Attend the 2014 Autumn Assembly with Ron Seely!
Sierra Club’s Autumn Assembly, featuring keynote speaker Ron Seely, will take place October 10-12, 2014 at the Phantom Lake YMCA Camp in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. The Autumn Assembly is a fun, family-friendly event featuring indoor and outdoor environmental activities for people of all ages. Phantom Lake YMCA camp, founded in 1896, sits on 72 acres of scenic woodlands and offers a variety of opportunities for attendees to connect with nature. This year's Assembly, hosted by the Great Waters Group, whose territory includes the Greater Milwaukee Area, will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act and include updates on our campaigns to expand clean energy and transit and protect Wisconsin’s water, land, and wildlife for future generations. Check out the schedule for this fun, weekend event, then click here for a printable registration form or register online by September 22 to avoid late fees. We hope to see you there!
On Saturday, we are honored to welcome Center for Investigative Journalism editor and reporter Ron Seely as our keynote speaker! Seely is an award-winning reporter who covered science and environment for 35 years as a reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. In addition to his work as a journalist, Seely has also served as a senior lecturer in University of Wisconsin - Madison's Life Sciences Communication Department for the past 15 years. He has taught several seminars and trainings geared at helping scientists communicate their research findings to lay audiences. In 1997, Seely was the co-writer and narrator for Wisconsin Public Television’s “Love of the Land,” a documentary about private landowners who have adapted Aldo Leopold’s land ethic. In addition to winning the National Sierra Club's prestigious David Brower Award in 2014, Seely is a three-time winner of the Wisconsin Press Association’s award for environmental reporting, and a recipient of the American Chemical Society’s James T. Grady—James H. Stack Award.
In May of 2013, Seely was hired by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism where he serves as an editor and reporter focusing on environmental issues. Seely’s first reporting for WCIJ was an in-depth look at the role of Wisconsin’s tribes and their powerful treaty rights in the debate over the proposed 4 ½-mile-long open pit iron mine in the Penokee Range. An avid angler and wilderness paddler, Seely lives in Madison with his wife, Doreen. He has two children, Will, who is a middle school teacher in Madison, and Anna, who just completed a degree in international business at UW-Whitewater.
In addition to our distinguished keynote speaker, we’ll hear from a range of other experts on topical conservation issues. Attendees will get an update on metallic mining on Friday night, when we will screen a mining documentary. In addition, we’ll learn about Penokee Hills Geology and hear from Mining Committee member Barb Flom on how we successfully fought back proposals to strip local control from sand mining decisions by building strategic alliances with local governmental officials. She will also offer tips on how we can use strategic alliances to win conservation campaigns in the Capitol, even when the odds are stacked against us.
For those passionate about climate change, renewable energy strategist Carl Siegrist will discuss solar energy’s potential in Wisconsin, and WISPIRG Director Bruce Speight will discuss reducing costly, wasteful highway spending and expanding transit. We will also get a gripping update on the threats proposed tar sands expansions pose to the Great Lakes region.
Those interested in protecting Wisconsin’s vital water resources will enjoy the presentation by Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s Cheryl Nenn, who will give us an update on Waukesha’s proposed Lake Michigan water diversion and its implications for the Great Lakes Compact.
We’ll also showcase our new Our Wild Wisconsin campaign with a presentation by Wisconsin Departmental Resources biologist Heather Kaarakka, who will discuss lethal threats posed by White Nose Syndrome to populations of our native cave-nesting bats.
On Saturday evening, we’ll recognize outstanding Chapter volunteers and community leaders during our Awards Ceremony. After dinner and awards, attendees will get a chance to bid on eco-friendly items in a silent auction to benefit the Chapter’s conservation work. Sunday attendees will enjoy group updates and a hands-on Communications Workshop featuring local author and activist Eric Hansen!
Field trips options at this year's Autumn Assembly offer a variety of chances to connect with nature. On Friday attendees are invited to tour Johnson Controls International's Glendale facility; hike Engel Conservation Area in Muskego and enjoy a sunset canoe trip on Phantom Lake (canoes and life jackets will be available courtesy of Phantom Lake YMCA). On Sunday we’ll tour Lulu Lake State Natural Area and learn about current problems with high impact recreation threatening rare species in that unique area. Don’t miss the fun!
Accommodations include camping and canvas-walled platform tents. Attendees can also opt to stay offsite in nearby Mukwonago. Contact the Chapter office at 608-256-0565 for more information, and send in your registration or register online by September 22 to avoid late fees and help volunteers and staff plan a successful event!
Support the Sierra Club - John Muir Chapter by becoming a sponsor or silent auction donor:
Interested in getting exposure for your green business to a targeted audience of eco-minded customers? Donating an item to our silent auction or sponsoring our event is a great way to support the Sierra Club and promote your business! Click here to download the letter and forms for sponsoring or donating silent auction items to the Sierra Club's Autumn Assembly today!
Thank you to our 2014 Autumn Assembly sponsors:
Thank you to this year's generous silent auction donors:
Aldo Leopold Nature Center
American Players Theatre
Better World Club
Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin
East Town Spa
The Farley Center
Fontana Sports Specialties
Good Earth Soap
Gustafson Law Office
Just Act Natural
Madison Wine & Hop Shop
Mad Urban Bees
Milwaukee Boat Line
Mystery to Me Bookstore
Orange Tree Imports
Taproot Farm & Fruit
Thanks for your support!
Click here for highlights of our 2013 Autumn Assembly
Click here for highlights of the 2011 Autumn Assembly
Click here for highlights of the 2010 Autumn Assembly
Click here for highlights of the 2009 Autumn Assembly
Click here for highlights of the 2008 Autumn Assembly