The Stream
Events, Alerts and News in the W&W Territory

Sustainability Forum February 24 IFLC Invites leaders and politicians to Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake. Read more ...
Vote for W&W Leaders Show your support for your local Sierra Club Group. Read more ...
FAP 342 FAP 342 Wildlife corridor faces Blue Ribbon Challenge. Read more ...
Greening Your Holidays How I conquered Barbie.  Read more ...
Join the Discussion Read more ...
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IFLC Sustainability Forum

Current elected officials who are running for re-election will be participating in 2 environmental sustainability round tables in the same evening. The first one will showcase local elected officials in the Grayslake area; the second features candidates for the newly redistricted Illinois 10th Congressional District; Ilya Sheyman, John Tree, and a representative from Brad Schneider’s campaign.

Please send your sustainability and environmentally related questions for our guests via

Twitter (@incineratorfree:,
Facebook (Incinerator-Free Lake County:,
Guests will also be able to submit questions in person on the evening of the event.

This is a great opportunity to hear your local elected officials and candidates speak on environmental issues in a friendly and productive manner.

Guest panelists:

  • Ilya Sheyman, D: candidate for the Illinois 10th Congressional District (
  • John Tree, D: candidate for the Illinois 10th Congressional District (
  • Representatives from Brad Schneider, D: candidate for the IL 10th: (
  • Ann Maine, R: Lake County Board Member, Dist. 21, President of the Lake County Forest Preserve District (
  • Melinda Bush, D: Lake County Board Member and candidate for the 31st Illinois Senate District (
  • Pat Carey, D: Lake County Board Member, Dist. 6 (
  • Steve Carlson, R: Lake County Board Member, Dist. 7
  • Sandy Cole, R: State Representative in the 62nd Illinios House District (
  • Jim Newton, R: Lake County Board Member, Dist. 3
  • Jeff Werfel, R: Trustee for the Village of Grayslake and candidate for the Lake County Board, Dist. 6 (
  • Sam Yingling, D: Avon Township Supervisor, Candidate for the 62nd Dist. of the Illinois House (

The event will also feature presentations regarding the proposed Rt 53 extension. Guest presenters include Evan Craig of the Sierra Club Woods & Wetlands Group ( and Steve Barg of The Liberty Prairie Conservancy ( They will speak about the environmental issues surrounding a proposed Rt. 53 extension and what can be done about them. This event is open to the public and is a fundraiser for Incinerator-Free Lake County and our newly formed non-profit, Midwest Sustainability Group.

Suggested Contributions at the door (Credit Cards Accepted): $10 – student, senior or military guest $20 – Guest $50 – Friend $250 – Supporter $2500 – Event Sponsor

R.S.V.P. to

When Friday February 24th from 7:30 PM until 10:00
Where Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake Google it
Address 1561 Jones Point Road, Grayslake

© 2008 Michael "Mike" L. Baird (, courtesy Sierra Club Library

Vote for W&W Leaders

Vote For Your Woods & Wetlands Club Leaders Your W&W Executive Committee consists of seven members who volunteer to lead our local Group. We track important conservation issues, approve endorsements, arrange meetings, throw parties, coordinate outings, raise money, and bring it all to you through this e-newsletter (The Stream), our website and our e-mail lists.

Then there’s the stuff we do that doesn’t show, but which makes it all possible. Our Treasurer tracks our finances, we get together for planning meetings and track our progress with agendas and minutes. And without a Membership Chair, we all pitch in to involve you and the public.

Four seats on the Woods & Wetlands Group’s ExCom are up for election this year and with only three candidates we have room for an additional volunteer willing to serve on the Executive Committee. Please consider attending our Executive Committee meetings to decide if you would like to be a leader in our local group and fill a seat on ExCom.

Please Click Here to vote online, or use a scrap of paper to vote for up to four candidates, and mail it to the address listed in the box. Make sure that your name(s) appear on the outside of the envelope, not on the ballot.

Sierra Club W&W Elections P. O. Box 876 Grayslake, IL 60030

The following candidates been nominated to serve two-year terms beginning in 2012:

  • George Etu (incumbent) has been active in the Club for the last 25 years and at present he is W&W's Governance Advisor and the Group Rep to the Illinois Chapter. Some of the conservation issues he has worked on: * Fort Sheridan (about 200 acres were transferred, at no cost, to the Lake County Forest Preserve) and Route 53 (the ongoing struggle against the extension of Route 53 north of Lake-Cook Road). George would like to continue to work on the W&W Executive Committee as there is still much to be done. He can be emailed at
  • Chris Pado is running for re-election. During her first term she served as Chair of the Lobby Committee and as a member of the Political Committee. Chris lobbied for Sierra Club at the county, state, and national levels both in district and in Springfield and DC. During the IL legislative season Chris sent out action alerts to the Issues List relating to the Sierra Club lobby priorities. Chris looks forward to her second term on the ExCom and to working more intensively with Woods and Wetlands members on Sierra Club legislative priorities.
  • Evan Craig has served as a Sierra Club volunteer leader since 1996, including over ten years as chair of the W&W Group. He now also serves as an elected member of the Illinois Executive Committee, and has accepted leadership of the Illinois Great Lakes Committee to focus more attention on these magnificent waters. Evan remains committed to strengthening the Sierra Club by leading outings and training events that engage more members to protect our environment.

FAP 342

The 110 threatened and endangered species in Lake County are counting on us to stick up for protecting their habitat in the FAP 342 corridor. It's up to us to keep them from being covered up by a highway and a swarm of new strip malls and shopping centers. See what it looks like now at This wetland-rich corridor consists of hundreds of acres of open space that have have survived as wildlife habitat while developers have tried in vain over the past 40 years to sacrifice it. Bulldozing it for a road would cause environmental impacts to 26,000 to 51,000 acres, including some of the 29,000 acres within our Forest Preserves.

At the last 53 meeting I pointed out how the Commission's task of creating consensus was presented as a foregone conclusion. So it's pretty clear that they think the fix is in. It seems the Governor is willing to sacrifice our environment to make jobs for unemployed construction workers. They think the tollway has the dough. So some environmentalists might be thinking its time to make a deal, and try to mitigate the damage.

That's certainly what County Board chair David Stolman wants us to think, and he likes to exaggerate the results of the phony referendum that won the support of less than 20% of registered voters in an off-year election. 75% for a free lunch ballot question - really!? He also likes to mention the misleading LCTIP PR campaign for 53.

But raising the cash might prove harder for the tollway than raising tolls. Gas prices are predicted to top $5 a gallon this summer. The last time gas prices spiked it triggered a recession, and driving habits drooped. The tollway had just finished fixing up half it's roads, installing I-Pass, and building the destructive 355 highway through Will County. Less driving meant less revenue, even when boosted by doubled tolls from those without I-Pass. Now the tollway has just doubled tolls again (this time on I-Pass users too), and drivers are already fleeing. With the same storm brewing again, its understandable that the tollway officials were reluctant to say they would foot the bill to extend 53 at the last commission meeting, even when pressed by ELPC head Howard Learner.

So the biggest threat to the wetlands and open space in the FAP corridor, and the threatened and endangered species that rely on them, is the prospect that those who know there are better options might lose hope. We need to remember that this is our home too, and that we'll lose more than tolls and money if we lose the FAP 342 wildlife corridor.

We do need investment in improved infrastructure, and we need more efficient transportation options. Our existing water and transportation systems are crumbling and inefficient. While saying no to construction of a new inefficient road in our FAP wildlife corridor, we need to be more outspoken for more efficient alternatives.

For instance, the 53 commission is tempting those who crave more efficient options with the possibility of a new passenger railway along side the new roadway - in the FAP 342 corridor (although some on the commission are quick to suggested that the railway construction could be put off "until later"). Why wait? The EJ&E railroad already crosses the FAP 342 area, connecting Barrington to Waukegan, and putting passenger service on it would do little environmental damage. It's already in Lake County's Transportation Plan. In addition, Metra's Milwaukee N and N Central lines already cross the area, and could provide much more service. Let's get moving!

The commission should be contemplating alternatives for relieving the congestion caused by the present 53 terminus that avoid the sensitive FAP 342 wetlands, and put the time-wasting controversy behind us for good.

Meanwhile improving infrastructure in the Chicago region to make our transportation more efficient, clean up our water, and keep Asian Carp and other aquatic invasives out of Lake Michigan should slake the Governor's thirst for construction jobs, and make real improvements even for travelers in Lake County. The tollway can serve our region better by focusing on maintaining the existing system without an expensive extension through a bunch of wetlands.

Those who want to help with this should go to our Activist Network and start a Team or Project to raise awareness of better alternatives. Get started at

If that's too challenging, please consider supporting those of us who are working on this. The fact is that most people in the county have no idea what FAP 342 or Rt 53 is, or that 110 threatened and endangered species - more than any other county in Illinois - make this a special place to live. It will take money to get this message to them. We need c(4) money to build our ranks, and c(3) money to get the message out. It's not too hard at

Greening Your Holidays

<Reprinted from December edition)

In a constant quest to be ever-greener, (sorry I couldn't resist the pun), I was wondering whether it was better to get an artificial Christmas tree or a real one. Unabashed tree hugger that I am, I have never been able to bring myself to cut down a real tree to decorate my home for a few weeks despite the fresh pine aroma and beautiful appearance. However, I have recently questioned the wisdom of importing an artificial tree from China. I was doing a mental life cycle analysis when I came across this article entitled, "Which is Greener a Real or Fake Christmas Tree" by Brian Howard from the Good Housekeeping "Consumer's Guide to Green" which answered the question to my satisfaction:

They also had a nice set of articles they call, "Everything You Need for Happy Green Holidays

One of my personal favorite sites, "Practically Green" also has blog posts on "Gift Guide for a Practically Green Holiday", "Guide to Gift Wrap that's Eco-Friendly and Free", "Holiday Cards: Eco & Easy, Entertaining or Elegant - and Energy Saving", "12 Reasons to Shop Local - on Small Biz Saturday and Every Day!" & "Corporate Holiday Gifts."

They also have a fantastic quiz you can take rating how green and sustainable you are living your life which ranks you on a scale from "barely green", "lightly green" through "impressively green", "wickedly green" to the ultimate "superbly green". The questions are pretty hard core including whether or not you reuse your graywater. No matter what level you score, they offer you suggestions as to the next steps you could take to live even more sustainably.

On Earth 911's web page entitled, "Green-Your-Holidays" you will find articles on "7 resolutions with a Green Twist", "2009 Holiday Gift Guide" which includes gifts made from recycled materials to fair trade practices and "Cleaning up Your Cooking" with eco-friendly and sustainable tips on buying, cooking and cleaning your food for the holidays and always.

Our very own Sierra Club also has a great page they aptly call, "Green Holiday Tips" which includes a link to the "Sponsor a Wild Place" page where you can not only find a cool and unique gift giving option, but have the satisfaction of knowing that your gift will help preserve America's wilds legacy (and who can resist the Arctic Wildlife Refuge adorable stuffed polar bear?)

Lastly, consider giving the gift of an experience, volunteering or reusing a gift. Consider giving a friend or loved one the gift of your time, some help or perhaps that knick knack they have long admired which has outlived it's usefulness for you.

I'll share a reuse experience/experiment I did 2 years ago. My, then 6 year-old, daughter was mad about Barbies. I, like most parents, wanted to indulge her yearning but was also confronting my own rampant consumerism. In the spirit of reuse, I decided to purchase 1 new Barbie so that she'd have something new, and contracted to purchase several used Barbies from a few of my students. The students were glad to resell the Barbies they had outgrown and get a little extra money for their own gift giving. By Christmas Day, I had about 14 Barbies total, 11 of which had all of their limbs all for about $10. The students were so excited about the deal that they threw in various extra items of clothing, a few cars and a small Barbie house. I put the Barbies with the missing parts in a bag and set them aside and gave her the remaining collection.

She was beside herself with excitement when she saw them and showed absolutely no preference for the new Barbie over the used ones. Several days later she found the bag with what we now refer to as the "physically challenged" Barbies and was a little miffed that I had been holding out on her. She taught me a valuable lesson that Christmas. Instead of the usual m.o. of overindulging our children in consumerism, maybe we can have Christmas be a teachable moment?"

Join the Discussion

We Finally Got a Twitter Account!!

W&W was the first group in Illinois to have a web site, so cut us a little slack for taking until now to have a Twitter account. Follow us at

Sierraclubnoil         (short for Sierra Club Northeast Illinois)

The Activist Network

Every Sierra Club member is invited to find local friends in the Club's on-line network. Then use it to find out about conservation teams and projects already in swing, and to collaborate with other members to address local environmental issues with the Club. Get started by finding or creating your profile at . Then join our W&W Team at

The W&W ISSUES Discussion List

Trade e-mail with other local members by subscribing to our ISSUES list. You can control, suspend or discontinue your subscription anytime.

To sign up, address an e-mail message to LISTSERV@LISTS.SIERRACLUB.ORG and then include the following command in the body of the message :
SUBSCRIBE IL-WWG-ISSUES firstname lastname
(substituting your name) and send the message.

You can also visit the on-line archives of this list, which allows you to join, at ISSUES . If asked for a password, make one up (the same one is good for all Club lists) and follow the links.

Then watch for a confirmation e-mail and reply according to the instructions. Once you've subscribed, send your concerns to the list at

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