Feb 27: Jason McLennan at Phipps

Two Chances to Meet Renowned Green Building Expert Jason McLennan!

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Green Building Alliance (GBA) are proud to present two special events at the Conservatory with renowned green building expert Jason McLennan on February 27, 2012: A Lunch and Learn from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., and Drinks and Conservation from 5:30-8 p.m.

One of the most influential players in the movement today, McLennan has had a major impact on the direction of green building in the U.S. and Canada. Among his many accolades, he is founder of the Living Building Challenge (an international green building program through which Phipps is seeking certification for the Center for Sustainable Landscapes); CEO of the Cascadia Green Building Council (the Pacific Northwest's leading organization in the field of green building and sustainable development); and co-creator of Pharos, the most advanced building material rating system in North America.

McLennan's Lunch and Learn presentation will focus on the topic ofcommunity regeneration and living buildings, while the Drinks and Conversation talk will cover the Living Building Challenge and more.

Read more about McLennan »

11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
$25 Phipps and GBA Members; $35 Non-Members
Enjoy a delicious lunch served in Phipps' beautiful, eco-friendly Special Events Hall as you learn. Vegetarian and other special dietary options will be available.

Space is limited, pre-registration is required.

Register now!

5:30–8 p.m.
$5 Phipps and GBA Members; $10 Non-Members
Join us for a special evening of networking and conversation surrounded by the lush greenery of Phipps' new Tropical Forest India exhibit. Price of ticket includes admission to Phipps, one drink ticket and light hors d'oeuvres. A cash bar will also be available.

Space is limited, pre-registration is required.

Register now!

Please help us spread the word by forwarding this e-mail widely to friends, family and colleagues, and let's give Jason McLennan a warm Pittsburgh welcome. We look forward to seeing you, too!
Photos by Paul g. Wiegman and Paul Dunn for YES! Magazine

Feb 23: Film screening "The Pipe"

"The Pipe" is the story of five farmers in a small fishing village in Ireland who, with support from many of their neighbors, chose to defy Shell Oil's and the Irish state's plans to lay a new gas pipeline. This film has been widely hailed at many film festivals, and their struggles mirror the struggles we all have fighting to stop the gas industry from ruining our state with fracking wells and thousands of miles of new pipelines. 

7 p.m. at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church, 116 Highland Avenue

Feb 23: Marcellus Visual Assessment Webinar

Do you want to help prevent pollution from Marcellus shale development
in your community?  Register for the Marcellus Visual Assessment
Webinar that Mountain Watershed Association will be offering on
Thursday, February 23, 2012 starting at 6:00PM online here:
http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB57DE838549. At the training you will
learn information on permit tracking, air and water pollution, and
filing a complaint for a pollution incident.  Contact Veronica at
veronica@mtwatershed.com for more information.

Feb 19: Sustainability Salon Series: Solar Edition! (and SSSing)

salon |səˈlän; saˈlô n |:  (historical) a regular social gathering of eminent people (esp. writers and artists) at the house of a woman prominent in high society;  a meeting of intellectuals or other eminent people at the invitation of a celebrity or socialite.

Regular, that's the plan (subject to Mother Nature, of course!).  Eminent and intellectual people, to be sure -- that's yinz.  House, check.  Woman, c'est moi.  High society, celebrity, socialite?  Not so much.  Salons occurred in 17th-century France, purportedly powering the Enlightenment, and were more recently repopularized by the Utne Reader.  I've long contemplated hosting an ongoing series of conversational salons in this tradition: informal gatherings around the notion of sustainability.  Some will have a featured guest to lead a discussion on a particular topic, others will be open to whatever comes up. 

Since we just installed the newest solar photovoltaic system in Pittsburgh 
(featured on a recent solar tour), we'll start the series with an event devoted to discussion of solar power -- you'll have an opportunity to see our system (nestled among the roof garden) and we'll welcome Ian Smith, the local rep for Standard Solar, who can fill us in on how it all works and answer questions.  So far (in the depths of winter), our grid-tied system has produced 171 kWh, enough electricity to offset 261 lbs of carbon dioxide -- the carbon-sink equivalent of three trees.  When summer rolls around, we will likely exceed our household usage by a wide margin. 
In conjunction with kicking off the conversation on a solar theme, we are resurrecting our Second Saturday Sings:  a monthly potluck and folksing that has been on a too-long hiatus during a lengthy period of transition to our not-so-new house.  So on Saturday February 19th, we're throwing our house in Frick Park open to friends old and new for an afternoon of conversation followed by dinner and music.  I even have one or two solar-power songs up my sleeve for the segué!  We'll start at 2 p.m., and wind down around 9 or so.  Bring food or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play (and we have a bunch here -- in particular, please let me know if you play guitar, whether or not you'll be bringing one).  RSVPs are much appreciated (both to get a handle on attendance, and just in case we get a blizzard or someone comes down with something terribly contagious);  please email me (my name in this format:  first.last@gmail.com ) and I'll send you directions if you need 'em.  

Feb 18-May 16: Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture Design Certificate Course offered at Phipps Garden Center
·        Gain your internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate.
·        Gain knowledge in local ecology and confidence in ecological design.
·        Visit premier local permaculture design examples in action (including Maren's place).
·        Experience a thorough, on-site, permaculture design from start to finish.
This course runs from 9-4:30 on eleven days during seven weekends between Feb 18 and May 6;  the fee is $870.  For more information on this PDC course, see the Phipps education web site.  For more information about courses, workshops, or internships with Three Sisters Farm, visit our website at http://bioshelter.com, or contact us at ThreeSisters@Bioshelter.com or (724) 376-2797.  

Feb 18: Sierra Club/Forest Watch meeting & discussion

The Allegheny Group’s Public Lands Action Team (PLAT) will host a community meeting to help develop a plan of action and outings for the Spring.

The Forest Watch program is based on the model developed by the Allegheny Defense Project and Heartwood, and includes planning for Plant Rescue activities if necessary.  This model has been successful in stopping timber sales and other destructive activities on public lands for more than 20 years.
Cathy Pedlar, ADP Forest Watch Coordinator from Erie PA and Ernie Reed of Heartwood from Charlottesville, VA will be in attendance for this initial meeting. Bill Belitskus, ADP Board Chair and once a candidate for Congress, will speak at this event. Light refreshments will be provided. All are welcome to attend!
Join us for this afternoon discussion and strategy meeting!

4-6 pm at the Sierra Club Office, 425 N. Craig St. (Suite 202), Pittsburgh, PA 15213.  For more information contact Matt Peters at mattnedludd@gmail.com, or 412-320-0739

Feb 17: Green Drinks/Silent Spring at Six Penn Kitchen and the Symphony

Pittsburgh Green DrinksSix Penn KitchenPgh Symphony

Don't Forget to RSVP and Join Us For A Very Special Green Drinks:
A Silent Spring Evening honoring Rachel Carson

Join us at Six Penn Kitchen for Drinks and Dinner as a fundraiser for Rachel's childhood home, in Springdale, and then cross the street to Heinz Hall for the World Premier of "Silent Spring". A new symphony will debut, by composer-in-residence, Steven Stuckey, celebrating the 50th year anniversary of Rachel Carson's groundbreaking book, "Silent Spring".

This is going to be a memorable evening for all those who are involved in the environmental movement.  Come celebrate 50 years of awareness, awakening and celebration at the special Silent Spring 50th Anniversary Green Drinks Event.

Come for Green Drinks, like aways, from 5-9 pm at Six Penn Kitchen;  dinner at the restaurant (they've prepared a special menu, which you can view here, and will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Rachel Carson Homestead Association), and/or attend the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's premier of Steven Stuckey's "Silent Spring." 

Buy your Silent Spring Symphony tickets at a 20% discount using the Green Drinks promo code:  26950

Call Six Penn at 412.566.7366  (Dinner seating is limited to the first 100).  Six Penn Kitchen is at 146 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, right across the street from Heinz Hall.

This will be a night to remember as we open our 8th year of Green Drinks and 50 years of modern environmentalism in the United States.  Let's fill the place with our warmth, camaraderie and supportive advocacy so that we may never know a "Silent Spring".

What is Green Drinks? Every month, people who work in the environmental field or have in interest in a greener planet meet up for drinks at places all around the world at informal sessions known as Green Drinks. We have a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, government and business. Come along and you'll be made welcome. Just say, "are you green?" and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It's a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there's always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organizing network.
These events are simple and unstructured. Make friends, develop new ideas, do deals and forge a new organic future. It's a force for the good and we'd like to help its spreading to other cities. Green Drinks meets on the last Thursday of the month (except in November).  Put it in your calendar and count on it: Green Drinks is happening on the third Friday of every month -- check out the new calendar at the local GD web site, send questions or comments by email, or 

Feb 16: Marcellus Shale Citizen Organizer Training

This is just the beginning. 4,000 Marcellus Shale gas wells have already been drilled in Pennsylvania—but the industry is expecting to drill up to 50,000. We know that with more drilling we'll see even more poisoned streams, more destroyed forestland, and more asthma-inducing air pollution.
And now, ExxonMobil, Shell, Chesapeake Energy, and other drilling companies are teaming up with their Harrisburg allies to stop efforts to protect our health and environment. The industry is even going so far as to require townships to allow drilling near our homes, schools and hospitals. We can win this fight, but it's not going to be easy.
If we're going to protect Pennsylvania from drilling, we'll need more people to take action and meet with their legislators on a regular basis; educate friends and neighbors about the dangers of drilling; learn how to use local media outlets to focus on explosions and other dangers of drilling; get petitions signed and so much more. 
The truth is, whether you've been fighting gas drilling for years or new to the fight, we all need to continue coming together and learning new ways to protect our community, our health and our environment from drilling.  That's why I need you to join us at our Lawrence County Marcellus Shale Citizen Organizer Training on February 16.

Our plan is simple, but big. We need to train a thousand Pennsylvanians with the skills they need to protect their communities from gas drilling. Whether you're new to activism or been on the front lines of the Marcellus Shale, this training will help you take the fight to the next level.
You'll learn from our staff and other organizers in the area how to effectively engage with decision makers on these issues, generate massive media coverage in the media, and how to hold your elected officials accountable for their failure to tackle the Marcellus Shale gas drilling issue. And, you'll get to meet more people working on these issues so you can band together to protect your community.

6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center, 225 Villa Maria Road, Villa Maria, PA 16155

Feb 11: Frisbees for Food! in Schenley Park

Join GASP and PFDS to throw frisbees for a good cause.  OK, technically, they're not frisbees.  They're discs, and we're throwing them because we're supporting an event to raise money and food for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.  The Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society (PFDS) is holding the Ice Bowl 2012 to benefit the Food Bank, and it's happening this Saturday.  Come learn how to play disc golf at Schenley Park and join GASP staff for free coffee, donuts, and 18 holes of disc golf goodness.  People of all skill levels are welcome.

Don't know what this is ll about?  Mark from PFDS explains it all here.

Feb 11: Rally for Public Education

Organized by public school parents, students, teachers and concerned citizens in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region. This rally is a  really important way to show our positive support for public schools and to get media attention focused on the devastating budget cuts. It will be short (one hour), fun, and we will have postcards and a large banner to sign that will be going with the teens rallying in Harrisburg a few days later.
Here is what you can do to help:
  • Show up!
  • RSVP on our Facebook page or use the form on Yinzercation.
  • Spread the word to your friends, colleagues, and personal networks (this is the single most effective thing you can do). When sending email, attach the color version of the Rally Flyer.
  • Spread the word to others: sign up on our planning document to contact organizations and others you might know to make this a truly coordinated response.
  • Distribute copies of the Rally flyer to school groups, offices, or hang up around town. (If you can only print or copy in black and white, please use this grayscale version of the Rally flyer).
  • Make home-made signs or banners to bring to the Rally: focus on the state cuts and the impact on our schools.
  • To help make additional visuals for the Rally, please come to a sign party on Thursday, Feb. 9th at 7PM at Kathy Newman’s house (knewman4_at_gmail.com).

Feb 11: Winter Indoor Market

Longing for summer days when the farmers' markets were in full swing? Here is an opportunity to have a little bit of that now, in the middle of winter!

Drop in at Pittsburgh's first Winter Indoor Market, right in Forest Hills, and buy from local beekeepers, bread bakers, cheese makers...even some local artists.  Just like the summer markets, this an opportunity to go straight to the producer of your food, to support their passion for quality as you select great food for yourself and your family.  Primarily focusing on food, Winter Market products will include: Honey and bee products like salves and balms; a variety of breads and cheeses; a “Garden-in-a-Box,” teas, candles, with more being added as we go along.

2-5 p.m. at 220 Overdale Road, Forest Hills, 15221.  This is a community event, and all are welcome!

Feb 11: Peaceburgh Hammock Gathering

An exciting evening of live, local music and interactive Jams, as we continue building the Peaceburgh Hammock!  (The Hammock is a metaphor for the diverse connections between groups and individuals, which we are building across the many neighborhoods and social circles throughout our city, creating a supportive and nurturing framework for new projects)

This is an opportunity to meet fellow community members, enjoy live music, and get involved with making our city more sustainable, creative, connected, resilient, and wonderful.

The event is at The First United Methodist Church (5401 Centre Ave.) and will go from 7-11pm; the concert will begin at 7:30pm.

7:30pm ~ SpeakLIFE Storytellers 
8:00pm ~ Caroline Savery 
8:30pm ~ Phil Osophical
9:00pm ~ Interactive Group Jam ~ Anyone and everyone is invited to grab from a wide selection of provided instruments (drums, tambourines, shakers) as we co-create a collective music experience!  Please bring your own instruments as well!
9:30pm-11pm ~ This is the time to hang out and meet other Peaceburghers. There will be information provided and opportunities to get involved with local groups like Transition Pittsburgh, Evolver, and Peaceburgh.net. Also, CD’s from the musicians and some other local merchandise will be available.

Sliding-Scale Donation of $5-10. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Check out the Facebook event... and if you would like to be involved with this event in any way, or have any questions, please email Philopgh@gmail.com

Feb 8: “Consensus Organizing: Building Communities of Mutual Self-Interest”

The University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work 2012 Speaker Series presents, Michael Eichler, Executive Director, ConsensusOrganizing Center at San Diego State University.

Mike Eichler is a faculty member of the School of Social Work at San Diego State University and the Director of the ConsensusOrganizing Center. He has over 20 years of experience in community organizing and is the creator of the method of consensus organizing. He has worked with unemployed steelworkers, casino owners, welfare recipients, bankers, corporate executives and the homeless bringing them together around common self-interest. He began his organizing career in Pittsburgh where he helped a neighborhood battle the illegal practices of racial steering and blockbusting by joining forces with a for profit real estate firm. When hired by Pittsburgh executives to help address economic problems caused by the closing of the steel mills, he brought the unemployed and the business leaders together to begin revitalization of the region. He was asked by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to expand his work throughout the country and organized new grass roots efforts in such diverse cities as West Palm Beach FloridaNew Orleans LouisianaLas Vegas Nevada, and Houston Texas. He started his own national non-profit, the Consensus Organizing Institute which trained organizers in the consensus organizing method.

He has been recognized for his contributions by receiving the Mon Valley Initiative’s coveted John Heinz Award and has been selected by San Diego State students as Professor of the Year in 2001, 2004 and 2005.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm in the School of Social Work Conference Center at the University of Pittsburgh (2017 Cathedral of Learning in Oakland, 15213).  Lunch will be provided; registration is not required.  Questions? (412) 624-6304 / www.socialwork.pitt.edu