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
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 Mhudgings@gmail.com or call 610-692-3849 to register Photos are from 2021 Mondays at Melton.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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….
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.
Join us to view environment-related chalkings up and down S. and N. High St. in West Chester Borough plus an outdoor art exhibit at the Chesco Historical Society–all on Earth Day themes! Please wear masks and practice safe distancing. Rain date April 23. SEE FULL CHALKING SCHEDULE BELOW.
Here is the full Guide to EARTH Day Chalk Walk, April 22, 8 am to 5 pm
Nineteen stops along the way with local environmental groups and individuals chalking art on the sidewalks to celebrate our Mother Earth. All along High Street. The following listing is from south to north. Please be careful crossing High Street. Please wear a mask and maintain social distance. The best time to visit each site to see chalking in action is noted but sites are available all day. Anyone can chalk. If you like, join the fun!
• Phillips Memorial at the corner of College Avenue. 700 S. High St. Welcome by WCU Director of the Office of Sustainability Dr. Bradley Flamm. Mayor Jordan Norley will unveil the 2021 West Chester Green Team sign and present keys to the Borough to the team represented by Prof. Megan Schraedley and Courtney Finneran of the WCGT. 11am.
• Unitarian Congregation, 501 S High Street. Chalk art by the students of Dr. Schraedley with recorded music including an original composition just created for these times by the minister, Rev Dan Schatz. Artist Ada Koch will be chalking Noon to 2 pm.
• Former site of Burger King, 410 S. High St. West Chester Green Team members and Friends of Everhart Park. 3:30-4 pm.
• Church of the Holy Trinity. 212 S. High St. The West Chester Co-op, new local food store, led by Sue Patterson. 10 am.
• Founds Funeral Home. 229 S. High St. Sierra Club/Ready for 100 with Eunice Alexander. 10 am.
• First Baptist Church of West Chester, 221 S. High St. Sierra Club/Ready for 100 with Paula Kline. 10 am.
• United Methodist Church, 129 S. High St. Kyle Hudson and friends. Joined by the preschoolers chalking in the separate but adjacent courtyard. 8 am.
• Kati Mac Florist, 36 S. High St. Artist Denise Vitollo will be chalking.
• 35 S. High St. Chalking by environmentalist Nora Ziegler.
• Chester County Democratic Headquarters, 37 S. High St. Plastic-Free Please with Jakob Speksnijder and Kellie Lynch.
• Bryn Mawr Running Co., 24 S. High St. Barbara Clarke, head of WC Borough’s Sustainability Advisory Committee.
• Historic Chester County Courthouse, 2 N. High St. Stefanie Heron-Birl, face-painter and chalk artist; Lillian DeBaptiste 2:30 pm; State Senator Carolyn Comitta 4 pm.
• 20 N High St. Eric Lorgus and family.
• Sabrina Ann Couture, 128 N High St. Justine Gesualdi, artist and WCU senior, chalking.
• Chester County History Center, 225 N. High St. Art show on the patio. Suzanne Kent, potter; Carnival of Ruin costumes; Eric Schraedley, artist. Hosting: Prof. Megan Schraedley, Paula Kline, Nora Ziegler and Borough Council member Don Braceland.
• Uptown! 226 N. High St. Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety with Ginny Kerslake.
• First Church of Christ, Scientist, 227 N. High St. Chester County Peace Movement with Kevin Patrick Kelly and WCAT West Chester Area Transition 7:30 am.
• West Chester Friends School. 415 N. High Street. Children will be chalking under the leadership of T. Amy Domenick, including but not limited to 8:30-9:30am; Rep. Dianne Herrin will be there at 8:30 as well.
• West Chester Friends Meeting, Society of Friends (Quakers) 425 N. High St. Chalking by the students at WC Friends School.