Category Archives: Earth Day

Updating recent WC Green Team activities: Earth Day, Plastics

Earth Day

Earth Day in West Chester Borough was a resounding success for the Green Team. This year the WCGT partnered with West Chester University Assistant Professor of Communication Megan Schraedley and her class of organizational communication students. This partnership resulted in a dynamic Art Festival and Stroll event, spreading the word about Earth Day and sustainability in the Borough. Dr. Schraedley and her students helped plan the Earth Day Art Festival & Stroll which took place on April 22nd throughout the Borough.

This event had two parts. The first part showcased sustainable art pieces digitally on our Instagram page and in-person at the Chester County Historical Center. The second part featured an in-person sidewalk chalking event along High Street. At the CCHC, local students and artists created several nature-themed art pieces for display. These pieces used natural and upcycled materials such as plastic water bottles, found wood, clay, and cardboard to bring public awareness to nature’s beauty as well as how to find other uses for single-use materials. Please check out our Instagram page, @wc_green_team, to see these works of art.

In addition, the WCU students marketed and planned a successful sidewalk chalking event that took place on April 22nd along High Street. Families, schoolchildren, college students, business owners, and other local organizations came together to participate in this community event.

In total, we estimated over 100 people came out to support Earth Day and the WCGT, including the mayor of the Borough, Jordan Norley, who publicly recognized the West Chester Green Team’s sustainability work by presenting us with the keys to the city. The WCGT unveiled our new Transition sign (check out more info about Transition here) and Mayor Norley spoke highly of the work the WCGT is doing to improve quality of life in the Borough.

For more info and images of Earth Day, including noteworthy remarks by Rani Norley, see here.

Plastics-Free Please

This spring, the West Chester Green Team informed businesses in the Borough about how to acquire a Sustainable Storefronts certification, available through the Borough’s Sustainability Advisory Council. This voluntary certification available for retail businesses and restaurants is an important step towards eliminating single-use plastics in the Borough.

To tackle this issue, the WCGT partnered with Megan Schraedley, an Assistant Professor of Communication at WCU, and one of her organizational communication classes to contact local businesses. Together, we contacted dozens of businesses in the Borough and spoke with them about sustainability and the Sustainable Storefronts program. From these conversations, we helped the following local businesses become Sustainable Storefronts certified: Dia Doce, Meatball U, Bryn Mawr Running Co., Dolce Zola, 5 Senses, and Hop Fidelity.

Many thanks to these businesses for jumping on board with sustainability and joining the Sustainable Storefronts program! They are leaders for the future of the community. Be sure to thank them for joining the next time you visit any of these establishments. You can see other businesses who have joined at the Borough’s site.

Later this year, we hope to recognize these businesses for joining the Sustainable Storefronts program, so please be on the lookout for more information.

See also the Plastic-Free Please Facebook page here.

West Chester Area Transition

See information on our latest initiative here.

Earth Day chalking and art festival, West Chester, April 22, 2021

The initial text is from remarks by Borough resident Rani Norley at the opening ceremony outside Phillips Memorial Building, WCU, after her official unveiling of the 2021 Green Team yard sign marking it joining the Transition movement (close-up below; to order, see here) and, despite the blustery morning, surrounded by seasonal flowers. The following photos are of Earth Day art and observances along S. and N. High St. And the text at the end gives our own thoughts on Earth Day.

Thank you, everyone, for this wonderful event. It’s amazing to see so much support for green initiatives in our Borough. To the West Chester Green Team, Dr. Bradley Flamm, Courtney Finneran, Professor Megan Schraedley and all of you for attending and listening to these important messages — thank you. 

Thirteen months ago, our lives as we knew it, forever changed.  It has been a time of challenges and re-envisioning.  Through all the trials and tribulations, there was also something amazing happening on our planet.  As we stopped doing, our nature, plants and animals started thriving.  For me this has been a time of reflection, and how we as the people on this planet have a connection, a human connection to everything on it.  We are not just a part of it, we are deeply connected to it.  And when we take the power of our hearts, mind and body in harmony, we have the ability to do wonderful things.

Movements like the WCGT, Transition US, and WCU sustainability efforts are critical to cultivating a more just, sustainable and regenerative future.

With the new beginnings of Spring and its enthusiasm here, I am excited to take this energy towards a wonderful transition. To transition to a greener Borough. To transition to a community that values the strengths of diversity and the necessity of equity. Together, with hands of all shapes and sizes and color working in harmony to bring us Spring blossoms. 

Historic Chester County Courthouse, 2 N. High St.  Stefanie Heron-Birl, face painter and chalk artist.
At Sabrina Ann Couture, 128 N High St., by Justine Gesualdi, artist and WCU senior.

West Chester Green Team, complete with the powerful Flying Baby logo, by Julian.
“The greatest threat…” quote from Arctic and Antarctic explorer Robert Swan.
Sign at Knauer Performing Arts Center, Uptown!, 226 N. HIgh St.
Art works with Ready for 100 leader Paula Kline at Chester County History Center, 225 N. High St. 

What is Earth Day?

In April, 1970, US Senator Gaylord Nelson, drawing on his commitment to the environment, promoted the first national day to honor the Earth. People around the world now celebrate Earth Day every April 22.

Symbolically, on April 22, 2016, the nations of the world signed the Paris Agreement, setting concrete goals to rein in climate-altering worldwide temperature increases. Earth Day gradually grew into Earth Week, and now we speak of April as Earth Month.

In the northern hemisphere this is the month of spring and hope, the season to do our part by planting our own gardens and resolving to cut down on fossil fuel consumption, air and water pollution, overuse of plastics and chemicals, and other practices that threaten human and environmental health.

From sea to space, by Jakob Speksnijder and colleagues, at 37 S. High St.

In the then-new Earth Day spirit, State Senator Franklin Kury guided passage of Pennsylvania’s environmental rights amendment in 1971 and now, going strong at age 84, has written a new book honoring the 50th anniversary of that constitutional guarantee to the “right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment” for all Pennsylvanians.

Earth collage from consumer-used materials by WCU senior Justine Gesualdi.
Plastic flower by WCU student Ameerah Bond