HISTORY OF MIAMI GROUP

The Beginning of the Southwest Ohio Group

The organizational meeting of the Executive Committee of the Southwest group met Monday, Jan. 25, 1971 to elect officers and plan strategy. From Southwest Ohio Group Organizes, Newsletter Ohio Chapter, Sierra Club, April-March 1971.

The first Outing of the Southwest Group was on March 6 with the Rock Climbing School. On Saturday and Sunday March 6-7, a Nature Conservancy Work Session was held in the Lynx Prairie area in Southern Ohio.

Early Activities

The first Southwest Ohio Newsletter published in May 1971.

As the newly formed Southwest Group, the weekend of May 1-2, 1971 saw the following activities:

  • Backpacking Trip on the Mischa-Moqua Trail at Cumberland Gap, KY.
  • A Wild Flower Walk in Fort Hill, Ohio.
  • Canoeing on the East Fork for the Little Miami
  • Rock Climbing
  • Canoeing on the Olentangy River

The Miami Group Charter

“The Miami Group Charter is written, but still under discussion as to how the boundaries are to be defined. This is expected to be resolved by the end of April,” From “Updates” page 3, Southwest Ohio Sierra Club Miami Happenings March-April 1973

A Constitution was to be submitted to Sierra Club National by March 31, 1973 From Exe Com Report for March, 1973.

The Constitution was re-submitted in April 1973 redefining the Zip Codes to be included. From Exe Com Report for April, 1973.

“A letter from National Sierra Club Office was received recognizing the Miami Group’s official existence.” From Exe Com Report for August 20, 1973.

Copies of the Constitution were made for Exe Com Members at the Sept 24, 1973 Exe Com Meeting. From Exe Com Report Sept 24, 1973.

During early 1973 a new group in the Dayton-Springfield area was starting up.

By the September/October, 1975 issue of the Miami Happenings, the group’s name was “Miami Group, Ohio Chapter, Sierra Club.

Early Victories

Many Club members joined to help protect the Red River Gorge from a dam and we won!! The Red River in Kentucky still flows free! Relocated US 50 threatened the Little Miami River and a new river crossing that would have impacted the quiet, scenic beauty of the Little Miami was averted. Many local members worked hard for the passage of the Clean Air Act and Acid Rain legislation.

By the 1980’s Sierra Club had established its first Political Action Committee, then called SCOPE! The Group began making endorsements and campaigning for environmental champions. The 1980’s saw increased attention to toxic waste sites, including the neabry Chem-dyne and Pristine site. Club members lobbied for strong cleanup standards and the Right to Know about neighborhood pollution and storage of toxic chemicals.

The Club continued its strong Outings focus with many trips to nearby wild areas in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. Paddlesports ran schools for over 40 years teaching paddling skills and safety.

By the 1990’s, efforts strengthened to clean up our local air pollution and water pollution. The Group made a video called “Sweet and Green” about chemical and sewage discharges to the sewer system, which overflowed. The Group worked with neighborhood organizations to pass Cincinnati’s Clean Air Code. Stronger ozone and soot standards helped clean up the air.

By 2000, the Group embarked on a major effort to clean up steel mill pollution which resulted in hazardous waste cleanups (some of which is still ongoing) and the cleanup and restoration of Dicks Creek. New pollution control removed hundreds of tons of soot from the air in Middletown.

Also in the 2000’s we began a legal challenge to stop sewer overflows and prevent backups of sewage into homes, businesses, and churches. This effort continues today.

Threats to the Little Miami River continued with a proposed new sprawl highway, which is now deemed to currently be infeasible.

The 2010’s saw new threats from plastic pollution, more efforts to increase recycling and ban or charge a fee for single-sue disposable bags.

Many more issues have been the focus of Miami Group members, statewide, locally and nationally. The Group held a major Climate rally in 2017 and is working for the reduction in climate change pollution.

Our Outings and Inspiring Connections Outdoors bring the much needed tidings of woods and fields.

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