West Chester Green Team’s first annual organic garden tour

On Saturday, June 29th, about 100 West Chester residents toured organic gardens in the West Chester borough. Gardens that were toured showcased vegetables, flowers, rain gardens, tower gardens, and much more. The goal of the tour was to educate residents about the many different types of gardens they can have, even in a small space.

Denise and garden 2

A popular attraction of the tour was Councilwoman Denise Polk’s backyard. Although Polk only has less than one-tenth of an acre, the space boasts more than 50 different plantings, in addition to a honey bee house. Polk suggests eating veggies fresh off the vine, and keeping chemical use to a minimum or not at all. (Photo by Bill Rettew: “Checking out Councilwoman Denise Polk’s backyard organic garden”)

In total there were 10 stops along the tour, with at least one site in each ward of the borough: in backyards, at West Chester University, and at the Melton Center.

Margaret Hudgings is an active West Chester Green Team leader, and she helped to organize the event. She was excited to see that a main goal of the tour had been accomplished; “The tour shows people that you can have a fantastic garden even if you have a small yard.”

West Chester Green Team plans to run this tour again next year, with some changes and new gardens featured.

For more details and photos from the tour, please visit “West Chester Green Team shines spotlight on local organic gardens” by Bill Rettew in the Daily Local News.

Christiane's garden 2
Christiane Torres’ garden

Advertisements

Successful Green Team Strawberry Festival in West Chester

About 130 people joined in the The West Chester Green Team Strawberry Festival on Sunday afternoon, May 19, in West Chester’s Everhart Park.

The various activities structured around the principles of the Green Team: environment, sustainability, green living.

Strawberry shortcake with ice cream by the West Chester Co-operative was a highlight.

Co-sponsors were West Chester Green Team and its member groups: Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection (4CP), Don’t Spray Me!, Green Team Youth Corps, Plastic-Free Please, Ready for 100, plus Sierra Club and West Chester Co-operative. See also the article by reporter Bill Rettew, “Organizations band together in West Chester to protect environment, in the Daily Local News

More info about the Green Team here.

Photos below by Plastic-Free Please co-coordinator Rachel Davis:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organizations band together in West Chester to protect environment

By Bill Rettew Daily Local News, May 21, 2019

WEST CHESTER—Like a budding plant, the West Chester Green Team celebrated its inauguration, at Sunday’s event in Everhart Park.

Kara Thorpe, left, and Margaret Westbrook give away stuff in Everhart Park, at Sunday’s Green Team event.

About a dozen like-minded organizations joined together to promote protecting the environment, beneath sunny spring skies and temperatures in the 80s, at the Green Team’s Strawberry Shortcake Social.

Several grassroots organizations have banded together including Don’t Spray Me!, Plastic-Free Please Action Group, Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection and Ready for 100.

Nathaniel Smith is a member of the newly minted Green Team.

“If a few people in their living rooms get together and issue edicts, it doesn’t turn out well,” Smith said. “The public has to stand behind the sustainability movement….

read more at Daily Local News

“Climate Action and Today’s Youth”

This very interesting forum at West Chester University was organized and moderated by West Chester Green Team summer interns (and West Chester University students) Kara Thorpe and Paige Vermeulen. Panelists were Isaac Harte (Delaware Valley Friends School), Will Bradley (Westtown School), and Sam Silverman (also a WCU student, and coordinator of the WCU Sunrise Hub).

The audience of about 20 first viewed the 11-minute video of a 2018 TED talk by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish student then age 15 who started the worldwide school strike for climate movement. Her intensity and clearheadedness were most impressive. “The climate crisis has already been solved,” she said: we know the facts, but don’t act on them. “The one thing we need more than hope is action.”

The moderators asked a series of questions for the panel, then turned to the audience for discussion.

Why do Americans just carry on as before? In a word, money: many politicians receive financial incentive to deny climate change. Also: many Americans do not yet feel much impact, have more existential issues in their lives, and are often confused by lies. From the audience: we are trapped by convenience, also by discouragement that the problem is too vast to deal with.

What are the barriers between leaders and action? From the panel: it should not be a political question; some politicians are talking about it but many are scared to speak. The “sponsors” rule as usual. From the audience: the youth strike did empower the young; the young have a credibility that seems more reliable than past alarms. The 2018 IPCC report sounded a real and urgent alarm. The non-binding Green New Deal sets out holistic working goals for 100% green energy by 2050 along with the jobs, sustainable industry, and economic equity that can support it.

Is the Green New Deal too ambitious? From the panel: parts of it, maybe; but this is an existential crisis and we do need to do everything at once. From the audience: the GND should include stopping pesticide use, which threatens the environment and our food supply.

Should dealing with the wage gap really be part of the GND? The panel thought yes: wage justice is part of building a better America.

More comments: there is also a water crisis. Lack of education is also a crisis. Earth Uprising, of pre-college students, launches June 14. The Green Schools Alliance encourages schools to commit to 100%. We need to make clear how people can support our efforts. Greta Thunberg effectively dismisses non-science and uses guilt as a motivator. Harrisburg is “black with coal, oil and gas.” The Green New Deal, given the broad crisis, is “ridiculously moderate.”

Displays in the lobby attracted discussion afterwards. Our community needs more events like this, stressing the role of the young in their own future!

“Non-toxic lawns & gardens and weed-free sidewalks”

“Non-toxic lawns & gardens and weed-free sidewalks”

Thursday, April 25. Doors open at 6:30 so come then for community and group exhibits. Talk begins at 7:00.

Andy Yencha from Penn State Extension speaker’s bureau in Cumberland County will speak on “Greening you Lawn, Naturally” and Dr. John Jackson, entomologist, will speak on “Bugs and Weeds Away–the Natural Way.” Q&A follows.

Business and Public Management Center, 50 Sharpless St., West Chester 19382. Park across the street in the Sharpless Parking Garage.

Two related topics: non-toxic ways to grow great lawns and vegetables and to keep weeds out of sidewalks. A green double-header presented by the West Chester Green Team, which includes 4CP, Ready for 100, Plastic-Free Please, and Don’t Spray Me!

This is the first in the Green Team’s hot button environmental series, addressing issues at the forefront of people’s thinking at this time in our history.

More info: mhudgings@gmail.com

Sidewalk teens DLN 7:17:17

West Chester Green Team

The West Chester Green Team is a new organization in the West Chester PA area supporting a renewable future and residents’ desire to lead a greener life style.

Component organizations:

Don’t Spray Me! (DSM) raises awareness about the dangers of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals, and promotes natural gardens and lawns, and healthy food.

Plastic-Free Please Action Group (Facebook: here) informs residents and businesses about reducing plastic use in our everyday lives and encourages retailers to reduce single-use bags and packaging.

Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection (4CP) educates the community on the serious consequences of climate change and promotes actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ready for 100 works with local leaders and helps cities and communities to transition to 100% clean, renewable energy.

See more on WCGT here.

West Chester Green Team and its component groups are members of the Chester County Environment Alliance (CCEA), which includes a detailed countywide environment calendar.

Download a pdf with the above info here: WCGT handout 2 pdf