount Diablo with Ken Lavin. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about the mountain’s geology; is Mount Diablo a volcano? What made the wind caves? What are fossilized seashells doing high up on a mountain? This presentation will take us on a journey through the geologic history of Mount Diablo, including anecdotes about the adventures (and misadventures) of Diablo’s famous geologists, including Clarence King, who married an ex-slave and led a secret double life!

Ken Lavin is a Sierra Club hike leader. He is outings coordinator for Greenbelt Alliance, a teacher with Diablo Nature Adventures, and a Mount Diablo Interpretive Association volunteer. According to the San Francisco Chronicle “Ken is such a familiar figure on Mount Diablo, even the snakes seem to know him.”

Everyone is welcome and no reservations are necessary. For information, contact Ken Lavin at (925) 852-8778 or ken_lavin at

Green Fridays presents “FRESH” film screening

Still from "FRESH" courtesy of Specialty Studios/Ripple Effect.

Still from “FRESH” courtesy of Specialty Studios/Ripple Effect.

On September 12, Green Fridays will present a screening of “FRESH”, a critically-acclaimed documentary about the good food movement. “FRESH” celebrates the farmers, thinkers, and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each of the characters profiled in “FRESH” has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.  Among several main characters, “FRESH” features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.

Green Fridays is a monthly series featuring informative speakers and discussions about the important environmental issues of our time. Join us on the second Friday of every month at the Chapter office, 2530 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley. Snacks and drinks begin at 7 pm; presentation is 7:30 – 9 pm. $3 suggested donation. All are welcome!

San Francisco Dinner—”Touring the Great National Parks of the West”

Yellowstone River Canyon; Photo by Gary Crabbe.

Yellowstone River Canyon; Photo by Gary Crabbe.

Thursday, September 18, 6 pm
City Forest Lodge, 254 Laguna Honda Boulevard, San Francisco

Join us for a breathtaking tour of some of the great National Parks of the western United States, as captured by professional landscape and travel photographer, Gary Crabbe. This will be a special chance to see some of the grand and more intimate scenes that draw millions of visitors to our parks from across the globe every year. For those who travel to exotic locations, Gary’s stunning photos will remind us of the magnificent and varied beauty that lies in our own backyard.

Social hour begins at 6 pm; dinner at 7 pm; and the program at 8 pm. Arrive early for street parking (no sidewalk parking please). Parking is available next door at the Forest Hill Christian Church lot for $1.50 per car.

To reserve your spot, send a check for $18 (note new price) made out to “Sierra Club, S.F. Bay Chapter” to:

Gerry Souzis
1801 California St., Apt. 405
San Francisco, CA 94109

Checks must be received by Friday, September 12. Please send a separate check for each program and indicate the program date, number of guests and your phone number. Non-members are welcome. Bring your own wine or soft drinks; glasses and ice are available. Let us know if you are a vegetarian. With questions, contact Gerry between the hours of 4 and 9 pm at (415) 474-4440 or gsouzis at

East Bay Dinner—“Trekking the Grand Karakoram in Pakistan”

Photo by Seiji Kawamura.

Photo by Seiji Kawamura.

Thursday, September 25, 7 pm, Berkeley Yacht Club, 1 Seawall Drive, Berkeley, CA 94710

We are all familiar with K2, but have you ever wondered if there is a K1? Join Seiji Kawamura as he treks from Askole to the K2 base camp on the Baltoro Glacier, along breathtaking scenery unsurpassed anywhere in the high mountains. On the twenty-five-day trek, Seiji also traversed on the Biafo Glacier over Hispar La to rejoin the Karakoram Highway at Karimabad.

Seiji is a retired teacher, active participant in the Sierra Club’s snow camping and backpacking sections, and volunteer with the Pacific Crest Trail Association’s trail-maintenance crew. He has done a number of treks in South America and Asia, and spent thirty days trekking in Nepal’s Manaslu-Annapurna region earlier this year.

Cost of dinner and program is $27, including tax and tip. To reserve your seat, send a check payable to “Sierra Club” with your name, telephone number, and the names of your guests, to:

Jane Barrett
170 Vicente Road
Berkeley, CA 94705

Attendance is limited to the first 115 reservations received. Reserve early, as these programs do fill up. The reservation deadline is Sept. 18. There is no admittance for the program only.

Celebrate owls at the Marin Group fall picnic

Celebrate Owls flyerEnjoy a walk through owl habitat and build your own owl box at the SF Bay Chapter’s Marin Group fall picnic.

WHEN: Saturday, October 11, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
WHERE: Muir Woods Park Community Association Clubhouse, above Muir Woods, 40 Ridge Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941  (off Panoramic Highway)

Join the group from 9:30 to 11:30 am for a morning hike (three levels of difficulty). From 11:45 am to 12:45 pm, enjoy a potluck lunch with your fellow Sierra Club members. Last names A-E, please bring an appetizer; F-J, salad or side dish; K-O, entree, P-T, dessert; U-Z, non-alcoholic beverage. Please, no alcohol.

After lunch, learn about local owls and build your own owl box. You will assemble your box on site, and take home a completed owl box, ready to mount. This is a fun project for families! Bring your charged Phillips head screwdriver. Everything else necessary for the project will be provided. You can choose between a Western screech owl box for shady, forested areas ($60, tax-deductible) or a bigger barn owl box for areas on the edge of large fields and open to the sky ($80, tax-deductible).

Owl box kits are made to order, so you must make your reservations in advance! Reserve your box(es) by sending a check (made out to Sierra Club Marin Group) along with the following information to: Michele Barni, Sierra Club Marin Group Executive Committee Chair, P.O. Box 4, San Quentin Village, CA 94964. Please submit your owl box order by September 22, 2014.

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Your order
  • Number and kind of boxes (Western screech owl, $60, or barn owl, $80)
  • Total tax-deductible check enclosed
  • Do you need a screw gun?

Questions? Contact laurachariton at For more information on owl boxes, please visit the Hungry Owl Project website.

We hope to see you there!

Three-day celebration of Clair Tappaan Lodge 80th anniversary

ClairTappaan drawing_Ottmar Goebel 1970John Muir famously said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” In that spirit, you are invited to a three-day celebration of the 80th anniversary of Clair Tappaan Lodge, from August 15 to 17. Built by Sierra Club volunteers in 1934, Clair Tappaan is the Sierra Club’s flagship lodge, hosting a wide variety of programs that support sustainable practices and the Club’s mission to “explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the Earth.”

Anniversary festivities begin on Friday with an afternoon hike, gourmet dinner, and dramatic, panoramic slide program of Yosemite and the High Sierra by John Muir-reenactor Don Baldwin. On Saturday, you’ll have the opportunity to swim in a High Sierra lake and join guided hikes with themes including archaeology, geology, and photography. On Saturday afternoon, indulge in wine and cheese in the Hutchinson Lodge while enjoying the music of classical guitarist Stephen Holland. After dinner, Sierra Club President David Scott will give a keynote address on the topic of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Afterwards, tap your feet to the traditional bluegrass, original tunes, and honky tonk harmonies of Mountain Fire. The celebrations will conclude on Sunday with a raffle and day hikes.

The cost for the weekend is $195 per person, which includes six meals (vegetarian options available), two nights’ lodging, and all activities. The fee for Saturday only is $95; or $25 to attend only the Music in the Hutchinson Lodge wine and cheese reception on Saturday afternoon. Participant fees partially support Lodge operations and those funds are not tax deductible. If you can’t attend the celebrations but want to support grants for youth to study environmental education at the Lodge, donations are gratefully accepted. To make your reservations, call (530)426-3632 or email reservations at You can find more information online here.

Get ready to celebrate wilderness, culture, and community in Vallejo

Visions of the WildIn honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region and partners—including several local Sierra Club chapters and groups—are hosting Visions of the Wild, a festival in Vallejo from Sept. 3 to 6.  Expected to be the single largest Bay Area event celebrating the Wilderness Act, the festival will feature art exhibits, speakers, film screenings, music, and field trips. For full program information, visit

Events will take place at seven different venues in historic downtown Vallejo, a city known for its cultural diversity, beautiful waterfront setting, and vibrant arts community. Festival venues include the landmark Beaux Arts-style Empress Theatre, arts and performance space The Hub, the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, and a small “Ranger Station” that will serve as the festival headquarters.

“We’re putting together a unique and varied menu of activities that will appeal to people of all ages and walks of life,” said Heather Davis, Visions of the Wild coordinator. “There will be something for everyone. The festival will be a ‘one-stop shop’ for wilderness information for residents across the Bay Area.”

Visions of the Wild will be a venue to discuss and learn about topics such as what “wilderness” means in diverse cultural contexts; how wilderness values are expressed through the arts; how we can “re-wild” our humanized landscapes; how we can expand the circle of people who care about wild places; and how our understandings of wilderness and wilderness conservation paradigms will change in an era of global environmental change.

The festival will take place 50 years to the day after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act establishing our National Wilderness Preservation System. The Act is a landmark in conservation history because it allows for the preservation of wilderness for the American public. Today more than 100 million acres of land are designated as Wilderness.  For more information about celebrations underway locally and across the country to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of this landmark legislation, visit

To volunteer at Visions of the Wild, contact festival coordinator Heather Davis at hdavis at or visit

To volunteer for other Wilderness Act 50th anniversary activities, contact Anne Henny at anneth16 at or Vicky Hoover at (415) 977-5527.

Celebrate 90 years of Chapter history at the TriValley Group potluck picnic and wine tasting event

home-31Wine, a picnic, old friends, and beautiful scenery—what could be a better way to celebrate an anniversary?

The TriValley Group is honoring the 90th anniversary of the San Francisco Bay Chapter and the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act with a potluck picnic and wine tasting.

Join us on Sunday, July 27 at Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery, located at 3053 Marina Ave. in Livermore.

  • 11:30 am: Winery tour and tasting (fee for wine tasting is $10)
  • 12:30 pm: Potluck picnic—bring a prepared dish to share and your own reusable dishes
  • 1:30 pm: Four-mile walk through the vineyards

Please RSVP to Janis Turner at janiskate at or 925-344-6150. RSVPs are required for the tour and tasting and are requested for the potluck picnic. If you are able to volunteer to help with setup and cleanup, please get in touch with Janis.

Please note that the winery requests that you park on the street in front of the winery instead of parking in their lot. It is just a short walk past the vineyard to the tasting room.

Celebrate Chapter 90th anniversary at Summer Picnic–Friday, August 1

Last year's Chapter picnic.

Last year’s Chapter picnic.

Friday, August 1, 5 – 8 pm, Ohlone Park, Berkeley; site near McGee and Hearst.

All Chapter members are invited to the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter’s 90th-anniversary Summer Picnic! Whether you’re a brand new member or long-time Sierran, join us for a fun and festive potluck!

Bring a favorite dish or beverage to share. In the spirit of minimizing waste, we strongly encourage folks to bring their own reusable plates, utensils, and cups. Bring picnic blankets and jackets, friends and family. There will be a free raffle—your chance to win cool Sierra Club gear! You must be present to win.

Attendees will have the chance to learn about the Bay Chapter’s current conservation efforts.

To walk to the picnic from North Berkeley BART, cross Sacramento Street, and walk two blocks east on Hearst or through the park. By car, from University Avenue, turn north on Sacramento Street. Turn right on Hearst and drive two blocks east.

If you’re available to assist, we need you! Before the picnic, help solicit donations; at the picnic, help set up, greet attendees, clean up. Help is very much appreciated!

To volunteer, or for questions, contact Joanne Drabek at (510)530-5216 or