Sierran Masthead

Michiana Committee Sponsors Wetlands Forum and Other Events

By Hazel Stevens, Michiana Committee of the Hoosier Chapter

Michiana Committee of the Hoosier Chapter in northwest Indiana (St. Joe, Elkhart, Marshall, and Kosciusko Counties) is in the process of growing a dormant Sierra Club group in the area.

Wetlands Forum

This spring, the committee hosted a Wetlands Public Forum at The Res Nature Center in Mishawaka. Sierra Club members and friends enjoyed a lively and informative discussion on wetlands and the legislation that was pending before the state legislature. Guests included Rep. Richard Mangus; Andrew Pelloso, senior environmental manager in the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's (IDEM) Office of Water Quality; John Ulmer, conservation chair of the Hoosier Chapter; Gwen White, Indiana Department of Natural Resources fisheries program specialist; and Terry Coleman, director of IDEM's northern region. It was a great meeting.
Michiana Committee organizers Hazel Stevens and Dave Norris discuss the Wetlands Forum agenda during a break.

John Ulmer, Hoosier Chapter conservation chair, discusses wetlands legislation in Indiana.

Outing at Potato Creek State Park

The committee enjoyed an outing at Potato Creek State Park. In follow up to the wetlands program, group leaders offered various hikes to appreciate the parkís wetlands and prairie ecology before holding a brief business meeting. Afterward, late arrivals either joined the camaraderie in the cabin or stretched their legs for an additional 4+ mile hike taken just before dusk.

There was an abundance of wildlife to enjoy, from deer, herons, and cormorants to busily working beavers. It was a beautiful time to be outdoors. Instead of ghost stories, hikers swapped bear stories as they made it back to the cabin for lasagna and Bob Friendís fascinating account of a recent bike trip through Viet Nam.

Members of the Michiana Committee enjoy a hike at Potato Creek State Park. Beth Miller (holding her granddaughter), mystery couple, Charlie, Geza Csapo, and Chuck Rupley. Photo by Bob Friend

Earth Day

The Sierra Club was well-represented at the South Bend Earth Day festival with a large display showing the many benefits of membership and with volunteers on hand to answer questions about the local chapter. One of the terrific volunteers was Geza Csapo, a long-time member of the Michiana Sierra Club and an experienced backpacker. Itís an inspiration to hear his exploits of leading backcountry trips while in his 70s! John Muir would be proud.

Copyright © 2007 Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club, all rights reserved.[05/31/03]efp

Summer 2003