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Central Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club January Meeting Notes

7 pm at Mahlon Adams Pavilion

48 volunteers in attendance

I. Introduction:

Individuals from other environmental organizations and green businesses were acknowledged.
- Ernie McLaney with CPCC Center for Sustainability
- Carol Buie-Jackson with HAWK
- Martin Zimmerman with Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance
- Bruce Henderson with Charlotte Observer, writer on energy and the environment( Bruce asked for
people to contact him with their key issues on the environment because of staff cuts in print media
he wants input on whether to cover more international, national, or local issues as well as means of
communication such as blogs, print, online, etc.)
- Rick Roti with Charlotte Public Tree Fund and American Forests
- Chatham Olive with Argand Energy
- Jonathan Nazeer with Green Pages

II. Power Point Presentation on Club events, committees, background, and upcoming:

Bill Gupton led the first half of the meeting through a power point presentation giving background and
upcoming information.

Attendees were asked why they chose to attend the meeting.

- to hear Edwin talk about the city’s plans for the environmental issues
- Because they believe in the mission of the Sierra Club and have a dedication to preserve and
protect the environment
- Want to learn how they can impact policy
- To learn about upcoming events
- They like the social opportunities to mingle and catch up with fellow volunteers

- Steve Copulsky recapped our 20009 accomplishments and took a moment to honor the passing of
Gordon Smith a former member of CP ex com and chapter ex com . Political committee will be
conducting the endorsement process for county commission elections, senate, congress, and state.

2009 Accomplishments:

Mayor Foxx Signs Climate Agreement Making Charlotte a Cool City

We ended the year on a high note! Our new Mayor, Anthony Foxx, signed the U.S. Mayors Climate
Protection Agreement, adding Charlotte to the list of over 1,000 cities committed to working locally to
help reduce global
Richard Louv Event:

The Central Piedmont Group and the National Sierra Club's Building Bridges to the Outdoors project co-
sponsored a visit to Charlotte by Richard Louv, noted author of "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our
Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder." On a rainy October day, it was standing room only to hear his
inspiring speech. Louv was also interviewed by Mike Collins on his WFAE radio show and that
interview can be found on the archives of the WFAE website dated 10/14/09 at:

Ken Burns National Parks Preview Event

The Central Piedmont Group, PBS, WTVI and the Mint Museum presented a very well attended preview
of the Ken Burns series, "The National Parks - America's Best Idea."

Charlotte Clean and Green

Once again, the Central Piedmont Group played a key role as a co-sponsor of the Charlotte Clean and
Green program. The April Clean and Green event, held on the campus of Central Piedmont Community
College, included conservation education seminars and a wide range of environmental exhibitors.

Political Committee Endorsed Candidates Victorious

The Political Committee conducted detailed interviews with both candidates for Charlotte Mayor and all 8
candidates for Charlotte City Council At-Large. All of our endorsed candidates were elected! They were
Mayor Anthony Foxx (D) and City Council At-Large Members Susan Burgess (D), Patrick Cannon (D),
David Howard (D) and Edwin Peacock (R). Contact Steve Copulsky at if
you would like to participate in future Political Committee work

Conservation/Activism Committee

Bill Gupton organized a new Conservation/Activism Committee with our first meeting held in
November. If you'd like to become an activist and work on the critical local, state and national
environmental issues, contact Bill at .

Creek Releaf Tree Planting

As a co-sponsor of Creek ReLeaf, the Sierra Club helped plant 2,500 trees in the McDowell Creek
Watershed in November. Look for future tree planting opportunities or go to
to learn more about protecting our tree canopy.


Several members enjoyed a somewhat rainy hike in Anne Springs Close Greenway in December and we
already started2010 with a well attended New Year's Day hike in Crowders Mountain State Park. Look
for new hikes this year.

Energy Efficiency Block Grant

Beth Clark, Charlotte Campaign Director for the Sierra Club Clean Energy Solutions Campaign,
represented the Sierra Club in successful work by the City to obtain a $6.7 million Energy Efficiency and
Conservation Block Grant (EECGB) from the federal government.
Home Energy Ambassador Training

Regional Conservation Organizer Erica Geppi organized our Home Energy Ambassador Training
program to train volunteers to help take steps to make homes more energy efficient.

Weatherization Day Canvass

Volunteers knocked on over 800 doors in October to spread the word about energy efficiency and the
weatherization assistance programs in the Villa Heights neighborhood.

James Martin Middle School Beautification Project

The environmental beautification project was a great success with help from several Sierrans with shovels
and strong backs. Thanks to ExCom member Liz Barrett for all her help in organizing the volunteer event
for us.

III. Keynote speaker: Edwin Peacock- City Council member and chair of environmental focus
committee spoke to the group. His main points were:

- began by listing city’s major accomplishments in 2009 which were the adoption of sustainable
facilities policy and securing $6.7 million in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant
Funds for efficiency programs in the city. He also hosted a town hall meeting to take input on the
city’s environmental agenda.
- Spoke of environment as a non partisan issue
- He attended a conference in Portland and was energized to bring their great ideas and concepts
from that city to Charlotte. This is what prompted the Town Hall Meeting.
- When comparing Charlotte to other cities in the southeast people are considerably surprised to see
how far along we are with our environmental initiatives.
- This is the fifth year of the focus on the environment committee.
- Main Focus areas are:
• Transportation: over 51 miles of bike lanes, light rail, streetcar
• Housing and Neighborhood Development
• Economic Development
• Environment
• Public Safety
- He urged the audience to consider what is a green job really?
- Spoke highly of the farmers market network here, and hopes for it to grow. Mentioned Developer
Daniel Levine’s efforts to grow the markets in the first ward.
- Spoke highly of the energy and interest in growing our center city, we are on the right track.
- Public safety, all issues are tied back into the environment, one main issue brought up was idling
of police officials. A policy would aid in saving taxpayer money and emissions control.
- Zoning is a critical aspect of city council’s work to keep communities on track.
- Spoke of what he calls the 4 T’s:
• Tipping Point: here he mentioned the city’s $6.7 million in EECBG money where the city
sought input from the public on the plan
• Trash: Charlotte has a huge waste problem. Are launching efforts to increase recycling and
reduce waste by replacing red bins with large drums with every 2 week pick up . Save
money and increase recycling.
• Trees: stakeholder group for charlotte tree ordinances. Are making progress, performed a
canopy study with UNCC and the city along with American forests. Chris Buchanan and
Rick Roti key on this issue.
• Transportation: supports mass transit, voted down streetcar because as it stands now there
is 1.8 miles of track ending at Presbyterian hospital wants to see a dedicated source for
continuation before committing
- Spoke of the 13% unemployment rate here as a big issue that often trumps other votes.
- He then took questions on the following:
• Dead corridors such as independence needing attention: he spoke of helping to relocate
businesses to the area as a way of repair
• Spoke of eco-district plans for Belmont, Villa Heights, and Optimist Park,

- Peacock encouraged public participation and interest in moving these key issues along.

Upcoming Club Events:

February Hike
Sunday, February 7thAnne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill

February Group Event/Meeting

Tuesday, February 23rd, 7:00 PM
Amory Lovins at Catawba College Center for the Environment

Clean and Green

April 17th, 10:00 – 3:00at CPCC
Those interested in volunteering should contact Vanessa Gorr

Green the Block-

April 24th in the Belmont Community

NC Climate Guardians- working group for national climate engagement

2/2 at 8:30 pm will offer Letter to the editor and media training

Sierra Club Habitat for Humanity Weatherization Partnership

February 20th from 8 to 1 volunteers are needed for weatherization day

Girl Scouts Go Green with Sierra Club Program

2/6 launch with 4 programs geared at “Brownies” to learn about water, green buildings, efficiency, and
open spaces

Sierra Club social event

Date TBD for Feb social

Minutes by Erica Geppi