Earth Day in West Chester: Opening Ceremony

The Green Team is grateful to the many businesses and institutions that participated by chalking on their own sidewalks or letting our talented team of West Chester University students create their own works honoring Mother Earth on the 53rd annual Earth Day, Friday April 22, 2022. (See photos of many sidewalk chalkings HERE.)

Thanks to WCU students Cayla Behrle, Daniel Keeler, Ava Mullertz, Karen Villalobos Bedolla, and Christian White for this winning poster design

Our event started at 9am, with some chalkers hard at work and others resting from their previous artistic labors. The official opening ceremony was held at 11am at the archway at Philips Memorial Hall, West Chester University, moderated by Dr. Bradley Flamm, Director of the Office of Sustainability.

West Chester Mayor Lillian DeBaptiste welcomed the crowd of about 40 people, spoke to the importance of environment in the Borough and beyond, and also unveiled the WC Green Team’s 2022 yard sign (below).

The WC Green Team’s 2022 yard sign, designed by Linda Maxwell

WCU president Christopher Fiorentino welcomed us to campus and spoke to the University’s commitment to sustainability, including widespread use of geothermal energy, which allowed the University to close and demolish its former coal-fired plant.

Our distinguished guest for the occasion, US Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, relayed the good news that in just the 3 years she has been in Washington, she has seen a much better bipartisan dialogue evolve about climate change.

Courtney presenting the Unsung Hero award to Christiane

WCU grad Courtney Finneran, Chair of the Green Team’s Living Landscapes Committee, spoke in praise of Christiane Torres, recipient of the Green Team’s 2022 Unsung Hero award. She particularly mentioned that “when she’s not digging in the dirt and planting native species in hard-to-manage areas between the curb and the sidewalk,… Christiane has taken on the lion’s share of the technical work for the West Chester Green Team’s annual auction.” The award was conferred by WCGT board member Rani Norley and former WC Mayor Jordan Norley.

Professor Megan Schraedley then recognized five of her Communications students—Cayla Behrle, Daniel Keeler, Ava Mullertz, Karen Villalobos Bedolla, and Christian White—who designed the very effective winning poster for the day, at the top of this page.

Jess Cadorette explains the Common Environmental Agenda

Finally, Jess Cadorette of Conservation Voters of PA announced the completion of the Chester County Environment Alliance’s Common Environment Agenda, to be presented soon to the County Commissioners.

For other details of the opening ceremony, please see Bill Rettew, “Earth Day recognized at WCU,” Daily Local News, 4/22/22.

Many thanks to Erica Thompson, University Communications and Marketing, for the 2 above and 3 below photos of the event.

Mayor DeBaptiste welcomes the crowd, President Fiorentino and Rep. Houlahan await, and the WCGT 2022 yard sign about to be unveiled
Luci setting the ambiance at the archway

Earth Day celebrators under cherry tree