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Explore, Enjoy and Protect

Houston Regional Group - Day Outings, Meetings and Events Calendar
  in this section:
General Meeting
.
Special Events:
 Annual Auction
.
Classes:
 Tree ID
.
Committee Meetings
.
Social Gatherings
.
Service Projects:
 Trail Maintenance
 Beach Clean-up
 Pine Brook Wetlands
.
Day Trips:
 LSHT Hike
 Brazoria NWR
 LSHT North Hike
 Trinity River NWR
 LSHT South Hike

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MAY GENERAL MEETING (MAY 8, 2013) - THE NIGHT SKY IN TEXAS -

This program explores and the night sky with Debbie Moran, the Education Chair of the Houston Astronomical Society. Debbie will teach us what celestial bodies are hovering overhead in the spring sky of Texas, as well as give an overview of the Astronomical Society's latest activities. If you've ever looked up and wondered, "is that Venus or Jupiter?" or asked yourself "what a blue moon really is?" then this meeting is for you! Don't miss this heavenly opportunity.

Location: Pecore Hall of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 1805 West Alabama (at the corner of West Alabama and Woodhead).  Houston, TX. map

Ample parking is available behind the church.

All Sierra Club events are open to members and visitors alike.   Please join us.

Outings note: The leaders of our trips are serving in a volunteer capacity and assume no responsibility above that of trip organizer. Please respect the wishes of your leader. If you have any medical requirements, it is your responsibility to inform the leader before the trip. While our trip leaders are not paid professionals, they are encouraged to participate in training to increase their skills. All outings officially begin at the trailhead. Leaders cannot assign carpools but may help coordinate ride sharing to conserve energy and to promote camaraderie. Some outings require advance reservations at the destination site as well as from the participant. If you must cancel, inform the leader promptly.

* The events marked with an asterisk are not sponsored by the Sierra Club Houston Group, but are presented here as a courtesy to our members and friends.  The Sierra Club Houston Regional Group makes no representations nor assumes any responsibility for these activities.


Quick Links:


local meetings and special events:

Galveston Bay Area Sierra Club Houston (acronym GBASCH) Monthly Meeting - 3rd Wednesdays - 6:30 - 9:00 PM. Please come and mingle with other Sierra Club members starting at 6:30 pm followed by presentations at 7:00 pm. For more info, please contact Grace Martinez (281-732-1201 or gracemartinez7@earthlink.net ) or Diane Neustadter ( DiNproducer@yahoo.com ).  Meetings are held at The Bay Area Community Center, located across from Clear Lake in Clear Lake Park: 5002 NASA Road 1; Seabrook 77586.   map

Galveston Bay Area Sierra Club Houston is part of the Houston Regional Group of the Sierra Club (also called the Houston Sierra Club - acronym HSC). HSC is so large - over 100 miles in diameter - that lt is useful to provide local organization of activities for members in outlying areas. GBASCH does that by planning activities and holding general meetings in the Galveston Bay area. These are open to all HSC members.

GBASCH APRIL GENERAL MEETING (APRIL 16, 2014)- 6:30 -9:00 PM Topic: GALVESTON BAY FOUNDATION
Habitat restoration and an overview of Galveston Bay Foundation conservation work. Location: Clear Lake Park - 5002 NASA Parkway Bay Area Community Center (Blue Roof).

GBASCH MAY GENERAL MEETING (MAY 21, 2014), 2014) 6:30 - 9:00 PM - Topic: "PROTECTING THE HABITAT OF WHOOPING CRANES"
Mary Carter will give an update on the work being done to protect the whooping cranes' habitat at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Location: Clear Lake Park - 5002 NASA Parkway Bay Area Community Center (Blue Roof).

ANNUAL YARD SALE - Saturday, May 10, 2013. 2318 Waugh Dr. at Fairview- Is it time for some spring cleaning? Don't forget the Sierra Club yard sale; you can 'recycle' those unneeded items. The sale will take place Saturday, May 10, from 8am-4pm at "CORAZON Fair Trade", 2318 Waugh (at the corner with Fairview). We will gladly accept most saleable items, including clothing, knickknacks, furniture, books, etc. We also need help the day of the sale, particularly for the morning set up and the afternoon knock-down. To donate items, either bring them to the General Meeting on May 8, or you may drop off items at CORAZON (713-526-6591, call for current hours), during the week immediately prior to the sale (but NOT before Saturday, May 3). The web address for CORAZON is Here. Please bag or box up smaller items. Large objects such as furniture would be best delivered to the site on the morning of the sale. If you have workable appliances, electronics, etc. to donate, securely attach an index card that describes the condition of the item, and any information a potential buyer would need to know. This is important! If we don't know the workability of an item, we are forced to sell it for far less than its potential value. Please DO NOT BRING broken or obsolete computers, computer peripherals, or non-working electronics. Those items should go directly to an e-waste recycling facility. This event is one of the Houston Group's annual fundraising efforts. All proceeds go to support the Houston Group and its local conservation and educational programs. To volunteer, contact Frank Blake at frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896.

EARTH DAY AT DISCOVERY GREEN, Saturday, April 12 11am-5pm- Earth Day Houston is the city's premier Party for Our Planet and celebrates a day of family entertainment, environmental education, and a Green Expo at Discovery Green. This is a good networking event to see what various environmental groups are doing in the region. The Houston Sierra Club will have a booth at the event. This one-day celebration will focus on the merits of mindful, sustainable living while educating and encouraging Houstonians to preserve, conserve, and enhance our city and the Earth. Developed six years ago by Air Alliance Houston, Earth Day Houston is a community centered, family friendly event open to the public and free for all to attend. For additional details visit the website by searching for "Earth Day Houston 2014". If you are interested in helping staff the Houston Sierra Club booth at this event, contact Frank Blake at frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896.

Saturday, May 17, 2014 - SIERRA KIDS: ARMAND BAYOU NATURE CENTER - Join other Sierra Kids and families at the Armand Bayou Nature Center. We'll meet there right as it opens at 9 a.m. to walk the boardwalks in hopes of seeing alligators, turtles and dragonflies. We'll then head over to the children's discovery area for some nature inspired play and a small snack. Admission is charged, so please be prepared to pay between $2 (kids) and $4 (adults). Contact Jen Powis at jenniferpowis@yahoo.com with any questions or suggestions for other fun events this summer!

LEADER TRAINING - For leader training, contact Frank Blake at frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896

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classes:

OUTINGS LEADER TRAINING - DATES: ARRANGED WITH PARTICIPANTS; We are always looking to maintain and expand our pool of outings leaders. We have two categories of training: Outings Leader (for leading in the field) or Trip Coordinator. Our leader training (OLT 101) provides participants with the background requirements for leading a Sierra Club outing in the field. This class is a qualification to become an asst. leader or leader on our air/bus trips, or to sponsor local day or weekend outings. The trip coordinator class covers all the steps involved in planning one of our air/bus trips. The trip coordinators are the ones who decide on a destination and are then responsible for the overall planning and organization. This includes making air/bus arrangements, publicizing the trip, etc. (One can assist with trip coordinating without having to lead a group in the field). Besides gaining rewarding personal experience, our group leaders and trip coordinators make an invaluable contribution to the Sierra Club. Their efforts create unique opportunities for others to experience and enjoy the natural world. And some trips serve as a source of revenue for the Houston Group, helping to support local conservation activities. If you have an interest in either of these classes, contact Frank Blake, frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896. Each class is approximately 2 hours long, and dates are coordinated with participants.

LEADER TRAINING

For leader training, contact Frank Blake at frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896.

LEADER REIMBURSEMENT FOR CLASSES

The Houston Group Executive Committee has approved the following policy:

Certified Houston Sierra outings leaders can receive a $25 reimbursement toward their First Aid Class certification expenses for each class that they organize and conduct, provided that the class nets at least $25 in income. Reimbursements can not exceed the amount paid out by the outings leader for the First Aid Class. Nor can the amount of reimbursement exceed the income netted by the class. For a class such as Backpacking Basics, which includes both a classroom session and a separate field session, each session would qualify for a $25 reimbursement. There would also be a limit of 2 leaders for any particular class (i.e., if more than 2 leaders assist with a class, only the 2 primary leaders would qualify for the reimbursement).

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committee meetings:

New! - BIKE TRAILS COMMITTEE - A bike trails committee was started to explore enhanced hike and bike trail connectivity in the Bay Area. Initially three folks are working this: Debra Goode, Richard Lee, and Doug Peterson. They are brainstorming and investigating breaks in existing trails and systems where it is hazardous to travel by bike, and identifying some of the variables for implementation, other interested parties, local government, sources of funding,etc). Contact Debra Goode at 281-280-9944 if you are interested in participating.

Second Tuesdays - Inner City Outings (ICO) - Houston ICO normally meets on the third Tuesday every month, 7:00 PM, at the Whole Foods store at 701 Waugh Dr. Please contact Lorraine Gibson at 281-384-4104 or raineygib @ aol.com for more information. for more information.

Third Mondays - Outings Committee - usually the third Monday of each month, 7:00 p.m. at the Whole Foods store on Bellaire near Weslayan.    Help us plan regional day outings, weekend trips, and air/bus trips to exciting outdoor destinations across the country.  Please call to confirm meeting date.   Frank Blake, 713-528-2896, frankblake@juno.com

Third Tuesdays - Conservation Committee - third Tuesday monthly, 7:00 PM. Call for new location. Contact Evelyn Merz, 713-644-8228, elmerz@hal-pc.org

Third Wednesdays - Air Quality - third Wednesday of each month, 7:30 p.m., at 5431 Carew.

Fourth Thursdays - Houston Group Executive Committee - fourth Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m., Houston Clayton Library, 5300 Caroline.  Contact Frank Blake at frankblake@juno.com

For more information on committee activities, click "get involved" on the nav bar.

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social gatherings:

Ongoing:  every Saturday - Sierra Walkers - Clear Lake Area - We meet every Saturday at 7:30 a.m. across the street from the Nassau Bay Post Office on Upper Bay Road, just south of NASA Rd. One. After a 3-mile walk, we have breakfast at a nearby deli. Some just come for breakfast. Join us! For information, call Richard or Betty Armstrong at 281-333-5693.   Sierra Walkers have been active for 18 years!

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Service Projects

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Ongoing - LEADER TRAINING - For leader training, contact Frank Blake at frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896.

Saturday, April 19 and Saturday, May 17, 2014 - TRAIL MAINTENANCE HIKE IN SAM HOUSTON NATIONAL FOREST - Enjoy a trail maintenance hike on the Lone Star Hiking Trail in the Sam Houston National Forest. The part of the trail will be chosen depending on the most current needs. Bring your daypack, two quarts of water, snack, hiking shoes, hat, and clothes to fit the weather. Don't forget to bring your sense of camaraderie and adventure! Meet at 8:00 am in the parking lot behind the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) at I-45 North and Greens Road. Look for a maroon and silver F-150 truck. To reach the parking lot, enter the feeder off I-45 North, via the Greens Road exit, and then pass through the traffic signal at Greens Rd. Turn right into the first strip center you come to (look for Brown Sugar's Barbecue) and drive to the end of the strip center. The parking lot behind IHOP is on the right.Contact Darrell Matula at 281-667-7024 or drmatula@verizon.net for additional details. Please supply your name and contact information in case we need to contact you. One can also check the Houston Sierra Club Meetup site on the web for possible updates and sign up there. Because of new Forest Service rules, RSVP is required.

Saturday, April 26, 2014 - DAVIS HILL STATE PARK SERVICE OUTING - Yet another opportunity to visit Davis Hill State Park, an undeveloped unit of the state park system located approximately 20 miles east of Cleveland Texas, and near units of the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge. Due to limited state park funding allocations over the years, Davis Hill SP has not been open to the public except for very infrequent special tours. Again, service work at the park will likely be clearing invasive tallow trees in an area that we have not yet worked in. The work will be with Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. staff, who will guide our work party. Further details will be posted to the Houston Sierra Club Outings Meetup website, including start time, rendezvous point, etc. Or contact Evelyn Merz at elmerz @ hal-pc.org or 713-644-8228 for complete information.

Saturday, April 26, 2014 9:30am-12:30pm - NORTH JETTY BEACH CLEANUP - The Houston Group has adopted this stretch of beach as part of the Texas "Adopt-A-Beach Program". The North Jetty is a popular fishing, crabbing, and birding spot on the Bolivar Peninsula just south of the Audubon Society's Bolivar Flats Sanctuary. Because this site is heavily used, trash and litter have become a problem. Much of the trash, such as discarded fishing line and plastics, are hazards to area wildlife. The ferry crossing to Bolivar is usually a good opportunity to observe dolphins and brown pelicans. It is interesting to visit the jetty at different times of year. Since this is spring migration season, after the clean up those interested can drive up to High Island to visit the Audubon Sanctuaries - particularly the rookery at Smith Oaks, a nesting site for snowy egrets, spoonbills, and herons. To sign up, contact Frank Blake, frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896 (e-mail preferred).

Saturday, May 3, 2014 - DAVIS HILL STATE PARK SERVICE OUTING -MORE TALLOW TREES! - This is another opportunity to see a truly natural state park while you volunteer control invasive plants and help preserve plant diversity. We'll work with Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. staff. Volunteers should gather at 8 AM in Cleveland in the Subway parking lot located at 140 Truly Plaza in Cleveland, TX. We'll caravan to Davis Hill SP and arrive about 8:30 AM. It is an easy hike to the work site. We'll spend the morning killing evil tallow trees. The only good tallow is a dead tallow - YES! After a lunch break from noon to 1 PM, we'll rid the park of more tallows until 2:30 PM and then start back to the vehicles. Bring a sack lunch and a couple of filled water bottles. Wear long pants, a hat and either hiking boots or old shoes. We will not be on established trails. Although TPWD will bring along loppers and hatchets, please bring along these tools if you have them. Mark your tools to reduce confusion. Contact Evelyn Merz at 713-644-8228 or elmerz@hal-pc.org for more information, or sign up at our Meet-up site (see top of page 1). To get toSubway at 140 Truly Plaza, Cleveland, TX: Go east on Hwy 105 (W. Southline St.) from Hwy 59. Continue to the intersection with S. Washington Ave (Hwy 573) and turn right (south). You will see the Subway in a shopping center on your right

May 3, 2014 - MARYSEE PRAIRIE WORK DAYS - (First Saturday most months fall through spring,) SERVICE OUTING - The Marysee Prairie is one of the last remnants of tallgrass prairie in the Big Thicket region. Come assist the Texas Land Conservancy in this ongoing effort to revive and maintain the native grasses and wildflowers on this site near Batson, Texas. Work tasks vary by month, but usually involve controlling the regrowth of woody species and keeping the prairie clear for mowing. Tools provided. Check the Meetup site for updates. For more info and to confirm work dates, contact Tom Maddux at 936- 697-3425, or Frank Blake at frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896.

Saturday, April 19 and Saturday, May 17, 2014 - TRAIL MAINTENANCE HIKE IN SAM HOUSTON NATIONAL FOREST - Enjoy a trail maintenance hike on the Lone Star Hiking Trail in the Sam Houston National Forest. The part of the trail will be chosen depending on the most current needs. Bring your daypack, two quarts of water, snack, hiking shoes, hat, and clothes to fit the weather. Don't forget to bring your sense of camaraderie and adventure! Meet at 8:00 am in the parking lot behind the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) at I-45 North and Greens Road. Look for a maroon and silver F-150 truck. To reach the parking lot, enter the feeder off I-45 North, via the Greens Road exit, and then pass through the traffic signal at Greens Rd. Turn right into the first strip center you come to (look for Brown Sugar's Barbecue) and drive to the end of the strip center. The parking lot behind IHOP is on the right.Contact Darrell Matula at 281-667-7024 or drmatula@verizon.net for additional details. Please supply your name and contact information in case we need to contact you. One can also check the Houston Sierra Club Meetup site on the web for possible updates and sign up there. Because of new Forest Service rules, RSVP is required.

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Day Trips

Saturday, April 12, 2014 - Turtle Bayou Canoe/Kayak -    Turtle Bayou flows from north to south, draining some 180 square miles in Liberty and Chambers Counties. During the nineteenth century, it played an important role in events leading up to the Texas Revolution. Later, a combination of natural processes and human actions closed off upper Trinity Bay (known up until then as Turtle Bay), forming Lake Anahuac. Stream diversions and the construction of Interstate-10 brought still other changes. Now, a joint project of the Chambers-Liberty Counties Navigation District and the Galveston Bay Foundation will protect over 500 acres of land adjacent to the bayou, between Interstate-10 and Lake Anahuac. Come and see history in the making. Participants must provide their own canoe or kayak, life jackets (required to be worn), and paddles. The trip leader can help you with advice regarding gear rentals from Houston area outfitters, if needed. Paddling time: 3-4 hours, plus breaks for sightseeing and lunch. Difficulty: moderate to strenuous. Recommended donation to the Houston Sierra Club: $10. Trip size is limited. To register, contact Tom Douglas at baymail@sbcglobal.net or (713) 869-6026. A detailed trip information sheet will be sent by email to registered participants.

Saturday, May 3, 2014 - Cypress Wonderland Canoe/Kayak -    Experience the maze of lakes and shaded, winding bayous deep within the heart of the largest cypress forest on the Texas coast. This is one of the most scenic paddling destinations in this part of our state, and it is located only 30 miles east of Houston. Depending on the water and weather conditions, we will focus on one or more of the area's many features: wildlife, river processes, Texas history, and the impact of human interventions. Participants must provide their own canoe or kayak, life jackets (required to be worn), and paddles. The trip leader can help you with advice regarding gear rentals from Houston area outfitters, if needed. Paddling time: 4-5 hours, plus breaks for sightseeing and lunch. Difficulty: moderate to strenuous. Recommended donation to the Houston Sierra Club: $10. Trip size is limited. To register, contact Tom Douglas at baymail@sbcglobal.net or (713) 869-6026. A detailed trip information sheet will be sent by email to registered participants.

Saturday, May 10, 2014 - SHANGRI LA GARDENS IN ORANGE, TEXAS -    Join us on a walking, birding, botanizing, and just plain fun trip to Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, Texas. The 252 acre area contains a cypress swamp, bird blind, botanical gardens, nature center, and outpost tours centered on Ruby Lake and Adams Bayou. An over 1,000 year old Bald Cypress exists on the property. Bring a daypack, hat, water, lunch/snacks, binoculars, hiking shoes, camera, bug repellant, field guides, and clothes to fit the weather We will meet to carpool/caravan at 7:30 am in the parking lot just west of Starbucks (look for Becks Prime) in Meyerland Plaza. Starbucks fronts the 4700 block of Beechnut (south side of Beechnut, near the West Loop South). Look for a silver Honda Civic with lots of bumper stickers. Fee for the gardens/tour is $10. Call or email Brandt Mannchen at 713-664-5962 or brandtshnbt@juno.com and leave your name, address, phone number, and email. In case of trip cancellation Brandt will either email or call you.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 - Cypress Creek Canoe/Kayak -    Along its path through the forested areas of northern Harris County, Cypress Creek passes by several parks and other points of interest. As a significant source of drinking water for the Houston region, it also illustrates some of the water quality issues posed by increasing urbanization. The creek responds rapidly to local rainfall, so it will be important to monitor conditions, and it may be necessary to move today's trip to an alternative location in the event of unusually high or low flows. Because this trip is farther inland than many of our other paddles, it begins to take on many more of the characteristics of a river trip. There is likely to be a noticeable current, so that good boat control and some experience with paddling in moving water will be very helpful. Being farther inland, the river banks are also steeper and higher than we usually encounter in coastal trips. Lowering boats down to river level may be a new experience for some. We highly recommend sturdy shoes that will provide good traction. Participants must provide their own canoe or kayak, life jackets (required to be worn), and paddles. The trip leader can help you with advice regarding gear rentals from Houston area outfitters, if needed. Paddling time: 4-5 hours, plus breaks for sightseeing and lunch. Difficulty: moderate to strenuous. Recommended donation to the Houston Sierra Club: $10. Trip size is limited. To register, contact Tom Douglas at baymail@sbcglobal.net or (713) 869-6026. A detailed trip information sheet will be sent by email to registered participants.

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Weekend Trips

Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6, 2014 - BIG THICKET WEEKEND -    Enjoy a spring weekend in the Big Thicket. On Saturday, we will visit and do service work on Marysee Prairie, the only tall-grass prairie in the Big Thicket that has been restored. We will probably cut woody vegetation and inventory blooming wildflowers and prairie grasses. This is a good way to learn some of the grasses and wildflowers that are naturally found in the Big Thicket. After lunch we will visit one of the units of Big Thicket National Preserve (BTNP). We will then spend the night at the home of Maxine Johnston, the "Godmother of the Big Thicket," in Batson, Texas. We will have a delicious meal, share stories about the Big Thicket and our other outdoor exploits, and engage in camaraderie with interesting folks. On Sunday we will pick a place in BTNP and enjoy a spring hike. Come for one day or spend the entire weekend. Bring a daypack, plenty of water, hat, field guides, binoculars, and comfortable hiking shoes and warm clothes. If you stay overnight bring what you need for the evening and a sleeping bag. We will meet to coordinate our carpool/caravan at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot just west of Starbucks (look for Becks Prime) in Meyerland Plaza. Starbucks fronts the 4700 block of Beechnut (south side of Beechnut, near the West Loop South). Look for a silver-gray Honda Civic with a lot of bumper-stickers on the back. Call Brandt Mannchen at 713-664-5962 or email him at brandtshnbt@juno.com and reserve a space (leave your name, phone number, and email).

April 25-27 - Trail Between the Lakes, Sabine National Forest Backpacking and Day Hiking Options

Are you ready for some hiking? The Golden Triangle Group of the Sierra Club is celebrating Earth Week with an outing on the Trail Between the Lakes, a 28 mile hiking trail in the Sabine National Forest that extends from Lakeview Recreation Area on Toledo Bend Reservoir to US 96 within sight of the of Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The Trail was planned and constructed as a joint effort of the Golden Triangle Group of the Sierra Club (Beaumont area) and the US Forest Service. Participants can hike the entire trail on this outing, or choose from different options to hike portions of the trail each day. For general information on the trail visit: http://www.toledo-bend.com/national-forest/index.asp?request=trail Where to Stay: For the serious hikers you can backpack, or hike to a predetermined campsite with a daypack and camp along the trail. For those who prefer RV camping, there is Mill Creek Park, or any number of other parks near the East Texas lakes. For those who prefer a motel, there are options - check www.lake-resort.com . There are lots of hiking options over this three day outing. RSVP: It is very important to let us know if you are coming. We need to plan for the correct number of hikers and arrange the shuttle. Donations are appreciated to cover shuttles and other miscellaneous costs. For further details and to sign up, contact Phil Rogers at philarogers@gmail.com or 409-543-4616 cell, or John Paul at jp46832@gt.rr.com or 409-201-0005 cell.

OTHER OUTINGS AND EVENTS

Be sure to check the Houston Sierra Club MeetUp page here for updates!

Longer Trips and our Weekend Trips are also listed on our Multi-Day Outings page

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Last updated:  12/24/2011.   Content 1999-2011 by the Sierra Club.