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Heartland Coalfield Alliance Organizing Retreat
May 17-19, 2013
Camp Ondessonk, Ozark, IL

Registration is required:  Click here to register today!


The Heartland Coalfield Alliance (HCA) works to reduce impacts from dirty coal mining, coal burning and coal waste disposal while promoting cleaner, more sustainable and affordable energy solutions for the Illinois Coal Basin.  Eco-Justice Collaborative is a founding member of HCA.

This retreat will take place from May 17 to May 19 at Camp Ondessonk in the beautiful Shawnee Hills.  We’ll focus on building the skills, networks and campaigns we need to ensure that the true costs of coal are borne by the industry as we work to create a just and sustainable energy future in America’s Heartland. There will be three different tracks (general, organizing and technical), offering something for all, no matter what your level of knowledge or expertise.


Programming is free!  The cost for the retreat covers food and lodging, and is based on the type of lodging you select.  Prices identified below cover food and lodging from Friday night (after dinner) through Sunday lunch:

St. Noel Lodge
Hostel-style guest rooms with free high-speed Internet are available at St. Noel Lodge. No private rooms are available. Four to six guests will occupy two adjoining rooms, which share a bath.
Three-Sided Cabins
These unique cabins with only three sides let one experience all the wonders of sleeping in the great outdoors with the protection of a cabin. Shared shower house.
Tent Camping
This option consists of a flat, grassy area, suitable for pitching your own tent. Shared shower house.
Friday Night Dinner
There also is an optional Friday night dinner for those arriving before 7:00 pm. If your arrival will be after 7:00 pm you must plan on eating on your own before arrival. PLEASE NOTE — There are no stores or restaurants nearby.
Coal Tour
We are offering a 1/2 day driving tour of strip mining in the area for those who are interested. This is a great way to see the impacts of mining in the Illinois coal basin. We will begin our tour promptly at 1:00 pm and be back at camp in time for dinner. Price includes dinner.


 A limited number of scholarships are available. Please contact for more information and to apply.


We want to make your experience a positive one, so please remember to bring the following: bedding, towel, toiletries, flashlight, notebook, and pens. These items will NOT be provided.


The retreat will feature keynote speakers and three different tracks:

  • Generalist – Introductory information and stories about:
    • The different types of mining and the issues associated with with each.
    • Coal ash.
    • Coal subsidies.
    • Energy transition.
  • Organizing Basics:
    • Strategic messaging.
    • Activist development.
  • Technical:
    • Permitting primer.
    • Lessons learned with SMCRA, NPDES and 404/401 permitting.

Free time will be scheduled so that you can enjoy the beauty of mid-May in southern Illinois, and we’ll enjoy Carter and Connolley, Illinois’ “Preeminent Folk Warriors”, who have a gift for conveying environmental messages through their songwriting and storytelling in the most entertaining and engaging way.

Let’s work together to build the skills, networks and campaigns needed to create a just and sustainable energy future in America’s Heartland.  Click here for a flier.  Be sure to register today!


We’re here to help!  Please feel free to contact one of the retreat organizers for answers to your questions:

Terri Treacy:
Email Terri
Phone: 618.521.1030

Brian Perbix
Email Brian
Phone: 217.344.2371 x 208

Pam Richart
Email Pam
Phone: 773.556.3418

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