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BEHIND THE SCENES / Orange County

They're One With Nature

For Orange County's chapter of Sierra Singles, the list of activities is as big as all outdoors.

September 17, 1998

Jay Matchett of Tustin was looking for something new. So he flipped through a listing of dozens of Sierra Club groups, whose memberships total more than 50,000 in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

"I wanted to join the Sierra Club because it's an environmental organization and it seemed like something interesting," Matchett says.

His fingers ran past the groups that focus on photography and alpine skiing, and stopped at the Orange County Sierra Singles entry.

A combination of nature and . . . nature. "That sounded like fun," he says.

He joined.

That was eight years ago, and Matchett is now the chair of the local singles chapter, which he says offers more outdoor activities than any Sierra Club group in Southern California. There are weekly social, conservation and environmental events, and seasonal ones, such as ski trips.

On Monday, the group held its monthly newcomers meeting at the Costa Mesa Community Center. After the usual mingling over a potluck dinner, they listened to a program by Peter Femia of the Orange County Bird of Prey Center in Lake Forest, which cares for injured birds.

Lee Stern of Lake Forest, a Sierra Club member who arranged the evening, says there's always a guest speaker and plenty of food for the 100 or so attendees.

The next newcomers meeting is Nov. 12.

The Sierra Club recently opened a regional office, at 230 E. 17th St., No. 206, Costa Mesa.

Call (714) 505-2404 to hear a recorded message of upcoming events or to receive a copy of Orange Peal, the monthly newsletter.

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