This section on Central Texas environmental groups is meant as a compass rose to help individuals map out their direction for a better world. These organizations can provide education on health and safety, create a social network of like-minded and supportive friends, and build alliances in campaigns to press for political action and change.
Austin Sierra Club
P.O. Box 4581
Austin, TX 78765-4581
Bruce Melton (512) 799-7998
Purpose: The Austin Sierra Club is the local arm of one of America’s oldest and largest environmental organizations. Our mission is 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 Austin Group of the Sierra Club is well known for immensely popular group outings to enjoy wild places, and for local environmental activism. Our current campaigns are for surface water, the Edwards Aquifer, energy, public transportation, and air quality, as well as anti-sprawl efforts.
We hope to convince citizens and public officials to support land-use planning policies that will protect Central Texas from harmful effects of urban sprawl. These include traffic congestion, long commutes, deteriorating air and water quality, higher taxes, and loss of greenspace.
Projects/Activities: Hiking, campouts, cycling, environmental conservation/service projects, social activities.
Meetings: 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7 PM at Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto in downtown Austin, except for Annual Picnic on 2nd Tuesday of May at Zilker Rock Garden (details on Web site). Every month we have a unique presentation.
Volunteer Opportunities: There are active committees for everyone’s interests, fun, or service: Outings, Conservation, Environmental Education, Singles, Fundraising, Membership.
Newsletters/Publications: Austin Sierran membership e-newsletter; monthly Lone Star Chapter newsletter; quarterly National Sierra Club magazine.
Dues: $39/year; $15/First Time; $24 Students; limited income & seniors.
Environmental Defense Fund
301 Congress Avenue, Suite 1300
Austin, TX 78701
Mercy Kalu-James (512) 478-5161
Purpose: Environmental Defense Fund is a leading international nonprofit organization representing more than two million members that creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships.
Environmental Defense Fund’s mission is to preserve the natural systems on which all life depends. Guided by science and economics, we find practical and lasting solutions to the most serious environmental problems.
We help Texans use cleaner energy, breathe cleaner air, combat global warming, protect endangered wildlife, and work to restore healthy fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico.
Newsletters/Publications: Solutions, quarterly.
Travis Audubon Society
3710 Cedar Street, Box 5
Austin, TX 78705
Joan Marshall (512) 300-2473
Purpose: Travis Audubon Society has hundreds of walks, classes, and programs annually. We also protect native habitat for birds and other wildlife. In 1952, our founders recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy and sustainable communities. Members enjoy many benefits and privileges, including exclusive access to our three sanctuaries, and discounts on exciting programs and classes. Join us, get involved, and find inspiration in nature. Our members also enjoy access to 10+ miles of trails on our 715-acre Baker Sanctuary.
Projects/Activities: Travis Audubon provides opportunities for group birdwatching activities, public environmental awareness education, and informed environmental action. We maintain an alert system at our Web site with information about rare bird sightings, field trips, and meetings.
Meetings: Monthly meetings, open to public, are on the 3rd Thursday of each month (except June through August, and December) at 7 PM. Consult Web site for location.
Volunteer Opportunities: Travis Audubon offers a variety of volunteer experiences. These include promoting education through group presentations, maintaining our sanctuaries, and assisting in counting of Austin-area birds.
Newsletters/Publications: Online Signal Smoke blog and Annual Report.
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