Sep 28: Allegheny Green & Innovation Festival

A new fair for a new economy...  

Come to Hartwood Acres Park for the 4th annual Allegheny Green + Innovation Festival, featuring fun activities for the whole family! Learn how to reduce your carbon footprint and green your community. Enjoy delicious local food, interactive demonstrations, and activities. 
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hartwood Acres Park.  (Please use the GPS Icon Middle Road Entrance.)  Admision and parking are free.  More information here.


Over 80 green organizations will offer interactive exhibits throughout the park. Plus, participate in the Parade of All Beings and enjoy amazing shows on our main stage, including a Meet the African Penguin show with the National Aviary, a drumming circle, and more!

Sep 26: Green Drinks at EECO Center

Join Green Drinks Pittsburgh for our next monthly event at The EECO Center Garden and  hosted by Senator Jim Ferlo and the EECO Center Staff.

This event will be hosted at the Stormwater Mitigation Garden located next door to the EECO Center. Senator Ferlo will also be announcing a major new project -the 15206 Stormwater Management Project - to be launched in the Spring of 2014.

Complimentary beer and refreshments will be provided. 

See you there! Please contact us for any further information needed. 

Green Drinks Pittsburgh is a sustainability network platform to inspire new ideas and awareness, find out what is happening in Pittsburgh, meet up with friends you haven't seen for a while and make new ones too!  
As always, this is a free event, open to the public.

5-8 p.m. at the Environment & Energy Community Outreach (EECO) Center, 200 Larimer Ave., 15206.

Contact us at with any questions or comments! And find us on the web at 

Sep 24: Beyond Tunnel Vision goes local

The Pittsburgh Region Goes Green: Community Benefits from Local Green Infrastructure Projects
After a summer break, the Clean Rivers Campaign's "Beyond Tunnel Vision" Speaker Series is back.  This month, we are focusing on the Pittsburgh Region!  Throughout the series, the Clean Rivers Campaign has brought experts from other regions to talk about their green infrastructure projects.  Now, it is time to hear from our local communities!  Come learn about the projects that are happening in Etna, the City of Pittsburgh, Homestead/Munhall/W. Homestead, Millvale, and more.  Join us to learn how these local investments are helping to solve our water quality challenges AND bring great benefits to our community!  

In the Pittsburgh Region, we often hear people saying, "We can't do green infrastructure here. The slopes are too steep.  We get too much rain.  We have clay soil..."  and so much more!  But the truth is - We CAN do green infrastructure here AND people are already doing it!  We have challenges, but we also have opportunities.  In regions all over the country and here in Pittsburgh, people are meeting these challenges with creative, sustainable, green solutions that provide great benefits to the community!

Municipal and Community Leaders will share information about local green projects and their benefits with a reception, presentations and Q&A - with an introduction by Councilman Bill Peduto.

We love to highlight local successes!  If you have a poster you'd like to share about your successful green infrastructure project, contact us!

Reception (with food and drinks) at 6:00 pm;  presentations begin at 6:30 pm at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church Social Hall, 116 North Highland Avenue
Get more details (including a map) and RSVP here:

Join us on September 24th at 6pm to learn how the Pittsburgh region is making green infrastructure a reality!  RSVP today

Sep 21-22 & 28-29: Forest Gardening workshop

Forest Gardening Intensive:  Imagine a lush backyard where you grow your own fruit, nuts, flowers, greens and perennial vegetables! Learn how the plants that you grow can provide all of the soil fertility, pest control and weed control to meet your garden’s needs. Visit local examples of forest gardens for inspiration and ideas. Learn planting techniques and maintenance strategies with hands-on practice. In this four-day, intensive workshop you will learn how to garden like nature with stunning, tasty results.

9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. each day at the Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park and local sites.  $150 Phipps members, $165 non-members.  For more information visit here, email, or call 412/441-4442 x 3925.

Instructor Bio: Juliette Jones studied sustainable agriculture and permaculture design at Slippery Rock University.  She has worked with Permaculture experts Dave Jacke and Darrell Frey, teaching courses on Edible Forest Gardening and Permaculture Design, and taught the Growing Sustainably Lab for Chatham University’s Food Studies program.  Notable design experience includes design and installation of Pittsburgh’s first food forest in Hazelwood, demonstration gardens for Phipps Conservatory and an edible garden for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Sep 20-22: Mother Earth News Fair

Bringing the magazine to life:  the fourth Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs!

MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine has been helping folks live self-reliant, sustainable, meaningful lives for more than 40 years. With an audience of more than 3 million readers worldwide, it is the largest and longest-running environmental lifestyle magazine on the planet.  The MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS are fun-filled, family-oriented sustainable lifestyle events that feature dozens of practical, hands-on demonstrations and workshops from the leading authorities on: Renewable Energy, Small-scale Agriculture, Gardening, Green Building, Green Transportation and Natural Health.

In between sessions, you can enjoy an array of entertainment options, organic local food and beverages, as well as outdoor gardening and livestock demonstrations. Plus, save on great deals from dozens of regional and national vendors that feature sustainable lifestyle products and services, including: books, tools, seeds, crafts, organic foods, clothes, solar gadgets and more! Check out our list of speakers and workshops.

The inaugural Fair was held in September 2010 at the beautiful Seven Springs Mountain Resort southeast of Pittsburgh. More than 9,000 people participated in nearly 200 workshops, countless demonstrations on cheese making, beekeeping, building electric and wood-burning cars, seed saving, preserving and pickling, bread baking, meat processing, choosing solar power ... the list goes on and on. Click here for testimonials from our exhibitors, sponsors and fair attendees!

Check out our YouTube video channel and the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR Blog. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for real time updates, special contests, and promotions

Our second FAIR of the year will be held in Seven Springs, Pa., Sept. 24-25, 2011, at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Nestled in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania and located within 200 miles of the major metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington, D.C., Seven Springs is a full-service resort featuring a complete conference and exhibit center, a 418-room hotel and nearly 1,200 condominiums and townhomes. 
Lots more information at

Sep 19: Moving People Forward Summit

Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place 2013: Moving People Forward Summit

You are invited to join the City of Pittsburgh and Project for Public Spaces to chart the course for a more walkable, bikeable, and active city/region by taking part in Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place 2013: Moving People Forward summit.  Regional leaders and national experts will gather on Thursday, September 19 at Carnegie Mellon University to discuss how to improve regional mobility by better biking; how to improve neighborhoods and individual health by better and safer walking; and how activate Pittsburgh’s public spaces through Placemaking.  We will start at 9 am; Mark Gorton, social entrepreneur and founder of Streetsblog, will keynote lunch;  and afternoon breakout sessions will wrap up by 4:30 pm.  You won’t want to miss the post-summit bike tour.

More info and online registration here:  Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place 2013 Meeting

Sep 18: Keep Animals Off Drugs! kickoff event

Food and Water Watch’s Pittsburgh Kick-Off Meeting for Keep Animals off Drugs!

Factory farms across the country pump animals with drugs to make them grow faster, leading to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten the effectiveness of drugs we rely on to save lives.

Right now, we have a unique opportunity to stop this reckless abuse of antibiotics. The PARA bill, which was just introduced to the senate, could end factory-farm misuse of these life-saving drugs. We need Senator Casey to champion this bill and the common-sense idea it represents: the life-saving properties of antibiotics should be preserved for people, not squandered for corporate profit. Together we can show Senator Casey that Pittsburgh wants him to step up.

So please join us at our kick-off meeting on September 18th, 6:30pm. Find out more about the campaign and what you can do to help. With your support, we can stop factory farms from compromising the antibiotics we depend on!

6:30pm at the Carnegie Library's East Liberty Branch  (130 S Whitfield St) RSVP HERE to let them know you can make it, and bring a friend!  (MarensNote:  that link isn't currently live;  if that's still the case when you try, you can also contact Áine Sweetnam for more information.

Sep 16: Education talk

Important lecture on public and private education by Diane Ravitch -- all the details are on the Yinzercation blog.

Free and open to the public;  6 p.m. at Temple Sinai in Squirrel Hill (5505 Forbes Ave, 15217).  Doors open at 5.
Photo: We can seat up to 1,000 people for this event -- all FREE, all great seats. Everyone who cares about public education needs to hear Diane Ravitch and to be a part of this conversation. Please help spread the word by using the "Invite Friends" button. You can also share this flyer with your networks. Can we get over 300 RSVPs this weekend? Thank you!

Sep 15: Sustainability Salon & Sing: Community Solar

We all know that renewable energy is a vital part of the many solutions needed to avert climate catastrophe and reduce pollution.  Expanding solar photovoltaic generation at many different scales will help smooth the transition to a post-fossil-fuel world.

The 20th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon & Sing next Sunday, September 15th will be on the topic of Community Solar -- how to enable more people to participate in generating and using renewable energy, even where individual homeowners or businesses lack good roof access, sun exposure, or initial funding.  We'll talk about the logistical, legal, and financial aspects of different approaches, what's already happening in Pennsylvania and around the country, and how we can create a community shared solar installation here in the 'Burgh.  We'll discuss the regulatory framework in PA, and several possible models from cooperative nonprofits to corporate partnerships.  A small group has been meeting to learn the ropes and lay the groundwork, and at this Salon -- in addition to our usual fascinating educational presentations and conversations -- we hope to gather more interested Pittsburghers to work toward making it happen! 

Speakers will include PennFuture's Evan Endres;  Joel Thomas (joining us remotely) and Greg Winks (live and in person) of Community Energy;  local solar installer Ian Smith of Energy Independent Solutions, and Sharon Pillar, president of SUNWPA (the Solar Unified Network of Western Pennsylvania).  Alexander Dale, executive director of Engineers for a Sustainable World, and Mark Dixon of YERT fame will moderate the ensuing discussion.  And we are happy to have John Hanger -- former DEP Secretary,  former PennFuture president, former PUC commissioner, and former public advocate,  and currently in the running to replace Tom Corbett as governor of our Commonwealth.  He'll be able to speak about his environmental platform and listen to participants' concerns (as Bill Peduto did in April), and can also talk about the PA regulatory framework and how he as governor might improve it -- for renewables in general and community solar in particular.  We'll figure out the timing relative to the other talks once we know his schedule.

Mark your calendar:  the next Sustainability Salon will take place on October 12, following a fun day of visits here and at other solar-powered homes and businesses during the regional Solar Tour.  We'll hear about the activities and the influence of the Sierra Club at the state and local levels, mostly accomplished with volunteers!  Check out MarensList for more information on these events and others, as well as local food resources.  By the way, I'll also be hosting a house concert with Putnam Smith on October 18th.

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3pm;  we usually introduce speakers beginning around 4pm after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me to RSVP (important for yesses and maybes, please do so each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies widely, and it helps to have a handle on numbers in advance (we may need to begin limiting attendance);  also, weather and such can be unpredictable and it's good to know who to contact if there's a change -- and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em on Friday or Saturday.  Be sure to include salon in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  Bring food and/or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play.  Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events), for updates.  If you'd like to start making your own kombucha, please bring a pint jar along.

Note that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon if not before.  One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit (assistance would be welcome -- thanks to Beth for all her help so far with the transition to MailChimp and EventBrite), but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum, a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues, a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on a particular topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included Marcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, solar powertrees & park stewardshipalternative energy & climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings & discussions (led by the filmmakers) over the winter with both YERT and Gas Rush Stories, and foodfood, and more food.

Quite a few people have asked me what sorts of food to bring -- and my answer, as always, is whatever inspires you;  I believe in the "luck" part of potlucks.  Tasty noshings for the afternoon, hearty main dishes or scrumptious salads and sides for dinner, baked goods from biscuits and breads to brownies or baklava -- and/or beverages of any kind:  wine, beer, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever (I've got the kombucha covered, though it's always fun to compare).  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  

And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations will continue through the evening, as well. 

Sep 13-15: Allegheny Defense Project Fall Gathering

The Allegheny Defense Project (ADP) is holding its 20th Annual Fall Gathering on a private landholding near the Allegheny National Forest (ANF). The theme this year is "Celebrating 20 Years!" We ask that you please RSVP to this event, so that we can be sure we're able to feed you! 

Lots more information is online here