Category Archives: Environment & sustainability

Legendary Lenape summer program, June-August 2023

The Legendary Lenape program is a summer 2023 series of educational gatherings for children, families and people of all ages taking place at locations around Chester County, on Saturdays or Sundays from June 24 to August 13, at varying times. We will provide information on a meeting place to people who register. 

Registration cost per session: $10 per person or $15 for a family of 4

*canoe sessions have an additional $60 per canoe cost

Here are the schedule and sign-up form:

#1 Turtle Song Session: Join us on June 24 at West Chester Friends Meeting House from 10am to 12pm to hear Chris Applegate from Allentown’s Museum of Indian Culture.  We will learn how the Lenape and other woodland tribes lived where we now call home, Chester County.  We will look at a display of Lenape tools, clothing and other furs, weapons, and a cradleboard.  West Chester Friends Meeting House: 425 N High Street, West Chester, PA 19380. 

#2 Wawaset Creek Session: Canoe with us along the Wawaset Creek (the Lenape’s name for the Brandywine) on July 2 from 8:45am to 11am.  We hope to enjoy the beauty of the Wawaset and its natural landscape while paddling along.  We will launch from Northbrook Canoe Company at 9 am. $60 per canoe, which can hold 2-3 adults OR 2 adults + 2 children ages 2-9. No children under the age of 2 allowed; children age 10+ count as adults.  We will contact you about payment and scholarships are available!  Northbrook Canoe Company: 1810 Beagle Rd, West Chester, PA 19382. 

#3 Eagle Heart Session: On July 8 from 10am-12pm, we will gather at the Birmingham Meeting House to learn about the Lenapes’ lifestyle through crafts and games.  Come hear Lenape stories and try a traditional Native American snack we know you’ll love: popcorn!  Birmingham Meeting House: 1245 Birmingham Rd, West Chester, PA 19382. 

#4 Fox Mill/Living with the Land Session: Carrie Hawk, Environmental Educator with Stroud Water Research Center, will lead us on July 15 from 10am to 12pm at Bondsville Mill Park to learn about native animals and plants.  Come see how species live around us and have adapted to our world.  We will also look at how we can adapt to live with nature, not against it.  Bondsville Mill Park: 1647 Bondsville Rd, Downingtown PA 19335. 

#5 Moose Lake Session: Join us on July 22 to enjoy a native American themed scavenger hunt and learn some Lenape vocabulary when we meet at Westtown Lake to enjoy this idyllic setting on the campus of Westtown School. Canoeing on the lake will be the highlight of the day with the program led by Tim James, former outdoor educator at Westtown School.

#6 Beaver Creek Session: On July 29 from 10am-12pm, Faith Zerbe, from Maya van Rossum’s Delaware Riverkeeper organization, will lead us in a stream study in Beaver Creek at Bondsville Mill Park.  Come enjoy a lesson in science and find all the interesting creatures that call streams their home! Bondsville Mill Park: 1647 Bondsville Rd, Downingtown PA 19335. 

#7 Drumming Bear Session: Join us at the Melton Center on August 6 from 4pm-6pm to learn how the Lenape grew their crops using the three sisters. We will also learn the basics of drumming and cooking food, like corn on the cob, clambake style.  Melton Center: 501 E Miner St, West Chester, PA 19382. 

#8 Feast of the Lenape: On August 13 from 4pm-6pm, come back to the Melton Center to celebrate the end of our sessions with a banquet of traditional Native dishes (including dessert!).  The recipes were pulled from the Mitsitam cookbook produced by the Smithsonian’s American Indian Museum and prepared by local chefs. Melton Center: 501 E Miner St, West Chester, PA 19382. 

Schedule is subject to adjustment as needed. You will be asked to fill out an agreement/disclaimer form. For overall questions, please email us here.


Chesco Commissioners lead off with environment

First item in Chester County News and Information, Dec. 1, 2022           ​        ​​

One of the initiatives we are most proud of is Chester County’s focus on sustainability and the environment.  Our Climate Action Plan is leading us in these efforts, along with the work of our Environmental and Energy Advisory Board and our dedicated sustainability director.  Just this week, we renewed our contract with the Chester County Solid Waste Authority to host one of the annual Household Hazardous Waste events. And last month, we authorized an update to our C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program, expanding eligibility for financing.

Recently, volunteers from Go Green Chesco, the County’s employee-led committee promoting sustainable action, spent part of their weekend planting nearly 100 trees and shrubs along the French Creek in Warwick County Park. The trees and shrubs will help establish a riparian forest buffer to help reduce erosion to the stream bank.  Efforts such as this – that come from the commitment to improving the environment by our staff – make us especially proud. We thank all our employees who planned, prepared the site, and helped to plant the trees and shrubs. We also recognize the year-round work of the Go Green Chesco group, continually reviewing ways to improve our own sustainable practices.  ​

Marian Moskowitz | Josh Maxwell | Michelle Kichline

Mondays at Everhart Park

West Chester Green Team invites children aged 5-10 to a free summer series of environmental and cultural readings and related activities. All events, by the play shed on the south side of Everhart Park, West Chester, start at 7pm.

Fill out online registration form here. Registrants will also fill out a waiver form. For more info email here. Planned schedule:

June 20–Week one–Planting activity–Summer reading books for kids to choose–Story–planting cress –books available for summer reading for the children. 

June 27–Week two–Endangered animals–reading–craft–animal mask making.  

July 5–Tuesday–Week three–Cooking with the Co-op–Book on growing/cooking veggies–making tacos.

July 11–Week four–Stories of India–focus on elephants–Indian food tasting. 

July 18–Week five–reading about stars with the Dark Sky Committee. Information on fireflies in dark skies.

July 25–Week 6–Plastic-Free Story– Leaf craft.  

August 1–Week 7–Tales of Jamaica–sea animals and Jamaican food tasting–Story–Craft. 

August 8–Week 8–Green party–Gelato and music– Farewell party–guitar–ice cream.

Email or call 610-692-3849 to register Photos are from 2021 Mondays at Melton.

An Environmental Trip to Welkinweir

By Kristine Kearns

On November 13th, I had the privilege to travel to Welkinweir; an estate in Pottstown with an arboretum, nature preserve and historical house. The space was used to gather dozens of people from different Environmental Action Committees (or “EACs”) from nearby townships. I sat in a corner of the room in an upholstered wooden chair surrounded by others there to represent their environmental groups.

Welkinweir house, from

Aspects like these of our community are vital for the protection of the environment. While some initiatives go through the local governments, it is up to community members and volunteers to ultimately take care of our earth and our surroundings because no one else will do it for us.

A few examples of other EACs included the Phoenixville Green Team, the Homegrown National Park Association from East Brandywine, and Schuylkill township EAC. Iboard n
Phoenixville, a “biomax” project is underway which allows biosolids to act as a renewable source and become biochar and fuel. The Homegrown National Park association is working on creating more children’s nature libraries, maintaining trails, and encouraging people to plant wild lawns with native plant species. Schuylkill township EAC has focused on stream preservation, addressing environmental policy and connecting with other EACs in the surrounding areas.

The West Chester Green Team got to present our progress, represented by board member Gillian Alicea. Our work has included advocating for renewable energies, moving forward with the Borough of West Chester’s Sustainable Storefronts program in banning disposable plastics and finding a way to introduce a curbside compost program.

Upon observing each EAC, I found the community aspect to be particularly powerful. Instead of an initial impression that the morning would consist of informative speech after informative speech, the connections people made helped to create more meaning and more inspiration in the overarching environmental goals. In order to restore our soils, increase compost initiatives, reduce plastic waste and attract native species it is imperative that numerous people are involved in participation. Climate change is a daunting global issue, but beginning in our backyards is the first step to seeing and creating change. In fact, many at the Welkinweir gathering mentioned inspiration from fellow townships and EAC members, noting the West Chester Green Team’s Sustainable Storefronts program traveling into the ideas of other nearby towns.

My only wish is that I would love to see expansion of the already successful and ever growing environmental projects. It seems it is possible that we can reach even more areas, expand into city communities, and meet more people from more diverse backgrounds. A lot of positive change is on the horizon. There are many eager hands willing to help and give a green “thumbs up” to the progress made so far.

Concluding the session, I met a few friendly faces and took comfort in knowing the various associations and voices sharing passion for environmental work. I sipped some tea and snuck a few gazes out the windows which overlooked beautiful bodies of water. It felt like the forest and the sky were smiling down on us… as if the earth instinctively knows when people are willing to put in work to aid each others’ home.

Panel with local leaders on achieving environmental victories

DEC 7 at 7 pm panel discussion on achieving environmental victories with State Sen Carolyn Comitta, State Rep Dianne Herrin, Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell and Delaware River Keeper Maya van Rossum. Panel moderator: Dr. John Jackson.

This panel discussion in the Fall Film and Forum Series is sponsored by the West Chester Green Team, the WCU Office of Sustainability, the Unitarian Congregation of West Chester, and the West Chester Co-op.

In person only: Room 101, Business & Public Management Building, 50 Sharpless St, West Chester, PA 19383. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Come early for information tables in the LEED-certified BPMG building at 6:30.

SEPTA’s 104 bus stops one block away from the BPMC building and the University has ample bicycle parking available, including in front of the building. If you choose to drive, for this event you may park in B Lot (enter via Reynolds Alley just east of the Business and Public Management Building; first come first served). Or pay to use the Sharpless Street Garage (ground level) or street parking on Sharpless or Church St.

Download pdf of flyer here.

Panel with local leaders 12/7/21

Famed natural gardens expert Doug Tallamy to speak at WCU Sept. 13

Please let us know you are coming at Eventbrite.

Dr. Doug Tallamy will describe his plan for a grassroots call-to-action to regenerate biodiversity through native plantings in your backyard. Dr. Tallamy, professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, best-selling author, and an international expert on restoring health to the planet through plants, will visit West Chester University on Monday, September 13.

Prof. Tallamy will spend the day speaking to University classes and will offer a 5pm lecture to the community. Dr. Tallamy is the co-founder of Homegrown National Park, with the purpose to regenerate biodiversity, one person at a time, though a grassroots call-to-action that focuses on native plantings.

Please join West Chester Green Team and WCU Office of Sustainability, which are co-sponsoring Doug’s lecture, at 5:00pm in Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall at 700 S. High Street in West Chester Borough.


Download the below flyer here.

Little Library installed at the Melton Center

As part of the joint summer 2021 community garden program at the Melton Center, the West Chester Green Team agreed to install a Little Library. The books, which will initially be related to environment, sustainability and gardening, were gathered and placed on the shelves by retired Library Specialist Peggy Pillard. People are welcome to take those books for their own reading pleasure and, if they wish, to bring in others to share.

Photo thanks to Bob Eaves of Rotary

Many thanks also to the Rotary Club of Greater West Chester, whose members kindly assembled, stained and installed the shipped pieces of the Little Library; the attractive result, awaiting its complement of reading matter, is shown in the first photo; and now with books, in the second photo, showing the plaque recognizing WC Green Team as donor.

Green Team president Margaret Hudgings, who coordinated the initiative, explains: “The mission of our Little Library project at the Melton Center is to encourage, particularly among the young, the art of reading and knowledge about environment and the world.”

Photo by our books curator Peggy Pillard

We are grateful to all who ensured the success of this important project.

The Melton Center library box joins more than 100,000 worldwide (including 20 in the West Chester area) coordinated by the Little Free Library movement.

Earth Day a colorful event in West Chester

By Bill Rettew, Daily Local News, 4/22/21

WEST CHESTER — Colorful chalk drawings covered much of the red bricks and concrete sidewalks along High Street to celebrate and recognize Thursday’s 51st Earth Day.

Kyle Hudson, candidate for mayor, chatted up the passersby midway down High Street and in front of the Methodist Church during Chalk the Walk. Earth Week events were organized through the grassroots West Chester Green Team.

“We only have one earth, there is no planet B,” was etched with chalk into the sidewalk at Hudson’s feet.

Former Mayor and state Rep. Dianne Herrin, D-156th, of West Chester, mingled with about two dozen Friends School students at the north end of High Street….

read more at Daily Local News

Virtual forum on environmental topics with candidates for West Chester Mayor and Borough Council April 27

Non-partisan virtual forum on environmental topics with candidates for West Chester Mayor and Borough Council, sponsored by League of Women Voters of Chester County, West Chester NAACP, and West Chester Green Team, on Tuesday, April 27, at 7pm. RSVP here to get your personal signup link.