Wednesday, June 17

For many years, the Shawnee Group of the Sierra Club has been welcoming the New Year with a Stone Soup picnic at shelter 2 in Giant City State Park on January 1. Now this annual tradition is at risk! We need a new team of picnic planners who will step up to carry on this unique event. We have a checklist to assist in planning and setting up. We just need a few motivated volunteers to ensure that we can celebrate January 1, 2016 in style!

Monday, May 18

Thanks to a group of awesome volunteers for our second very successful native plant sale.  A thousand indigenous wildflowers, trees, shrubs and ferns found new homes, and the sale ran very smoothly thanks to the hard work and co-operation of all the volunteers.  To the set-up crew, the cashiers, the customer assistants, and the clean-up brigade, our deepest appreciation. 

Tuesday, May 5

BIG second annual native plant sale May 16!

Sierra Club Native Plant Sale!
Saturday, May 16
10 am til ?  Come early – avoid disappointment!
Town Square Pavillion
100 North Illinois (near intersection of US 51 North and Hwy 13 West)
Carbondale, Illinois

Large selection of plants native to southern Illinois – hardy, beautiful, pollinator friendly, and low maintenance.  Plants are reasonably priced.

We will have more than 1000 plants of many species, including perennial wildflowers, grasses trees, shrubs, and vines for shade and sun.  There will also be plants for rain gardens (moist to wet soil).

Contact:  Plant sale chair Ruth Kelley (618) 684-2196

May 14 Sierra Club meeting

Woodland Wildflowers
Creating a native wildflower garden for shade or sun

Carbondale resident Laurel Toussaint will share how she transformed her yard with native wildflowers.  Some native plants will be available in exchange for a donation.

Free and open to the public!  Thursday, May 14 at 7 pm
216 East Monroe (Green door off the alley), across from Rockhill Baptist Church
Ample free parking off Monroe Street between Washington and Marion.  Contact Ruth Kelley at (618) 684-2196.

We are meeting for dinner before the program.  You are welcome to join us. Dinner at 5 pm:  Longbranch CafĂ©, 100 East Jackson, Carbondale    529-4488

Wednesday, April 8

Earth Day meeting at SIU April 22 (rain date April 27)

Wednesday, April 22 at 4 pm – Rain Date April 27 at 4 pm.
Professor Karen Midden of SIU organized the project to install a green roof on a section of the Agriculture Building. Over 150 students, professional volunteers, plant services laborers and faculty installed the green roof system in 2010.

Green roofs are similar to rooftop gardens and are becoming increasingly popular in urban settings because they help control storm water runoff and resulting water pollution. The roof reduces heating and cooling costs for the Agriculture building while acting as a research tool for graduate and undergraduate students.  Participants will tour the green roof and view the rain garden, permeable pavers, and the vertical garden.

Karen currently is the Associate Dean for the College of Agricultural Sciences. Karen continues teaching in the Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems Department and oversees the college's green roof, vertical garden and other sustainable projects installed by her classes and other students. She also organized an online master program entitled Ecological Urban Landscapes.

The program will be held on Wednesday, April 22 at 4 pm.  Location is Room 209 in the Agricultural Building at SIU (the Ag Seminar Room).  Enter the north section (to the left) of the building and take the elevator or the stairs to the second floor.  RAIN DATE IS MONDAY, APRIL 27 AT 4 PM.

Parking is available in lot 39 (off Lincoln Drive between Life Science III and the Ag Building).  Visitors can park on campus after 4 pm. 

April 9 Sierra Club meeting

April 9 Program:  Canebrakes make a comeback
Giant cane is a native bamboo species that once occupied hundreds of thousands of acres throughout the southeastern and south central United States, including southern Illinois. However, due to agricultural land clearing, altered fire regimes, overgrazing by domestic livestock and flood control projects, giant cane currently occupies only 2% of its historic range.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to restore giant cane riparian buffers in the Cache River basin to mitigate disturbances including agricultural runoff.. Giant cane may soon see a resurgence with help from researchers at Southern Illinois University.

Presenter Amanda Nelson recently earned her Phd in forest hydrology at SIU.  She currently works as a research scientist at Little River Research and Design in Carbondale.  She has a strong background in limnology, stream ecology, and aquatic entomology.

Free and open to the public!  Thursday, April 9 at 7 pm
216 East Monroe (Green door off the alley), across from Rockhill Baptist Church
Ample free parking off Monroe Street between Washington and Marion.

Saturday, March 14

Hikes scheduled March 22 and April 19


Sunday, March 22nd, 12:30 PM –– Hike at Cove Hollow –– Four mile moderate hike on trail in Shawnee National Forest that borders Cedar Lake, cliff lines and shelter caves. Learn about early wildflowers. Bring water and wear appropriate shoes. We will have a car shuttle so we will walk one-way. Leaders are Ed Max and Bob Mulcahy. Call Bob Mulcahy for details and to register at 618-942-6342.

Sunday, April 19th, 10:00 AM –– Hike the Snake Road & LaRue Pine Hills –– Easy hike along the snake road at LaRue Pine Hills. Optional extension to Inspiration Point on the bluffs. This is snake migration time and spring flower season, so come along to learn more about the snakes, birds and flowers that are evident at this very biodiverse area. Leaders are Ed Max and Steve Eberhart. Call Steve at 618-687-2998 or Email at for details and to register. Meet before 10:00 a.m. at the U.S. Forest Service Office at 221 Walnut St., Murphysboro, IL to drive to the trailhead.