North Florida Working Group

By Maryvonne Devenksy 

SSJ North Florida Working Group is up and running with a lot of good energy. We meet once a month, usually the 4th Saturday (but it is not definite),  either at the Rum 138 Sierra Club office or in some other location, so keep reading the newsletter and make note of where the meetings are taking place. Sometimes the monthly meetings will be replaced by outings.

In February, we met at Rum 138 in Ft White and saw the power point presentation created by Kathryn Taubert and Jonathan Brainard, both on the SSJ Excom. Thank you Kathryn and Whitey for doing this presentation for our North Florida Working Group members. The members present were impressed by this presentation and then decided to launch a Solar Expo on September 23rd, 2017 at Rum 138, to promote solar energy in our beautiful sunny Florida…More later on that event.

Then our March Meeting was on Sunday March 12 when we did a cleanup at Chastain Seay Park in Worthington Springs, along the Santa Fe river….We were a small group, some hikers, some kayakers, and we did good, except that the rain cut down our efforts after 45 minutes.

Anyway we had a picnic, sharing goodies, and had a productive meeting. We started to plan the next meeting on Saturday, April 22 – EARTH DAY. That meeting will be at the Sustainable Living Center in Hampton, near Brooker. We would like to invite people from the Bradford county, so it will be open to the public with several speakers focusing on the Phosphate Mine projected in Bradford and Union counties.

At this time, the following speakers are confirmed:

  • Dennis Price, Florida Certified Geologist, will go over the process involved with Phosphate Mining.
  • Courtney Snyder will go over the history of this project.
  • Mark Lyons, fundraising.
  • Chris Byrd or another person, with the Alachua County Environment Department.
  • Video made by High School students re: Phosphate Mining project.

Please come and invite some of your friends too.

The SSJ North Fla Working group is planning a Solar Expo for September 23rd from 9:00 to 5:00pm, at Rum 138 in Ft White. It sounds far away, but you need to mark your calendars. Named “Solar Rocks With The Equinox”, we already have Dr. Wendell Porter and Ms Jennison Kipp as confirmed speakers, as well as several vendors. We will have food, music, large parking, and you could visit the Rum 138 Sierra Club office on the same premises.


Please contact me at if you want to help with tabling these 2 events:
April 8-9  CEDAR KEY ARTS FESTIVAL of course in Cedar Key

We will have a booth at these 2 events and we will sell T-shirts, give information on the Club in general, and on our activities.


Several hundred people met from Miami, Jacksonville, North Florida towns, Orlando, etc. We met our elected officials and asked them mostly to