VOLUNTEER POSITIONS AVAILABLE with Sierra Club Southwest Michigan Group

We’re working on environmental issues in Southwest Michigan. We need your help!

Join us at 6:00 PM on the first Wednesday of the month at Friends Meeting House, 508 Denner Street, Kalamazoo. Click map to enlarge.

Join us at 6:00 PM on the first Wednesday of the month at Friends Meeting House, 508 Denner Street, Kalamazoo. Click map to enlarge.

Here’s how you can get started: Come to our meetings and bring your ideas.

We meet at 6:00 PM the first Monday of every month at Friends Meeting House, 508 Denner Street, Kalamazoo. Members and guests are welcome. If you’re interested in what the Sierra Club is doing in Southwest Michigan and how you can help, please visit our next meeting, ask questions, get to know us.

Coming to our monthly meetings is the best way to start getting involved with our work. Find out what we’re working on. Volunteer to help with whatever project grabs your interest. Most of all, bring us your own ideas and inspirations.

Volunteers must provide the following:

  • Your conviction that our work matters.
  • A few spare hours per month to help get things done.
No experience necessary. Plenty of on-the-job training is available!

Here are a few examples of what we’ve been doing lately.

Tim Tesar’s May 2017 Excursion

Tim Tesar is a birder, a photographer, an environmentalist, a climate-activist, and a member of Sierra Club Southwest Michigan Group and Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

“Of course, my main concern about climate change,” said Tim, “is the threat it poses to humans. But I also am a nature lover and thus also worry about the threat to animal and plant life. Since I am a birder, I am especially concerned about birds.

“For some years now I have annually joined a group of birder friends on a May trip to Northwest Ohio where we enjoy the spring bird migration. Here are a few of my photos from this year’s trip, all taken in the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. I hope seeing the beauty of these birds will further inspire you to work to mitigate climate change.”

See the National Audubon Society’s extensive research on the threat climate change poses to birds, “314 Species on the Brink of Extinction.”

SWMG people were at the blistering hot April 29 Climate March in Washington, D.C.
Of course, we were at the cold and rainy Kalamazoo march too.

More work we’ve been involved in lately:

SWMG Executive Committee members Joe Ziolkowsi, left, and Charlie Stefanac, center, with Michigan Chapter Political Director Mike Berkowitz at Sierra Club Citizen Lobby Day in Lansing on March 29.

At palisades shutdown plan hearing

Sierra Club folks were on hand at Michigan Public Service Commission’s first public hearing on the Palisades shutdown plan. Mark Muhich, far left, of Michigan Chapter’s Nuclear Free Michigan Committee; and SWMG representatives (left to right) Becky Mandrell, Karen Schuur, and Bruce Brown. Click here for a report on our appearance. Photo: Michelle Rison for Sierra Club SW Michigan Group

Nancy Appel at Kalamazoo Stands with Standing Rock in mid November at Kalamazoo College's Arcus Center for Social Justice.

Nancy Appel and several other representatives of Sierra Club Southwest Michigan Group were on hand at the Kalamazoo Stands with Standing Rock event in mid November at Kalamazoo College’s Arcus Center for Social Justice.

Jon Hoadley at Politics of the Environment

In late August, we hosted Michigan Chapter Political Committee Chair Richard Morley Barron (standing, left) and Chapter Political Director Mike Berkowitz (standing, right) and their Politics of the Environment presentation. Speaking is Jon Hoadley, incumbent State Representative from Kalamazoo’s 60th District, who won reelection in November. Eleven other candidates had an opportunity to explain their environmental concerns.


Charles Stefanac, our Membership Chair, took this photo of the banner created at the Arcus Center event. Charlie wrote the message in green, near the center of the banner, expressing our support for the Standing Rock Water Protectors.

This is us, before the NRC Palisades Review started. From left: Karen Schuur, Ginger Miller, John Brenneman, Becky Mandrell. Photo: Bruce Brown

We made our presence known and put our message out as we waited for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to begin its Palisades review last June. From left: Ginger Miller, Karen Schuur, John Brenneman, Al Baker, and Becky Mandrell.


This is the message from Sierra Club Southwest Michigan Group that Charlie put on the banner supporting the Standing Rock Water Protectors.

Kalamazoo Drive Electric Week 2016

This was the scene at our drive-and-ride demonstration during National Drive Electric Week in September. Sierra Club has been a national sponsor for the annual event since its inception in 2011. This was SWMG’s second annual Kalamazoo Drive Electric Week. Executive Committee member Ben Brown organized our 2015 and 2016 participation.


Every year, SWMG volunteer Bill Strong organizes a conservation project. This year he had two! First was an invasive species removal in Saugatuck Dunes State Park, where a garlic mustard invasion was overtaking the native plants. SWMG volunteer Mary Colborn, who owns the Allegan Historic Farm and Learning Center, taught tree history to the crew Bill recruited for his second project – a tree planting in Allegan State Game Area.

Long-time Sierra Club member Kathy VanDeusen is creating tomorrow’s conservationists. She teaches first to fifth graders at Bedford Home School just north of Battle Creek. Parents bring their kids from as far as fifty miles away to Kathy’s class. This photo shows Lauren from the Kalamazoo Nature Center. She brought an owl to Kathy’s class as part of their celebration of the 178th birthday of Sierra Club founder John Muir.

Kevin Kamps speaking at the Palisades Forum

Long-time Sierra Club member and Kalamazoo native Kevin Kamps now works in the Washington DC area with Beyond Nuclear. In April he came home to speak at the Palisades forum we sponsored with Michigan Safe Energy Future. Kamps explained the safety issues at Palisades to an audience of about 60.

Our activists are more than environmentalists. Many of us were at the January 15 Rally to Save Health Care in downtown Kalamazoo. SWMG Executive Committee member Charlie Stefanac, far left, made sure folks understood that Sierra Club supports the Affordable Care Act. The other three were there to show that they personally support the ACA as well. Next to Charlie is SWMG Executive Committee Chair Mark Miller, Michigan Chapter Executive Committee member Craig Brainard, and SWMG Executive Committee member Roger Taylor.