The Sierra Club was founded in 1892 and is America's oldest, largest,
and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Inspired by
nature, we are 1.3 million of your friends and neighbors, working
together to protect our communities and the planet.
The Santa Margarita Group is a part of the San Gorgonio
Chapter, serving the Inland Area of Southern California since 2008.
Here's what's currently happening
in our Group...
The Santa Margarita group kicked off its first meeting after the
summer break with a presentation on a topic no Southern
Californian can ignore - the drought. There was not a lot of
comfort in what our Rancho Water representative had to say, but
its clear that this third year of drought is focusing minds and
changing behavior. People have been ripping out their lawns in
droves, maybe in response to high water bills, or because of the
turf rebates, or both, but Rich Williamson told the audience the
message of conservation is getting through, none too soon, as
the prospect of a wet El Nino year fades.
We’re continuing the theme of water with a presentation on
climate friendly landscaping for October, and in general, we’re
very excited about the speakers and subjects we have planned for
the next eight months.
Our monthly meetings are only a small part of what the Santa
Margarita Group gets up to, however. In September, Gary
Marsalone led an early morning 9-miler in Idyllwild, while our
newest hike leader Margaret Meyncke led a fun and gentle two and
a bit mile hike on the San Juan Loop trail which even managed to
fit in a trip to a candy store! She’s also leading a three miler
on October 11 on the Agua Caliente Trail in Warner Springs which
is a section of the PCT. Margaret’s hikes are aimed at people
who want to get out and experience nature, but may not be quite
as ambitious in their distance or elevation changes than some of
the more sturdy of us. And they dovetail with our Outdoor
We’ve also got a bike ride to Oceanside and back on the San Luis
Rey River trail on October 19th, and not to be outdone, our
Activities Director Laurie Webster has organized a spooktacular
event for that same evening, an Old Town Temecula Candlelight
Walking/Ghost Tour, at 6:30 pm. Then on the 25th we have a
challenging hike along the Fuller Ridge Trail in Idyllwild
again. Finally, Bob Audiberg is leading a 7 miler at Cedar
Springs on Nov. 15.
The team on the Murrieta Creek Trail project is announcing a
logo contest, based on the concept of “connections” with the
river connecting the four cities and its residents to nature. It
will be offered to art and design students in the region and
carries a $500 prize for the winner.
And after the sheep, come the owls. SMG’s Meadowview project is
utilizing the skills of local woodworkers to build 50 artificial
homes for burrowing owls that used to populate the 370 acres of
common area in the heart of Temecula, but who largely
disappeared after the HOA began disking the land as fire
abatement. This year, they used sheep to comply with city fire
regulations and eat the non-native grasses that the owls don’t like
obscuring their view. In November, the burrows go into the
ground and we hope the owls will find their new accommodations
luxurious. Learn more about this
U.S.Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) project and the
USFWS Partnership Program.
Outdoor Families, our environmental education meet-up for
homeschooled students, we’ve had a well attended apple
picking excursion in Sunshine Summit and later in October
we’ll visit Pelzer Farm in Temecula wine country, followed
by a docent-led Santa Margarita River hike. For more
information on this offshoot of our group, go to
Back in the city, the SMG has been asked by local middle
and high school teachers to help with their environmental
units. Pam Nelson, a former high school science teacher
herself, met with a number of teachers and shared ideas -
she’s also hooking them up with other experts who would be
willing to come speak to students.
The SMG also had a table at the September "Walk for the
Wild" event in Claremont - which was an important event
celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
OUR SANTA MARGARITA GROUP GENERAL MEETINGS ARE HELD ON THE
2nd THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH EXCEPT IN JULY AND AUGUST AT
THE TEMECULA VALLEY LIBRARY, 30600 PAUBA ROAD, TEMECULA
STARTING AT 6:00PM.
For more information, please email us at
and visit our web site:
www.facebook.com/SierraClubSantaMargaritaGroup and for
Outdoor Families information visit