Category Archives: Green Team

West Chester Green Team Bylaws

(Our officers as of fall 2021 are Margaret Hudgings, President; Christi Supple, Vice-President; Nathaniel Smith, Secretary; David Wickard, Treasurer.)

1. The West Chester Green Team is a civic organization in Chester Chester PA that works to educate the local public and to establish and nourish green initiatives in the local community in harmony with nature and each other, promoting the health of all living things and of planet Earth. All members of the public are welcome to join in the Green Team’s public activities, receive information, and to donate in support of our programs. The Green Team’s activities will be limited to the purposes set out in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; it will not engage in political or legislative activities prohibited under section 501(c)(3).

2. The West Chester Green Team’s areas of interest shall include: slowing climate change; promoting renewable energy; reducing plastics use and trash volume and promoting recycling; reducing use of pesticides. herbicides and other potentially harmful chemicals; promoting organic gardening, healthy foods, and composting; encouraging maintenance and planting of trees in urban areas; protecting water quality and healthy watersheds; serving as a Transition Team chapter; and others to be adopted over time.

3. The West Chester Green Team is governed by a Board of Directors of 6 to 10 individuals who meet regularly, at a time that the Board shall set but that may be temporarily modified by the President as circumstances require. Board members serve for four years. unless they resign earlier; they may serve more than one term. New Board members are appointed by the officers as needed, subject to ratification by the Board.

4. No Board member shall receive any financial gain from any activity, purchase or program of the West Chester Green Team.

5. When a vote of the Board becomes necessary, it shall be decided by a majority of members present.

6. The President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected by majority vote of members of the Board present at a meeting, providing the election has been announced to the Board at least one week in advance. Each office may be shared (co-President, etc.) but no individual shall occupy more than one office plus one co-office.

7. Terms of office shall run for one year, from October 1 through September 30. There is no limit on reelection. If an officer resigns or otherwise becomes unable to serve, an election, as indicated above, shall be held promptly to select a replacement.

8. The President shall take measures to assure the successful operation of the organization, preside at meetings, and delegate tasks to other officers or individuals.

9. The Vice-President shall assist the President, take the lead in special projects as requested by the President, and act in the President’s absence in conducting business.

10. The Secretary shall take minutes at meetings, submit them to the Board for modification and approval, and perform other duties as assigned by the President.

11. The Treasurer shall take in funds, expend funds as decided by the Board, and at each meeting make available a written accounting of income, expenses, and the balance of funds.

12. The President may delegate functions to other officers or individuals as appropriate.

13. The President, in conjunction with the other officers, shall set the agenda for  meetings.

14. Between meetings the officers shall deal with issues that in their judgment require rapid action, but shall consult the Board when feasible.

15. The West Chester Green Team as an organization does not endorse or support any political party or candidate. The Green Team may confer and work with elected or appointed public officials or invite them to speak publicly at events, providing emphasis is on the individual’s expertise, background, and ability to effect change. Green Team officers and members may endorse or support any political party or candidate, as long as they make it clear that they are speaking as individuals and not on behalf of the organization.

16. Officers may run for public elective office, but if elected they shall resign as officers.

17. Members shall refrain, at meetings or other activities on behalf of the group, from promoting commercial activities, whether their own or others’.

18. The Board may modify these bylaws by approval of 2/3 of the members present at a Board meeting, providing the proposed action has been included in an agenda distributed at least one week in advance.

19. The West Chester Green Team Board of Directors hereby authorizes the Treasurer or Secretary to open a West Chester Green Team account at an appropriate bank to receive income and pay for expenses, with the Treasurer and Secretary each to have signatory authority for writing checks.

20. Upon dissolution of the corporation, any remaining assets will be distributed to another nonprofit, government agency, or for another public purpose.

As adopted by the West Chester Green Team executive board on 4/15/21 and subsequently amended. Signed and dated by the officers:



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1. The West Chester Green Team is a civic organization in Chester Chester PA that works to educate the local public and to establish and nourish green initiatives in the local community in harmony with nature and each other, promoting the health of all living things and of planet Earth. All members of the public are welcome to join in the Green Team’s public activities, receive information, and to donate in support of our programs. The Green Team’s activities will be limited to the purposes set out in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; it will not engage in political or legislative activities prohibited under section 501(c)(3).

2. The West Chester Green Team’s areas of interest shall include: slowing climate change; promoting renewable energy; reducing plastics use and trash volume and promoting recycling; reducing use of pesticides. herbicides and other potentially harmful chemicals; promoting organic gardening, healthy foods, and composting; encouraging maintenance and planting of trees in urban areas; protecting water quality and healthy watersheds; serving as a Transition Team chapter; and others to be adopted over time.

3. The West Chester Green Team is governed by a Board of Directors of 6 to 10 individuals who meet regularly, at a time that the Board shall set but that may be temporarily modified by the President as circumstances require. Board members serve for four years. unless they resign earlier; they may serve more than one term. New Board members are appointed by the officers as needed, subject to ratification by the Board.

4. No Board member shall receive any financial gain from any activity, purchase or program of the West Chester Green Team.

5. When a vote of the Board becomes necessary, it shall be decided by a majority of members present.

6. The President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected by majority vote of members of the Board present at a meeting, providing the election has been announced to the Board at least one week in advance. Each office may be shared (co-President, etc.) but no individual shall occupy more than one office plus one co-office.

7. Terms of office shall run for one year, from October 1 through September 30. There is no limit on reelection. If an officer resigns or otherwise becomes unable to serve, an election, as indicated above, shall be held promptly to select a replacement.

8. The President shall take measures to assure the successful operation of the organization, preside at meetings, and delegate tasks to other officers or individuals.

9. The Vice-President shall assist the President, take the lead in special projects as requested by the President, and act in the President’s absence in conducting business.

10. The Secretary shall take minutes at meetings, submit them to the Board for modification and approval, and perform other duties as assigned by the President.

11. The Treasurer shall take in funds, expend funds as decided by the Board, and at each meeting make available a written accounting of income, expenses, and the balance of funds.

12. The President may delegate functions to other officers or individuals as appropriate.

13. The President, in conjunction with the other officers, shall set the agenda for  meetings.

14. Between meetings the officers shall deal with issues that in their judgment require rapid action, but shall consult the Board when feasible.

15. The West Chester Green Team as an organization does not endorse or support any political party or candidate. The Green Team may confer and work with elected or appointed public officials or invite them to speak publicly at events, providing emphasis is on the individual’s expertise, background, and ability to effect change. Green Team officers and members may endorse or support any political party or candidate, as long as they make it clear that they are speaking as individuals and not on behalf of the organization.

16. Officers may run for public elective office, but if elected they shall resign as officers.

17. Members shall refrain, at meetings or other activities on behalf of the group, from promoting commercial activities, whether their own or others’.

18. The Board may modify these bylaws by approval of 2/3 of the members present at a Board meeting, providing the proposed action has been included in an agenda distributed at least one week in advance.

19. The West Chester Green Team Board of Directors hereby authorizes the Treasurer or Secretary to open a West Chester Green Team account at an appropriate bank to receive income and pay for expenses, with the Treasurer and Secretary each to have signatory authority for writing checks.

20. Upon dissolution of the corporation, any remaining assets will be distributed to another nonprofit, government agency, or for another public purpose.

(As adopted by the West Chester Green Team executive board on 4/15/21 and subsequently amended.)

2021 Recap: West Chester Tree Team and Living Landscapes

by Courtney Finneran

Even in the midst of the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 turned out to be a successful and dynamic year for the West Chester Tree Team and the Living Landscapes Committee. Our community chose to prioritize spending time outside, gardening in the soil, and educating themselves on the benefits of native planting. Below is a recap of some of the highlights. Stay tuned next month to learn about some exciting things that our committee has planned for 2022, including several native planting volunteer events at Goose Creek and Chestnut Street Garage. If you are interested in supporting our group, please email WCTreeTeam@gmail.com and let us know! 

Street Tree Plantings in 2021

Over the spring 2021 and fall 2021 planting seasons, the West Chester Borough Arborist planted a total of 190 new trees in street right-of-ways and parks across town. We are still counting on our Tree Team volunteers (that’s you!) to keep an eye on our street tree canopy in your travels across town. Remember that in the Borough, a permit is required for any tree work performed on street trees as well as use of a preapproved landscape firm. 

Goose Creek Invasive Removal Project (April 2021)

WCGT partnered with the Tree Commission in organizing a volunteer invasive removal and native planting project. On April 17, 2021, approximately 20 volunteers showed up to remove invasive vegetation from a 200-ft length of the banks of Goose Creek near Greenfield Park.  Once the area was cleared, volunteers laid down a thick layer of wood chips provided by the Public Works Dept. Invasive species removed include: Multiflora Rose, Porcelain Berry,  Oriental Bittersweet, Japanese Honeysuckle, Garlic Mustard, Knotweed and more. 

Following the removal, local Borough residents Linda Glaum and Woody Lathbury have continued to care for the project area by showing up regularly to continue to remove invasive species, and planted native perennials and grasses alongside the native riparian trees planted by the Borough Arborist. Native plantings donated by the Glaums include Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), a PawPaw, Virginia Willow (Itea virginica), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Cutleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), and false sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides),

This project was led by the West Chester Green Team in partnership with the Public Works Department, the Borough Arborist, and the Borough Tree Commission.  

Lawn to Native Pollinator Garden Conversion (May 2021)

In May 2021, members of the West Chester Transition Team’s Living Landscapes Committee created a publicly accessible native pollinator garden located in the 500 block of South Maryland Ave in West Chester Borough to showcase an affordable DIY project to convert a monoculture lawn into a gorgeous and ecologically beneficial native pollinator garden. 

Accessible from the sidewalk, the new 200-square-foot native pollinator garden provides nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds and food for caterpillars. Native plants have evolved to act as hosts to our native insects and therefore provide a highly valuable resource that cannot be provided by non-natives.

Green Man Garden Tour (June 2021)

In June of 2021, the WCGT developed a self-guided walking tour of 10 home gardens across the Borough. The tour included a scavenger hunt where each of the home participants hid a green man/woman in the landscape of the garden area. The WCGT website contained all the details including the sample walking route.  The tour focused mostly on showcasing native gardens including lawn conversions across various scales, including some established, some new, and some in process. This may be an annual tradition, so reach out if you are interested in supporting this effort in 2022! 

Chestnut Street Hellstrip Garden (September 12, 2021)

The WCGT Living Landscapes committee organized a native planting project for the “hellstrip” along East Chestnut Street at the Chester County Historical Society.  This strip of dirt between the curb and sidewalk now includes a 7 ft long x 3.5 ft wide strip of native plants — all donated by WCGT members — including “shorter” perennials, grasses, and cover.  

E. Prescott Alley / Chestnut St Garage Garden (October, 2021)

The West Chester Business Improvement District (BID) reached out to the WCGT to help beautify one alleyway in downtown West Chester in an effort to achieve an important goal in the BID’s five-year plan. Members of BID and WCGT together recognized the urgent need to install a native pollinator garden which would provide an educational component with informational signage, an ecological oasis providing habitat for pollinators, and a beautiful landscape component of the urban environment. Phase 1 efforts completed in 2021 included planning and design, and a volunteer-led work day where approximately 20 individuals removed the original mature invasive shrubs, installed a new garden path, planted several redbud trees and 12 native shrubs. In Spring 2022, volunteers will be asked to help plant over 2,000 perennial plugs to help complete the project. This new garden is located at the base of the Chestnut St Garage (on the East Prescott Alley side) and serves as a highly visible entrance point for visitors to the West Chester Borough business district. 

Chester County officials share ideas for sustainable living at Thirsty for Justice panel discussion at West Chester University

Many thanks to the 4 distinguished Dec. 7 panelists (Senator Carolyn Comitta, Representative Dianne Herrin, Commissioner Josh Maxwell, and Faith Zerbe of Delaware Riverkeeper Network), to West Chester University Office of Sustainability Director Dr. Brad Flamm for hosting and welcoming us back to our favorite LEED-certified Business and Public Management Building, to West Chester Mayor Jordan Norley for presenting beautiful citations to WCGT founders Margaret Hudgings and Nathaniel Smith, and to the 60 environment supporters who attended!

Green Team members Nathaniel Smith, left, and Margaret Hudgings are lauded by Mayor Jordan Norley during Tuesday’s panel discussion at WCU. (SUBMITTED PHOTO-ERICA THOMPSON)

And we are grateful to reporter Bill Rettew for being with us and for his Dec. 8 article of the above title in the Daily Local News, ably describing the evening’s events, which in a timely symbol of the symbiosis between residents and elected officials brought together two legislators who are both former West Chester Mayors, a County Commissioner who is the former Mayor of Downingtown, current Mayor Norley, and incoming West Chester Mayor Lillian De Baptiste (nearest to the camera below).

Sixty residents learned how to protect the environment during a Green Team panel discussion, Tuesday, at WCU. (BILL RETTEW – MEDIANEWS GROUP)

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 https://welkinweir.org/history/

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.

Invisible Hand film / Sustainable Storefronts awards ceremony Nov. 16

Awards Ceremony for Sustainable Storefronts program, Tuesday, November 16⋅7:00 – 8:00pm, recognizing businesses that have joined West Chester’s Sustainable Storefronts program and send a representative (approx. 15-20 min.). Location: Room 101, Business & Public Management Building, 50 Sharpless St, West Chester, PA 19383.

Then, we will show the Sustainable Storefronts interview film created by WCU students (approx. 15-25 min). Finally, we will open up the discussion to the attendees, covering the central topics of the film Invisible Hand (approx. 20-25 min). Moderator: Prof. Megan Schraedley, WCU Department of Communication & Media.

Register at https://wcupa.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8p4IKWoUAV3jhXg to view the film “Invisible Hand” about the rights of nature movement online in advance (see trailer here) and to attend the event.

This event is sponsored by the WC Green Team and the WCU Office of Sustainability. Come any time after 6:30 for information tables in the LEED-certified BPMG building. Metered parking on Sharpless or Church St. Room 101, Business & Public Management Building, 50 Sharpless St, West Chester, PA 19383. Come any time after 6:30 for information tables and a tour of the LEED-certified BPMG building led by Dr. Bradley Flamm, Director of the WCU Office of Sustainability.

The 17 businesses (so far) that, in anticipation of West Chester Borough’s ban on single-use plastic bags and straws going into effect on 1/1/22, have voluntarily joined the Sustainable Storefronts program are:

Roots Cafe
Kaly Clothing
Gryphon Cafe
Mae’s
D’Ascenzo’s Gelato
The Shop on Market St
Kildare’s Pub
Meatball U
Dia Doce
Bryn Mawr Running Company
Dolce Zola
The 5 Senses
Mercato
Gemelli Gelato
West Chester Co-Op
Eclat Chocolate
Malena’s Vintage Boutique

History of the West Chester Area Green Team

The West Chester Green Team (WCGT) was formed in January 2019 as an alliance of four local environmental groups: Don’t Spray Me!, Plastic-Free Please, Ready for 100, and Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection.

Don’t Spray Me! originated in 2015 in response to the threat of pesticides being sprayed in West Chester Borough by the Chester County Health Department. Mayor Carolyn Comitta encouraged residents under the leadership of Graham Hudgings to gather signatures objecting to pesticides being sprayed. Volunteers went door to door, obtaining over 400 signatures and informing residents of the threat from pesticides. Overwhelmingly, people were in support of preventing pesticides being sprayed in their home area. DSM in its first year signed up 120 block captains throughout the Borough, who educated the community on the dangers of pesticides and other chemicals and worked alongside local government to avoid the spraying of pesticides.

Don’t Spray Me! subsequently incorporated activities involving chemical-free growing of flowers and food, and this has become one of our most popular and visible areas.

Plastic-Free Please was created in 2017 in alliance with West Chester Mayor Dianne Herrin, who worked with local students to bring forward an ordinance to ban plastic straws and bags in the Borough. In a historic moment, on July 17, 2019, in a packed room after a public hearing with numerous residents speaking in support, Borough Council passed the ban by a vote of 4-3. See more on that event here. State legislators snuck a “ban on bans” into a budget bill, and for the duration West Chester promoted a voluntary Sustainable Storefronts program, signing up businesses to voluntarily adopt green practices. With help from WCU students in Professor Megan Schraedley’s communications class, as of November 2021, 17 businesses had signed on. The ordinance finally will go into effect on January 2 2022. Plastic-Free Please hopes that many other municipalities and the County will now follow suit!

Ready for 100 (RF100) Chester County, a committee of the Southeastern PA Group of The Sierra Club, is part of a national, grassroots movement of people working to inspire our leaders to fight climate change and embrace a vision of healthier communities powered with 100% clean, renewable energy. RF1009 seeks to create safe, livable communities that protect and bolster public health, improve air and water quality, and foster sustainability, equity and resilience in the face of climate-related disruptions. RF100 has set community goals for transitioning to 100% renewable energy and urges all Chester County officials to set a 100% clean energy goal.

Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection (4CP) was founded in 2008 to further community education on climate change and green energy solutions. Over the years, 4CP held a stimulating series of lecture/discussions in WC Borough Hall, maintained a web site, and published a newsletter. In 2021, 4CP decided to disband and pass its role over to the WC Green Team.

 

“Healthy Soil, Healthy Planet: discussion on “Kiss the Ground”

Fall Film & Forum Series panel discussion hosted by WCU Office of Sustainability and WC Green Team in Room 101, Business & Public Management Building, 50 Sharpless St, West Chester, PA 19383. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Sign up in advance at wcupa/sustainability to view the film online; the evening event will be panel discussions only. Come early for information tables, refreshments and a tour of the LEED-certified BPMG building at 6:30. Metered parking on Sharpless or Church St. 

Tuesday October 12 discussion theme “Healthy Soil, Healthy Planet: Act locally to improve the dirt in your own backyard and help avert climate crisis,” based on the film “Kiss the Ground.” Panelists:

Dr. Joan Welch (moderator), professor in the WCU Department of Geography and Planning, a leader in WCU’s campus gardens, and dedicated environmentalist.

Mike Dunn, contract arborist for West Chester Borough and Sustainable Landscapes Specialist

Nur Ritter, Stewardship Manager, Robert B. Gordon Natural Area for Environmental Studies at West Chester University, botanist, biochar enthusiast, friend of fungi

From https://kissthegroundmovie.com/: “‘Kiss the Ground’ reveals that, by regenerating the world’s soils, we can completely and rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems and create abundant food supplies. Using compelling graphics and visuals, along with striking NASA and NOAA footage, the film artfully illustrates how, by drawing down atmospheric carbon, soil is the missing piece of the climate puzzle. This movie is positioned to catalyze a movement to accomplish the impossible  to solve humanity’s greatest challenge, to balance the climate and secure our species’ future.”

Later in this series:
November 16 film- “Invisible Hand” (this forum will include interviews of 2021 Green Award winners)
December 7 film–“Thirsty for Justice”

Mondays at Melton grand finale

Rani holds the globe in her hands

The 2021 Mondays at Melton summer environmental camp wrapped up on August 9 with “One Kiwi, Two Kiwis,” a story about her native New Zealand read by Rani Norley, wife of West Chester Borough mayor Jordan Norley.

Forty people of all ages joined the celebration and learned how New Zealanders, also known as Kiwis, greet each other, a bit about their history as a British Commonwealth nation, and an overview of their famous and unique animals.

“Kiwi One and Kiwi Two”

Rani shared photos of the mountains and national parks of her beautiful native land and passed around a small globe, which she used to show where New Zealand is relative to the US and to illustrate why the northern and southern hemispheres have opposite seasons.

Eunice sings and plays

In addition, environmental educator and Melton Center staff member Eunice Alexander strummed her guitar and sang songs about spiders and snakes–and how good they are for the Earth. As a special treat of the evening, everyone enjoyed gelato generously donated by D’Ascenzo’s.

Sue and Michael scoop ice cream

Thanks also to Sue Patterson of the West Chester Co-op and Michael Hartman of Senator Carolyn Comitta’s office for serving ice cream.

Listening to Rani

You can see all of the activity reflected in the photos above and below expertly taken by Taka Nagai.

Earlier lessons at the camp featured growing and cooking with tomatoes, information on endangered animals, a story on city gardening, a Japanese tale of a magic peach, and an overall focus on good nutrition and the importance of eating healthy vegetables grown in your own garden.

Thanks to Senator Carolyn Comitta and her husband Tom for their generous financial contribution to Mondays at Melton, to Jessica Nagle for being a regular part of programs, to Reiko Yoshida and Taka Nagai, who came 3 times, took photos and provided Japanese cookies and candy for the peach evening, and especially to Jamie Comfort Atkins, director of the Melton Center’s New Directions program and overall coordinator of Mondays at Melton.

Mondays at Melton are an outgrowth of the West Chester Green Team and the Melton Center’s collaboration on their first annual community garden program. WCU Professor Ashlie Delshad advises the gardeners, who are enjoying a bountiful harvest.  Snacking on cherry tomatoes they pick themselves, the children learned when and how to harvest from their own gardens.

Mondays at Melton were sponsored by the Melton Center and the WC Green Team. For more information on Mondays at Melton and the WC Green Team’s related community gardening program, type “Melton” in the Search box in the right sidebar or contact Margaret Hudgings, mhudgings@gmail.com.

With plants in raised bed
Passing the book on NZ
Nice mask!
West Chester Mayor Norley and kids
What a beautiful cone!
Liz and Jamie hold the flag

Mondays at Melton, August 2: A Glimpse of Japan

by Cara Corridoni

With the Tokyo Olympics just underway, last week Melton Center students got a juicy glimpse into Japanese culture.

Reiko and Misaki reading Momo Taro-san

As part of their Mondays at Melton series, the West Chester Green Team partnered with the Japan Foundation to tell students the story of Momotaro, a child born from a giant peach. The only son of an elderly couple, Momotaro leaves as an adolescent to protect his village from a band of ogres. With the help of some friends he meets along the way, Momotaro is able to convince the ogres to repent of their misdeeds and returns to his homeland a hero. Momotaro is an oral story that may date back to the 14th century.

Boy eating peach at Momo story

The story helped to illustrate the importance of oral storytelling in the Japanese culture while celebrating peach season locally. After the reading, students enjoyed delicious peaches from Barnard’s Orchards, sampled some Japanese candy and got to try their hand at the Japanese art form of origami.

Special thanks to Japan Foundation volunteers Reiko Yoshida, her daughter Misaki and husband Taka Nagai (our stalwart photographer) for making the evening one that students won’t soon forget. 

Type “Melton” in the Search box in the right sidebar for earlier stories about Mondays at Melton.

Jessica Nagle shows how
Reiko instructs in origami

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.