Join us for the Sylvanian Sustainability Salon, the fourth in our ongoing series of monthly enviro-conversational gatherings with potluck food and homemade music. Following our rousing discussions on solar power and food, and wide-ranging topics prior to Earth Day, this month we'll be all about trees. Protecting old-growth forest and wildlands from drilling and other development, planting and tending urban street trees and city parks, understanding ecosystem services including watershed benefits, monitoring tree health, creating edible forest gardens, forests as Commons. We'll talk about the upcoming Heartwood Forest Council, held in western Pennsylvania this year. The Salon will be on May 20th (3 p.m. 'till 10 or so, including a potluck supper and a mostly-musical evening), the weekend right before the Heartwood gathering, and we'll hear from Matt Peters about that event and about forming a local chapter of Forest Watch to keep tabs on drilling permits and the places they affect, and a Plant Rescue program to transplant specimens from about-to-be-disturbed sites to safer places (like city parks). Jake Milofsky of TreePittsburgh will talk about our local Tree Tenders program, where a growing corps of volunteers helps plant and care for Pittsburgh street trees after completing a brief training program. And Erin Copeland of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will be here to talk about the Urban Ecosteward program and other PPC initiatives.
3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill. Please email me to RSVP (important, even if you know right where we live, or are a maybe, please do so each time -- it helps greatly in several ways) and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em. Be sure to include "salon" in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day. Bring food or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play. Check back here for event updates.
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. 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, 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.
Regular, that's the plan. 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.