Chester County Climate: Plans and Progress

Tuesday, September 20, 7:00 – 8:30pm. Hear full audio recording of this very interesting panel here. See full description below flyer image. Download flyer here.

An already prominent leader in climate activism, Chester County is rooting itself deeper as one of the most prominent counties for sustainability in Pennsylvania. On the evening of September 20th, the West Chester Green Team hosted a climate-themed panel to debate over some recent policies put forth in Chester County and beyond. The event was suitably held in West Chester University’s new Science and Engineering Building, which is being used as the main focal point for the school’s prioritization of sustainability.

The panel featured many of the prominent figures in Chester County’s sustainability sector, including Bradley Flamm, West Chester University’s Director of Sustainability, and Josh Maxwell, Vice Chair on the Chester County Board of Commissioners. Rachael Griffith, Chester County Planning Commission Sustainability Director, Courtney Finneran, Water Resource Project Manager, Gillian Alicea, Chair West Chester Borough Sustainability Advisory Committee, and Dr. Dorothy Ives-Dewey, Associate Dean of the College of Business and Public Management and Professor of Planning at West Chester University were also panelists. Together the five panelists presented a variety of views on upcoming climate “hot topics,” and not only reached into areas of sustainability, but land use, transportation, and other related issues.

Rachel Griffith, a main developer of Chester County’s Climate Action Plan, spoke in detail about the process and future of the plan for the County. She emphasized that “the scale of the challenge [in climate change] is much bigger than county government can solve alone, and that if we are to be successful in our bold goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it’s going to take the buy-in and action from every sector.” (A link can be found to the Action Plan here). Other members commented as well and were sure to add on how climate change affects every part of the County—and how work must be done in unison to make steps forward.

After the panelists concluded their presentations, the moderator turned to the audience for questions and feedback. One member, Tom Walsh, spoke about the importance of learning from the past. He mentioned how Chester County used to be an industrial centerpiece in PA, but is now a major representative for sustainability

The West Chester Green Team was happy to see the event be presented in the Daily Local, and gain further traction in the West Chester community.

This series of forums is offered in memory of Graham R. Hudgings (1970-2017).

A picture from the forum, including Amy Cuthbertson, who graciously filmed the event