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"In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy." John Sawhill



 

 
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Who We Are

Who We Are and Why You Should Join

We're a Greater Birmingham based environmental and conservation organization with many outdoor-related activities. We represent more than a thousand Sierra Club members in Birmingham and North Central Alabama. The Cahaba Group is a member of both the Alabama Chapter and the National Sierra Club. By becoming a member, you reap many benefits, including:

Monthly Newsletter and Magazine
Outings and Activities
Discounts
Special/General Interest Program
Conservation and Environmentalism
Newsletter Party
Outings Leaders
Inner City Outings Program
Fundraising
Executive Committee
Trail Maintenance and Construction

Monthly Newsletter and Magazine

At the first of each month, you'll receive our newsletter. Filled with articles on environmental and conservation issues, outings, programs, and volunteer opportunities, it offers local insight into the growing trend toward environmental awareness. Each issue includes all of the outings and activities we have planned for the coming month, and many issues profile and endangered animal or plant species. By joining our group you automatically become a member of the National Sierra Club as well - entitling you to many benefits and the acclaimed SIERRA magazine, which covers important national environmental issues.

Outings and Activities

As a member of the Cahaba Group, you are invited to participate in any of our outings, adventures, programs, events and activities. We offer many excursions and social events that range from quite easy to very strenuous. Check our newsletter or on-line Calendar for details. Here are just a few of the things we like to do:

Hiking Inner City Outings Tube Floating
Camping Canoeing Potluck Parties
Backpacking Rafting Picnicking
Trail Maintenance Biking Lake Parties
Water Quality Testing Swimming

Stream Wading


 

 


Discounts

Some of our local merchants and advertisers help us promote the causes of the Sierra Club and offer discounts on their products. For example, any location of Alabama Outdoors offers a 10% discount on many non-sale items. Just take your Sierra Club membership card with you. Rebecca Falkenberry at Brownell Destinations makes a donation to the Cahaba Group for travel bookings made through her. Please be sure to thank discounters for their support of environmental and conservation issues and of the Cahaba Group.  

Special/General Interest Programs

Each month, usually on the third Tuesday, members and all interested people gather at the Birmingham Zoo Auditorium for a brief informational meeting followed by guest speakers. Our speakers are experts on their topics and always have informative, exciting presentations or slide shows. They often remain for a Q & A session, and sometimes have handouts. Always intriguing and sometimes provocative, the programs make for truly educational evening. The monthly topic is listed in the newsletter and on our Calendar page. Free refreshments are served after all programs. This is a great way to meet new people in a friendly, informal atmosphere. Members, nonmembers and guests are always welcome. If you have questions, contact the Program Chair listed on the Contacts Page.  

Conservation and Environmentalism

As members of the Sierra Club, we seek to protect and preserve our natural environment. The Conservation Committee monitors important issues, conducts letter-writing campaigns to influence politicians and the public, spearheads water quality monitoring in local lakes and streams and organizes lobbying days in Montgomery. If you're interested in helping this all important committee, check the Calendar for meeting dates or call anyone listed in the Contacts page for more information.

Newsletter Party

Each month, usually the last Thursday, we meet at a member's house to fold and label our newsletter for mailing. This gathering is always warm, informal and decidedly fun-oriented. We enjoy a delicious potluck dinner and beverage of choice while chatting, joking and getting to know each other better. All the while, we manage to get the job done. Make new friends or visit with old in a laid-back setting, while contributing the most important service of getting information to our readers and friends. For details and location, see the Calendar page.  

Outings Leaders

The Cahaba Group enjoys one of the most active outings programs among Sierra Club groups of our size. We're always in need of experienced Outings Leaders. We conduct special leadership training workshops to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to lead our outings and activities. This one-day course and a bit of OJT will prepare you to lead others in the great outdoors. For more details, contact the Outings Scheduler listed on the Contacts page. 

Inner City Outings Program

We strive to educate our youth to preserve our environment for tomorrow. Our Inner City Outings (ICO) program brings inner city youth and the physically or emotionally challenged to the outdoors to experience the wonder and beauty of nature while building life skills. Many of these youth might never have the change to experience outdoor activities without us. The program offers a range of volunteer opportunities, from administrative to fundraising to outings leadership. If you want to make a difference in the future of America, this is a golden opportunity. Tax deductible donations to fund this important program are gratefully accepted. For further details, contact the ICO Program Chair listed on the Contacts Page.

Fundraising

Fundraising for the Cahaba Group comes from several volunteer-driven sources. Periodically, we host an auction or a yard sale to raise funds. Most years, we also sell Sierra Club calendars. We sell advertising to cover some of our newsletter printing and mailing expenses, but not for general revenues, as we are a nonprofit organization. We also gladly accept contributions over and above membership fees from members and anyone interested in helping us fight for environmental protection. Contact the Fundraising Chair or Treasurer listed on the Contacts Page for information about making a monetary donation. There are opportunities to make a meaningful contribution of your time, and this is an excellent place to start. Volunteers are always welcome, no matter how much or little time you can spare.

Exective Committee

Also known as ExCom, this is the governing body of the Cahaba Group of the Sierra Club. ExCom has seven voting members, numerous committee chairs and other volunteer leaders. We meet each month at the Sierra Club South Regional Office, 1330 21st Way South, near Five Points South. If you have dedication and vision, if you're a mover and shaker, if you're willing to make a long-term meaningful contribution, or if you just plain enjoy controversy and action, this is the place for you. All members, not just elected or appointed ones, are strongly urged to attend and become involved. We can always use another willing hand for new ideas and work. For more details, contact any Excom member or committee chair listed on the Contacts Page.

Trail Maintenance and Construction

We're very proud of this monthly service project in which we maintain and construct hiking trails in local parks, usually Oak Mountain State Park or Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. Our philosophy is that since we use the trails, we have a responsibility to contribute to their upkeep and construction. Besides, it's really a fun social occasion and another chance to get outdoors! On the first Sunday of each months, we gather at 1:00 p.m. to provide manual labor to repair and build trails. That work involves activities ranging from trash pickup to moving boulders (small ones, anyway). Bring water and gloves and maybe a favorite tool. We also provide tools and instruction. For details and location, see the Calendar Page.