History of the West Chester Area Green Team

The West Chester Green Team (WCGT) was formed in January 2019 as an alliance of four local environmental groups: Don’t Spray Me!, Plastic-Free Please, Ready for 100, and Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection.

Don’t Spray Me! originated in 2015 in response to the threat of pesticides being sprayed in West Chester Borough by the Chester County Health Department. Mayor Carolyn Comitta encouraged residents under the leadership of Graham Hudgings to gather signatures objecting to pesticides being sprayed. Volunteers went door to door, obtaining over 400 signatures and informing residents of the threat from pesticides. Overwhelmingly, people were in support of preventing pesticides being sprayed in their home area. DSM in its first year signed up 120 block captains throughout the Borough, who educated the community on the dangers of pesticides and other chemicals and worked alongside local government to avoid the spraying of pesticides.

Don’t Spray Me! subsequently incorporated activities involving chemical-free growing of flowers and food, and this has become one of our most popular and visible areas.

Plastic-Free Please was created in 2017 in alliance with West Chester Mayor Dianne Herrin, who worked with local students to bring forward an ordinance to ban plastic straws and bags in the Borough. In a historic moment, on July 17, 2019, in a packed room after a public hearing with numerous residents speaking in support, Borough Council passed the ban by a vote of 4-3. See more on that event here. State legislators snuck a “ban on bans” into a budget bill, and for the duration West Chester promoted a voluntary Sustainable Storefronts program, signing up businesses to voluntarily adopt green practices. With help from WCU students in Professor Megan Schraedley’s communications class, as of November 2021, 17 businesses had signed on. The ordinance finally will go into effect on January 2 2022. Plastic-Free Please hopes that many other municipalities and the County will now follow suit!

Ready for 100 (RF100) Chester County, a committee of the Southeastern PA Group of The Sierra Club, is part of a national, grassroots movement of people working to inspire our leaders to fight climate change and embrace a vision of healthier communities powered with 100% clean, renewable energy. RF1009 seeks to create safe, livable communities that protect and bolster public health, improve air and water quality, and foster sustainability, equity and resilience in the face of climate-related disruptions. RF100 has set community goals for transitioning to 100% renewable energy and urges all Chester County officials to set a 100% clean energy goal.

Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection (4CP) was founded in 2008 to further community education on climate change and green energy solutions. Over the years, 4CP held a stimulating series of lecture/discussions in WC Borough Hall, maintained a web site, and published a newsletter. In 2021, 4CP decided to disband and pass its role over to the WC Green Team.