June 7: Sustainability Salon on Environmental Education (part II)

The 29th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon (see below if that's new to you) will take place on Saturday, June 7th (2-10 p.m).  The topic will be Environmental Education, the second of a two-parter.  And mark your calendar:  the 30th Sustainability Salon will be open-topic, and will take place on July 19th.  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come...  and read on for important information:  

Phipps Conservatory Science Education Specialist Melissa Harding is also the Southwestern PA Regional Director of the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators, and will share with us on both fronts.

    As more and more of life so often happens in front of a screen, there is a growing chasm between the world we live in and the natural world outside. This disconnect costs us all in our physical and mental health, as well as our overall well-being, and is especially high in our young people. Reconnecting our young people is an imperative that we all must strive towards if we want a new generation of naturalists, scientists and artists to take our place. Melissa will talk about how Phipps works to support this mission in its Science Education and Research programming.
Molly Steinwald will talk about using the visual arts for environmental education and science communication.  Molly is faculty at Project Dragonfly at Miami University, teaching graduate courses in ecology, community-based conservation, and inquiry learning, a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School-Environments, an Affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and an internationally-recognized photographer.  An ecologist, her doctoral and other work incorporates imagery to increase people's connection with nearby nature.

Joylette Portlock uses new media to approach the serious topic of climate education with a serious sense of humor.  She produces (and stars in) a series of web videos targeting a general audience with climate science, climate news, and both personal actions and advocacy suggestions that can help. "Don't Just Sit There, Do Something!" is a project of Communitopia, her new nonprofit.  Communitopia recently released its second music parody video, featuring cameos by your friendly neighborhood Salon hosts as well as our honorable Mayor and other local environmental luminaries.

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 interesting things around our place.  That'll mainly be happening between 2 & 4 p.m. (and perhaps after the talks, since evenings brighten as we move toward the summer solstice).  Plant sales are still going on, but I probably won't be set up for them during the salon proper -- too much going on.  But we can get together at other times... 

2-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 2pm.  We'll aim to introduce speakers beginning around 4pm after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.  With the earlier start time (tested during our recent Sunday salon, when we also ended early) we're going to try really hard to get the talks started in a timely manner while still having enough mingling-time!  Please email me 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.  

Note once again 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.  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;  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 environmental education (Part I)community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Living DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfood, 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 or dairy 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. 

No comments: