Jun 17: Frackopoly book launch

How did so many Pennsylvania communities end up fracked? Is there any way out?

June 16: Marcellus Shale Documentary Project panel

Meet Martha Rial, Scott Goldsmith, Noah Addis, and Brian Cohen, four of the artists behind the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project (MSDP): An Expanded View.

Organized by The Documentary Works, MSDP: An Expanded View features new photography and video works by 
Noah AddisNina BermanBrian CohenScott GoldsmithLynn JohnsonMartha Rial, and Joe Seamans, and graphics by FracTracker Alliance. Co-curated by Brian Cohen and Laura Domencic, MSDP documents the social and environmental effects of natural gas drilling in the region.

6 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (at 5th & Shady).  The exhibit runs May 6 to July 31st (Tues-Fri: 10am to 5pm, Sat: 10am to 4pm, Sun: 12pm to 4pm.)

Jun 15: Water at Wilkins School

As part of a Sustainable Gardening lecture series, the Wilkins School Community Center is hosting an evening on water:  
6:30 pm Healthy and Safe Water Management:  George Fuller, Chemist & Board Member, Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority
7:00 pm Presentation by StormWorks, (9 Mile Run Assoc.) Up-Dates on new Water Barrel designs, permeable surfaces, rain gardens & other residential installations to control rain water and sewage overflow.
7:45 pm Discussion by Pat Buddemeyer on the storm water management system implemented by neighbors across row houses in the 5800 block of Black Street in East Liberty.
Time at the end for Q & A and Wrap-Up of Ideas
*Come Early to Meet and Greet East End neighbors (6:15 pm to 6:30 pm)!

Jun 11: Sustainability Salon on Fossil Energy Infrastructure

March for a Clean Energy Revolution

On the heels of the announcement this week that Shell will indeed be building an ethane cracker plant near Pittsburgh (a direct result of the shale drilling boom), the movement of hazardous materials around the state and across the country comes into particularly close focus.  Join us on June 11th to hear from activists, advocates, public health professionals, and people directly affected, while sharing potluck food and drink (more info below on what to bring).
At the 53rd Sustainability Salon, we'll consider Fossil Energy Infrastructure, and how to wind it down as the world transitions to a renewable energy economy.  We'll be talking about wells, compressors, pipelines, oil trains, and power plants --  as well as plans for the July 24th March for a Clean Energy Revolution in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention.  Speakers include Eva Westheimer of Food & Water Watch, who is organizing the Pittsburgh contingent for the July march;  Elise Gerhart, a landowner whose family's forest was recently mowed down in anticipation of a pipeline (despite valiant tree-sitting);  and Raina Rippel, director of the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, a public health organization that supports residents whose health is at risk from unconventional oil & gas development.

The next salon will take place on July 16th, when we'll welcome back Mayor Bill Peduto to talk about Pittsburgh's sustainability initiatives, including the Smart Cities project.

Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We usually aim to start the program sometime around 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your EventBrite invitation (if you're not already on my list, please email me to be added!).  Please RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies widely, and these events have been so successful that we need to begin limiting attendance.  So RSVP early if you can, to ensure your participation!  The free virtual "tickets" on Eventbrite may run out (you don't need to print any tickets, by the way, just be on the list).  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.  And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!
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.  And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.  

As always, 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.  So if you don't have it yet, please be patient!  One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit, but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  (All the extraneous requests for the address don't help;  I have lots of other stuff I send out with it, but don't like to let them go unanswered so it adds hours to my prep time.  If you RSVP properly (see above), you should get the info by the morning of the salon!)
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  it's a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on various aspects of a topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.

Past topics have included getting money out of politicscommunity solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (beforeduring, and after), air quality (again, with news on the autism connection), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actionMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policyregional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceTriple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous GameA Fierce Green FireSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).

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.  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation (and now apiary!) as well as the many other green and interesting things around our place.  

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. 

Jun 10: Health and Shale Gas

Health and Shale Gas Development:  State of the ScienceA one-day conference for healthcare providers and community members on unconventional gas development and related health impacts.

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency at the Pittsburgh International Airport.
Learn more and register (as the event gets closer) here: http://www.environmentalhealthproject.org/events/5
Sponsored by SW PA Environmental Health Project

Jun 8: Catching the Sun film screening

An unemployed American worker, a Tea Party activist, and a Chinese solar entrepreneur race to lead the clean energy future. But who wins and who lose

s the battle for power in the 21st century? Through the stories of workers and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and China, the film, "Catching the Sun," captures the global race to lead the clean energy future. Their successes and failures speak to one of the biggest questions of our time: will the U.S. actually be able to build a clean energy economy?
Sponsored by CCI, the Solar Unified Network of Western PA (SUNWPA), and The Penn State Center.  Join us for this exciting presentation and lively discussion, and get a sneak peek here: http://www.catchingthesun.tv/.
7 to 9 p.m. at the Environmental Charter School (829 Milton Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15218).

June 7: Stand in solidarity with Bluebird Farm

Organic farming pioneer Mick Luber of Bluebird Farm is a familiar face at some Pittsburgh farmers' markets.  Bluebird Farm, in Cadiz, Ohio produces fresh, organic vegetables, apples, and wild crops, including ramps, berries, and mushrooms, on about 65 acres, serving markets in Wheeling, WV and Pittsburgh, PA.

The Utopia pipeline, which would carry ethylene and propane to plastics manufacturing plants in Canada, is threatening to cross Bluebird Farm and could negatively impact the rich, organic soils Mick has worked so hard to foster for 36 years.

As part of a National Day of Action on Fracking, join OEFFA and Mick to oppose this pipeline and learn about all Bluebird Farm does to produce quality organic food for the communities it serves.

Farm tour at 2 p.m., potlatch at 5:30 (bring your favorite covered dish and recipe to share) at Bluebird Farm (86663 Fife Rd. Cadiz, OH 43907).  More info here.  Registration: Pre-registration is required.  To register, contact Eric Pawlowski at (614) 421-2022 or eric@oeffa.org.  

This tour is one of 21 farm tours and workshops OEFFA is offering this summer as part of the 2016 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. In total, the series features 32 farm tours and 10 educational workshops, offered in partnership with The Ohio State University Extension Sustainable Agriculture Team, Advancing Eco Agriculture, Ashtabula Local Food Council, Columbus Agrarian Society, and Our Harvest Research and Education Institute.  All tours and workshops are free and open to the public and do not require pre-registration unless otherwise noted.  For more information about the series, go here