Conservation Committee Sites

Chester County
Bucks County

Meeting Minutes

2014 2013
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About Us

The Southeastern PA Group (SPG) of the Sierra Club is part of the Pennsylvania State Chapter. The SPG area is the 5 counties surrounding Philadelphia.

Sierra Club's governance structure is as follows (from top down): The National Organization; State Chapters; and Groups within those chapters, defined by geographic boundaries. SPG, like all Sierra Club Groups operates at the grassroots level and is run solely by volunteers.

Executive Committe

Elected by area Sierra Club members to 2 year terms, the Executive Committee of SPG meets once a month to discuss the developments of the various committees, finances and upcoming opportunities. Current chair assignments are:


Ex-Comm Chair - Anne Lovatt

I have been a member of the Sierra Club for about 20 years and became active in it about 6 years ago when I campaigned for Al Gore in 2000. I've had a love of nature since I was a child and started hiking and camping with the Girl Scouts at about ten years old. still my favorite past-time.

I was at the very first Earth Day celebration on Belmont Hill in Philadelphia in 1972. I joined the SPG ex-com because of concerns with global warming and clean energy, hoping to make a difference. I have served as secretary, led hikes for our local outings, attended the chapter meetings and help wherever I'm needed.

I now have the honor of serving as chairperson of the group and am learning how to lead the group as best as possible. I would like to continue in this capacity and do much more.

Email Anne at


Political Chair, Program Chair, Outings Chair - Bill Brainerd

I've been active in the Sierra Club nine years. I'm political co-chair of the Southeastern PA Group. I and two of my colleagues interview candidates and recommend for or against endorsement to the Group and the State Chapter. In 2012 we're endorsing at least 23 candidates for PA House, PA Senate, and US Congress. Since May 2006 I've coordinated an environmental lecture series at the Main Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Our November 19, 2012 lecture will be our 41st. Attendance averages 40. I lead hikes in central Delaware County, where I live, from spring to November. Usually we walk 2-3 miles. The hikes are open to members and nonmembers. Attendance averages 8. I also attend meetings of the PA Chapter four times a year and serve as Chapter secretary. I have been an active fundraiser for both the Group and the Chapter contacting past donors by phone.

Email Bill at


Newsletter Editor - Pat Beaudet

I have been a volunteer for the Sierra Club for almost 20 years. My first undertaking was to recruit 75 volunteers for Earth Day on Belmont Plateau in 1992. My contributions to SPG have largely focused on organization, events, communications and fundraising. I have done several “stints” as newsletter editor; organized successful Earth Day events in the 90’s, and worked to make the group leaders a cohesive, effective group. I held the chair position for 7 years and am happy to have turned it over to a younger member of the ex-com in January 2012.

I have also represented the group at the PA Chapter meetings numerous times. My goal now is to stay on the executive committee as a “senior” member who has a broad knowledge of how the Club works at the national, chapter and group levels.

Email Pat at


Vice Chair, Conservation Chair, Treasurer - Dennis Winters

Working since the original Earth Day to protect the natural environment, and as a member of the Sierra Club since 1980, I have been active with Club as either a volunteer leader, an employee, or a contractor. I am a past Chair of the Pennsylvania Chapter and have also served as the chapter's Political Chair. Currently I am Vice-Chair, Conservation Chair, and Treasurer of the Southeastern PA Group here in the Philadelphia area.

In 2011, I received a lifetime achievement award from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club for "dedicated volunteer service and outstanding work in pursuit of the conservation and protection of Pennsylvania’s environment."

I also served 10 years as president of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, 2 years as president of the Green Woods Charter School board of trustees, and 6 years as chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Regional Citizens Committee.

Email Dennis at


Secretary - Emily Davis

My interest in nature and the environment developed from childhood scouting, camping and canoeing experiences. My lifestyle is an ongoing effort to reduce my foot print. I have had a number of experiences that might qualify me for the Executive committee of the Sierra Club of Southeastern Pa. These include serving on the boards of several organizations (local Habitat for Humanity Chapter, a Girl Scout Council, a wildlife area advisory council, church councils).

I am active in politics as committee person in my democratic ward and a member of Liberty City Democratic Club.

My professional life has been primarily in education, first as a museum educator, then in several positions relating to professional development and training of teachers. I am retired now and have spent the past two summers developing interpretive signs and programs for a state park in Maine as a volunteer.

Email Emily at


Ex Cmte Member - John Butler

John Butler holds a B.S. from Georgia Tech and worked in inventory control, planning and purchasing, in the corporate world. His background taught him the value of conservation and efficient use of our natural resources. He is currently the VP of Preserve Our Pennsylvania Towns, a Climate Change Project Presenter, certified as a Tree Tender with PHS, volunteer at the PRC weekly farmers market, member of the Brigantine Green Team and a consultant in utility cost reductions and sustainability.

He was a Marple Commissioner for sixteen years and some of the accomplishments were revising the storm water management controls, impact fee on new development to fund capital improvements in parks and recreational facilities. I want to make better use of the internet to promote conservation to our members and get their feedback on their areas of interest they want for the Sierra Club. It is an organization I am proud to be a member of and would be proud to serve.

Email John at


Web Admin - Jim Wylie

Jim is a graduate of Bucknell University with a BS in Electrical Engineering, holds a graduate certificate in Sustainable Development from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Having spent 28 years with Burroughs/Unisys, Jim is a full-time environmental advocate and part-time managing partner at Hybrid Cycles in West Chester, web designer and sustainability consultant.

Jim is an officer of West Chester BLUER and chair of the Transportation subcommittee. BLUER is a Borough subcommittee advocating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. An active leader of the Sierra Club of Chester County and a contributor to the PA Clean Air Team, he works to promote clean energy and reduce pollution from fossil fuels.

"I'd like to increase the awareness of environmental issues impacting our area, including local pollution downriver, downwind and across the planet. Sierra Club has the scope and resources to make a difference in our lives and our children’s lives."

Email Jim at


Ex Cmte Member - Leonard Finegold

I just retired from teaching at Drexel University after many years in biophysics research on membranes and recently how creatures detect magnetic fields. I’ve also done research on lichen communities in the Antarctic, although never got there!

I have been a Sierra Club member for some 35 years, and have served on our Southeastern Group as a board member. I organized one of our annual dinners, for vegetarians and others. My contribution to the group would be as a member-at-large.

I was brought up in what was the largest city in the world, so I don’t know where my interest in nature and the outdoors came from. I have backpacked on the Appalachian Trail,and down the Grand Canyon on a Sierra Club trip. Alas, 50% of knees permit only Bill Brainerd’s local hikes, and car camping in Western Deserts, preferably without a tent.

Email Leonard at


Ex Cmte Member - Allan Walters

Allan Walters is a retired sociologist and lives in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. Previous work experience included a national, survey organization at Temple University and a consulting firm measuring IT expenditures and customer satisfaction in both the US and internationally. He is currently a member of Summit Presbyterian Church and chair of the Social Action and Environment Committee.

As a previous member of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Climate Action Network he delivered a number of talks on Climate Change to individual Quaker Monthly Meetings. He installed a "white roof" on his own home and has sought to replace household systems with more energy efficient versions. He has attended numerous lectures and conferences on climate change and environmental issues.

As member of the Sierra Club he participated in lobby days in Harrisburg and assisted Bill Brainerd in interviewing candidates for public office in the PA Legislature and the US Congress..

Email Allan at


Ex Cmte Member - Jeanette MacNeille

A lifetime Sierra Club member, I take part in community and creek clean ups. I actively work for clean air and testify frequently at EPA hearings. I Co-Chair the SE PA Political Committee, which researches and interviews candidates at all levels of government. I am Borough Council President in Millbourne, PA. Recent environmental initiatives include: new trash/recycling cans reducing litter by 50%, improved curbside recycling; removal of invasive plants via goat herd rather than herbicides; passage of Act 167 ordinance for storm water control; planting of 150-300 native trees this year; authorized an energy audit and implemented its top recommendation: buying/upgrading the street light system, saving $6,000 annually and reducing energy use by more than 20%. Completed a transitoriented development plan for 18 acres near the Millbourne Station including a creek-side trail, a ‘Complete Street’ for bike/ped/walking as well as driving, recreational space and a 50- foot buffer for Cobbs Creek.

Email Jeanette at


Ex Cmte Member - Mathew Himmelein

Mathew has been a grassroots volunteer for more than 7 years on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Group of the Sierra Club, and an Environmental activist since birth. Having grown up in Philadelphia to parents in the peace, women's rights, and labor movements he has a lifetime of knowledge and passion for the issues that affect us all, especially in the environmental arena. This background, and environmental education at Temple University, drives him to help change the ugly status-quo of our environmental stewardship toward a new clean energy green jobs future our planet and people deserve.

He has worked and volunteered with SPG for 7 years; specifically working for the Sierra Club and the BlueGreen Alliance and sitting on the Group Ex-Com contributing to the fight for our environment locally. For the last year he has chaired the Southeastern Pennsylvania Group where he has dedicated to making SPG a leader for the environment locally.

Email Mathew at