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Mission Statement

To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth;

To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources;

To educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.






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 Families program.

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.


Specific to 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 http://www.meetup.com/Outdoor-Families/

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.


For more information, please email us at sierraclubsmg@gmail.com and visit our web site: www.sierraclubsmg.org and www.facebook.com/SierraClubSantaMargaritaGroup and for Outdoor Families information visit www.meetup.com/outdoorfamilies.



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