sierra web logo  February 2009
Upper Cumberland Group Sierra Club  Newsletter
Sierra Scene, Vol. 1
5, No. 2
In This Issue
Rain Barrel Festival
Rain Barrel Artists
What is a Rain Barrel?
Save These Dates
Monday, Feb. 16
7 pm

Meeting with SOCM at Stites Bldg., S. Willlow

Saturday Feb. 21, Meeting of Senate District 15 Sustainable Network, Putnam County Library,
1 pm

Saturday April 25, 1-4 pm Cookeville's Rain Barrel Festival
Dogwood Park

Senate District 15 Sustainable Network
Cumberland, Jackson, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, White Counties.

You Are Invited to a Sustainable District Exploration- Part B
1-4pm, Saturday, February 21, 2009
Putnam County Library  Cookeville, TN
Purpose:   To discover ways we can work together as a region and district to advance our identified sustainable priorities.
Identified 2009 Sustainable Priorities:  At the January 10 meeting, the following were identified as important and actionable:  universal health care, decarbonizing electricity and transportation, and zero waste.  Public education and tax reform were identified as important.
  What are the ways we can work together as a district and region to advance sustainability. What are the leverage points to advance our 2009 sustainable priorities?  What can we do together to work these levers?
Participating Organizations: Obed Watershed Community Association; Roaring River SOCM chapter;TN Health Care Campaign;Upper Cumberland Sierra Club;The Learning Community; Regional Obama activists
Please RSVP:
For more information, Contact Louise Gorenflo,, 931/484-2633.

Dear UCG Sierrans,

We're NOT having our regularly scheduled meeting this month, but are joining the Roaring River Chapter of SOCM on Monday, Feb. 16 at 7 pm to tour the new LEEDS certified building that Stites Construction has built on South Willow.  We will meet there at 7pm and hear from Johnny Stites the exciting and energy efficient things his company has done with this building. 

We've been working steadily on the Rain Barrel Festival and have 80 local artists signed up to paint barrels!  We should have a great day and contribute to the community's water conservation awareness.

Merritt Ireland has also arranged for an Art Show for the first three weeks of April at the upstairs art gallery of the Maddux building to PREVIEW the painted rain barrels. 

We hope you can join us both for the Preview Art Show and the April 25 Festival.

Don't know yet what we'll do for our March meeting - except make final plans for the Art Show and the Festival.  If you can lend us a hand, look for the meeting announcement.

Yours truly and husband/law partner Brian Paddock have been working with a group of folks statewide  on the TVA coal ash disaster response.  We will be presenting a panel on the disaster, along with Earthjustice attorney and coal ash expert Lisa Evans, at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the U of O at the end of the month.

This coming Wednesday Peggy Evans will join me at the Legislative Plaza for the inaugural event of the Tennessee Chapter Sierra Club's environmental tabling project.  We will run a video slide show of the coal ash disaster.  The Sierra Club has purchased a large screen panel for display of environmental issues and have other environmental organizations across the state signed up to share in the educational project.  As always, lot's of stuff going on!

Finally, thanks to Sierra member and City Stormwater Engineer/Rain Barrel Festival Partner Tracy Meggs for her  work on the festival and for drafting and having printed a great brochure for the Festival - much of which I've stolen for use here in this newsletter.

Mary Mastin, UCGroup Chair
Cookeville's Rain Barrel
Festival Saturday April 25, 2009
1:00-4:00 pm
Dogwood Park Pavilion
30 E. Broad St., Cookeville

painted rain barrel

The Upper Cumberland Group of the Sierra Club  has teamed up with the Rotary Club, City of Cookeville's Stormwater program and Leisure Services Department, the Caney Fork Watershed Association and Coca-Cola to sponsor Cookeville's first Rain Barrel Festival to be a day of fun and education.

Join us for the auction and you can purchase a Completed Rain Barrel painted by any of a group of artists or you can purchase an unpainted one to customize yourself.

There will be fun filled activities for children and adults,
educational booths and displays about water conservation, watershed management and good stewardship of water resources.
Rain Barrel Artists

Proceeds from the sale of the painted barrels will be split between the artist and permanent water conservation educational display at Dogwood Park.


TTU Art Education Majors Artists
Pacesetters Artists
Putnam County Schools Art Departments Artists
ArtProwl Artists
What is a Rain Barrel?

A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains, sinkholes and streams.
Usually a rain barrel is composed of a 55 gallon drum, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate to keep debris and insects out, and other off-the-shelf items. A rain barrel can sit conveniently under any residential gutter down spout.

What can a Rain Barrel Do for Me?

Lawn and garden watering make up nearly 40% of total
household water use during the summer. A rain barrel
collects water and stores it for when you need it most-
during periods of drought to water plants, water your
yard or wash your car. It provides free "soft water" to
homeowners, containing no chlorine, lime or calcium making it ideal for gardens, flower pots, and car and window washing.
A rain barrel can save most homeowners about 1,300
gallons of water during the peak summer months. Saving
water not only helps protect the environment, it saves you money and energy. Diverting water from storm drains
also decreases the impact of runoff from streams.
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Upper Cumberland Group sierra Club | 360 Roberts Hollow Ln. | Cookeville | TN | 38501