Organic Wine Tasting Fundraiser - Monday, October 27

posted Sep 30, 2014, 3:04 PM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program   [ updated Sep 30, 2014, 3:04 PM ]

Enjoy a fun evening tasting Michigan organic wines paired with Italian delectables and viewing the Art4Detroit exhibition at the Swords into Plowshares Gallery and Peace Center on Monday, October 27. Donations from the event will support Sierra Club's Great Lakes program, which is celebrating its 30th year in protecting an international treasure!

Space is limited so reserve your spot here, ($30 suggested donation per person)

In Detroit, Sierra Club works to protect our community from flooding and climate change while also helping to protect, restore, and preserve the water resources of the Great Lakes. We advocate for the widespread use ofgreen infrastructure solutions, which helps prevent rain water from going down the storm drain. A few examples include rain barrels, rain gardens, trees, and green vegetative roofs. Sierra Club's team of volunteers encourages the use of green infrastructure solutions at the individual, neighborhood, and city levels to prevent sewage and polluted runoff from harming the Rouge and Detroit Rivers and Lake Erie. During the wine tasting, you will learn more about these efforts and have a chance to bid on some silent auction items, including a rain barrel.

If you cannot make this event, we will certainly miss you but please do not let that stop you from making a donation to this great cause.

Schedule for the Evening of Monday, October 27:

6:30 to 7pm Registration (suggested donation of $30 per person)

7pm Welcome and explanation of tasting and silent auction (includes a rain barrel)

7:10pm Let the tasting of Michigan organic wines paired with Italian delectables begin! (Wines include: Gewurztraminer, Pinot Nois, Pinot Gris, and Ciderye)

8:30pm Silent Auction ends

Green Your Neighborhood Forum - October 15, 2014

posted Sep 29, 2014, 10:22 AM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program

Rain Barrels on the Riverfront - April 26, 2014

posted Apr 14, 2014, 5:12 AM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program

Sierra Club, The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, and Maxi Container invite you to attend our annual "Rain Barrels on the Riverfront" event in Detroit on Saturday, April 26 from 10am to noon.

Lawn and garden watering make up nearly 40 percent of total household water use during the summer. This free workshop will teach you how to capture rainwater in barrels from the roofs of your homes to use for gardens, landscaping, or washing vehicles. The barrels will also help you save money on your water bills and keep polluted runoff from entering the region’s aging sewer system.  
The workshop is free; however if you want to make a rain barrel to take home, you must purchase your barrel(s) by Wednesday, April 23. Rain barrels can be purchased at a discounted rate of $50 from Maxi Container, Inc. at their website, 

Green Your Neighborhood!

posted Aug 18, 2013, 8:39 AM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program   [ updated Aug 18, 2013, 8:49 AM ]

RSVP for the event on Facebook here.

Rain Barrels on the Riverfront (April 27, 2013)

posted Apr 24, 2013, 8:39 AM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program

Join Sierra Club, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, and Maxi Container at this free workshop & rain barrel sale in Detroit on Saturday, April 27.  At the free workshop, you will learn how to make rain barrels and hook them up to your downspouts.  If you purchase a rain barrel, you will build your own barrel that you can take home for the discounted price of $50 per barrel.  

NOTE:  Rain barrels must be purchased before April 27 to receive the discounted rate of $50 (normally the barrels cost $70).  Go to to order your barrel.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Scholarships to purchase rain barrels are available for Detroit residents by calling (313) 444-3705.

Green Your Neighborhood Forum & Workshops (March 23)

posted Mar 15, 2013, 5:03 PM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program   [ updated Mar 15, 2013, 5:07 PM ]

Please help us spread the word! 

If you're on Facebook, share this event on your wall, and if you're on Twitter, share this tweet: "Green Your Neighborhood:  Free #Detroit workshop on March 23 from 10 to 1pm. Enter to win a #rainbarrel!  Go to"

Community Meeting: Protect Your Community & Rivers from Pollution!

posted Jan 30, 2013, 12:23 PM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program   [ updated Jan 30, 2013, 12:26 PM ]

If you're on Facebook, RSVP here.  Find pdfs of the Permit Notice, Fact Sheet, and Draft Permit below.

New Water Agenda Aims to Improve & Protect the Detroit River

posted Jul 31, 2012, 5:21 AM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program

The Detroit Water Agenda 2012 is the result of a community-driven process to create sustainable development policies to improve and protect the quality of the Rouge and Detroit Rivers and Lake Erie.  That process was spearheaded by the Water Sub-committee of the Detroit City Council Green Task Force, which is chaired by Councilmember Kenneth V. Cockrel Jr. and composed of residents, businesses, environmental non-profits, and other community organizations.  A copy of the document can be found below.

Rate Payers Want Incentives for Green Efforts in Detroit

posted Jul 25, 2012, 2:30 PM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program   [ updated Jul 25, 2012, 3:07 PM ]

Residents Deliver Petition Signatures to DWSD Board of Water Commissioners to Create Incentive Program for Rain Gardens, Green Roofs, Permeable Pavement & Rain Barrels


At today's Detroit Water & Sewerage Department's (DWSD) Board of Water Commissioners meeting, Sierra Club presented 1,000 petition signatures from residents in the city that encourage the department to create a rewards program that offers incentives or credits to residents and businesses that use green water infrastructure techniques to capture stormwater.  Green water infrastructure refers to any technique that allows rainwater to be absorbed into the ground rather than being directed by roofs or pavement into the city’s sewer system.  Examples include planting rain gardens, installing green roofs, using permeable pavement, and much more.

“Unfortunately, it only takes an inch of rainfall to overwhelm Detroit’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, resulting in combined sewage overflows into the Rouge and Detroit Rivers, which then pollutes one of our Great Lakes, Lake Erie,” commented Melissa Damaschke, who is a Community Organizer for Sierra Club’s Great Lakes Program.  “Individuals and businesses know they can protect the quality of Detroit’s rivers by making an investment to plant rain gardens or install green roofs.  However, water rates have more than doubled in the past ten years and assistance is needed.  Residents and businesses want monetary incentives for their efforts similar to credit and incentive programs that exist in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Minneapolis, and other communities across the Great Lakes region.”

A short list of credit and incentive programs can be found in the document below.

Find Native Plants at Eastern Market & Protect the Great Lakes

posted May 18, 2012, 6:56 AM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program   [ updated May 18, 2012, 7:07 AM ]

Sierra Club teamed up with Eastern Market and Friends of the Rouge to identify and label native plants sold at the market with stickers that say, "native plants improve water quality."  Hopefully, this will make it easier for you to identify which plants are native to southeast Michigan for your gardens.  Generous support for this program is provided by the Erb Family Foundation.

You can visit Eastern Market this Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 from 7am to 5pm to find the stickers on plants. See an example of how the plants will be labeled to the right.

Why native plants? Native plants are recommended because they are adapted to the wet springs and dry summers of the region.  The root systems of most native plants are deep and help to loosen the soil which improves the ability of water to filter into the ground.  This makes native plants perfect for rain gardens and for absorbing rainwater, which helps prevents stormwater pollution into our rivers and lakes.

We encourage you to take Sierra Club's Green Garden Pledge to show your support for protecting our water.  Take the pledge here.

If you need more information about native plants or how to plant rain gardens, join us for one of our upcoming workshops.  You can also download Sierra Club's rain garden guide here.

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