A Note from Our Chapter Chair

Susan Eastwood

June 2022

Happy Anniversary to us!

On June 1st, 1972 our Sierra Club Connecticut Chapter was officially founded.

Fifty years later, we are a strong community and one of the most respected environmental organizations in Connecticut, fighting on many fronts for clean air and water, protecting our parks and forests, and offering outings and educational events to our members. Along with 65 Chapters in other states, the Sierra Club, founded in 1892, has become the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental group in the country.  We stand together, in solidarity working towards Our Mission and true to our Core Values of anti-racism, balance, collaboration, justice, and transformation.

The Beyond Coal Campaign has shut down or sunsetted over 350 dirty power plants in the US to date (174 to go). Here in Connecticut, the Sooty Six Campaign has successfully closed all of our coal plants.

Our recent success in stopping the Killingly Energy Center from being built was a major victory to stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, and discourage the use and distribution of fracked gas in New England. This victory was only won through the persistent work of many groups and a dedicated local resistance. I believe that this marks a turning point in our fight to change the way we make and use energy, and in the way we achieve success in our grassroots advocacy.

Today, many of our campaigns are done in coalition with other groups. Here are just two examples:

  • Sierra Club Connecticut is a member of the CT Zero Waste Coalition which works to promote Zero Waste solutions to our waste crisis, and turn back greenwashing efforts like so-called “advanced recycling”, aka plastic incineration.

  • Staffer Alycia Jenkins, based in Hartford, worked with Trinity College and now with an intersectional collaboration of community groups to reach out to better understand the needs of the community and to reduce their energy burden.

 

Working in coalitions has enabled us to learn from each other, to be stronger and achieve more!

Coming soon!

We are reinvigorating our Outings program, after a moratorium imposed by COVID restrictions. Our first was a tour of the Gungywamp archaeological site in Groton. We met our guide from the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center on a foggy Sunday morning, for a fascinating trek into forest lands occupied by the Algonquin peoples for over 1500 years, through recent times. We saw colonial farm foundations, and mysterious stone structures, likely evidence of an indigenous ceremonial complex.


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More to come! Ann Gadwah has an exciting new initiative - a grant to work with veterans, to train outings leaders and expand our offerings to that group. Keep an eye on our Events & Outings page for both outings and online programs.

As we continue to celebrate our anniversary year we will look back, but also celebrate the good work we are doing today, together with our allies – as seen in our recent legislative victories to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ban toxic herbicides, the fight to save Remington Woods, reducing the energy burden in environmental justice communities, and the opportunities to share the healing  nurture of nature. 

We work together with many – standing on their shoulders, marching by their sides. We are Sierra Club Connecticut!

Susan Eastwood is Chapter Chair of Sierra Club Connecticut.