Jul 27: Tree Tender course

Become a Tree Tender!  Join over 1,200 Pittsburghers greening the City one tree at a time! Tree Tenders take an eight-hour course and learn about urban forestry practices, tree biology and health, proper planting, pruning and maintenance and lead their communities in organizing tree plantings and tree care. 

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Brentwood Library (3501 Brownsville Road, Brentwood),  To register for this eventclick here.

Jul 27: Fossil-free Energy Fair in Butler

Energizing for a Sustainable Future:  Marcellus Outreach Butler is hosting a fossil-free Energy Fair where you can learn more about renewable energy through speakers, vendors, music, and entertainment.  Featured speakers include Patricia DeMarco (former director of the Rachel Carson Institute), Stephen Cleghorn (organic dairyman), Marcia Lehman (Essential Electric), Paul Scanlon (Slippery Rock University), and John Golden (also of SRU).

Noon to 5pm at Alameda Park's Carousel Shelter.   For more information, contact awlarsen98@yahoo.com or diarnald@consolidated.net.


Jul 21: Squirrel Hill Neighborhood Energy Blitz

The Black And Gold City Goes Green

ReEnergize Pgh and the Black and Gold City Goes Green are blitzing Squirrel Hill! With help from Duquesne Light's Watt Choices Program, Squirrel Hill neighbors and volunteers are hitting the streets, going door-to-door to give out tools that save money and energy. 

1-5pm; meet and pick up materials at the Squirrel Hill Library.  To volunteer, email Ellie Gordon at reenergize.squirrelhill@gmail.com or at 412-969-4692.  Note that some early publicity indicated the 20th;  the date has indeed shifted to the 21st.

Jul 13: 4th River Free Skool Teach-in

4th River Free Skool Teach In
2-9 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in East Liberty

  • This is a fundraising event! We are currently raising funds for the reconstruction of the Free Skoolhouse in Soho.

    We will have the customary community potluck at this event, please bring a dish to share :) Veg, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Meat all appreciated! Please label!

    For fundraising purposes, desserts will be donation-based, BAKERS WANTED!

    Please consider volunteering at this event! An hour here or there is greatly appreciated! Please let us know how and what time you can help out:
    - Kitchen
    - Greeter
    - Escorts
    - Set Up/Clean Up
    - Photo/Video
    - Bake Sale
    - Free Skool Table
    - Kids Activities/Education


    ~ Meet and greet :)

    ~ Herbalism with Michelle

    ~ Basic Bike Maintenance/Repair with D'aubin

    ~ The Consumer/Survivor/Ex-patient Movement in Mental Health - Past and Present with Jen P
    A critical look at the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement of the past century. What is it? How has it shaped our experiences today? What is meant by ╩║recovery╩║ in mental health? Is this a useful concept? Hybrid talk and discussion at the end. * The talk aims to promote self determination and a sense of community, not patronizing attitudes about others' choices!

    ~ Hula Hooping with Faith Hersey
    Hula hooping as meditation, exercise, and dance. For kids of all ages!

    ~ Co-ops 101 with Caroline Savery
    What are co-ops? How do they work? This workshop explores everything you might wonder about cooperatives including history, philosophy, defining principles, structural breakdown, and points on finances, law, taxes, plus steps to starting a co-op, and much more!

    ~ Political Engagement with Aerion Abney
    Understanding the impacts and influences of politics. The purpose of this class is to expose students to a stronger understanding of the role politics/government plays in day-today life activities. Students will learn the importance of government in relation to community development and how to engage public officials offices for services.

    ~ Yoga with Derek Martin
    Yoga is the language of breath and movement. In a basic power vinyasa class, students learn the Ujjayi breathing technique and how to use it in the varying parts of a yoga practice. A power practice can be challenging and taking rest when your body calls for it is of utmost importance. In breath, movement, and rest we all participate in the process of self-discovery; getting to know our limits and furthering them at our own comfort level with full awareness of mind, body and breath.

    ~ Urban Foraging with Liz Lynch
    You can eat that?! Discover how to go about finding the tasty treats that grow all around us. We will cover urban foraging basics (rules and considerations), sample a few common 'wildables', and take a walk outside to see what we can find.

    ~ Kid-friendly Martial Arts with Self Cyphadeen

    ~ Sovereign Travels with Byngi
    How to build your own vehicle so that you do not have to rely on the system for transportation, and you can avoid the high price of insurance, registration, licensing and inspection.

    ~ Rewiring Flinch Reflexes with Taia Xeper
    Essential preparation for the unfortunate event of unexpectedly being attacked -- Learn to 'break the wave' and flinch into strategically advantageous positions.

    ~ Living With Essential Oils Workshop with Lisa Lerose
    Learn how essential oils heal, and how to use essential oils in your life and your work. Discover essential oil properties that will soothe the senses, invigorate the body, and promote physical well-being.

    ~ Veganism with Judah KMT
    9-year-old Judah will talk about living a vegan lifestyle.

    ~ Entrepreneurship - Intro to Creating Small Businesses with Justin Thakar
    Capitalism doesn't have to be lazy and destructive: it can, in fact, be more profitable by pursuing social and environmental issues, through materials efficiency, industrial redesign, green chemistry, bio-mimicry, urban redesign, and more (permaculture!). Using specific case studies from Pitt Business and Marketing curriculum, we'll discuss how beginner entrepreneurs, with or without technical skill, can participate in this, and then go into an introduction of the tools for the job. Facilitated by an undergraduate Pitt Business Junior, not an entrepreneurship expert nor a university rep.

    ~ Freedom Theory with Bird
    Historical and current theories and expressions of freedom.

    ~ Basic Bike Maintenance/Repair Clinic with Alicia
    Basic bicycle repair clinice. Instruction and tools provided to understand and perform basic repairs: brake adjustment, change flat tires and tubes, clean and lube chain. Bring your own bike. You do the work!

    ~ Spanish Pronunciation with Adam Frankel
    Introduction to the Spanish alphabet and vocabulary for kids!

    ~ Food Forests - What, Why, and How? with Isaac Hill
    A discussion on the reasons for food forests and how to design them.

    ~ Intro to Astrology and Jungian Psychology with Alex Baker
    Getting to know astrological time-telling; we will begin to discuss and understand the four elements, three modes, twelve signs and their correspondences to the human psyche.

    ~ What Is Policing? with Tom Talks
    This workshop will be centered around a conceptual discussion of the material dynamics of policing and its fundamental connection to the concept of governance.

    ~ Basic Bike Maintenance/Repair Clinic with Alicia (con't)
    Basic bicycle repair clinice. Instruction and tools provided to understand and perform basic repairs: brake adjustment, change flat tires and tubes, clean and lube chain. Bring your own bike. You do the work!

    ~ Music and Minglin!

Jul 9: Repair America Roundtable

The BlueGreen Alliance, a collaboration between labor unions and environmental organizations, is hosting a roundtable discussion on how to create quality jobs, safeguard our communities; and make America stronger, safer and healthier by responding to the threat of climate change and making much-needed investments in our infrastructure.  Panelists will include:
Leo W. Gerard, International President, United SteelworkersDavid Foster, Executive Director, BlueGreen AllianceThe Honorable Rich Fitzgerald, Chief Executive, Allegheny CountyJames Kunz, Business Manager, IUOE Local 66Jan Lauer, Director, 3 Rivers Clean EnergyJack Shea, President, Allegheny County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIOSylvia Wilson, Treasurer, Allegheny County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
2 p.m. at United Steelworkers Headquarters, Five Gateway Center (60 Boulevard of the Allies), Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  Register online here

Jul 6: Sustainability Salon on Marcellus

The 18th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon (see below if that's new to you) will take place on Saturday, July 6th.  The topic will be Marcellus Shale drilling -- how it's being done, the Community Rights movement and other grassroots organizing efforts that hope to prevent a lot of it, and a collaborative which you may have heard or read about lately, the "Center for Sustainable Shale Development," which seeks to create standards for best practices in the industry, so that the drilling that does take place will be less harmful than it might otherwise be.
We'll start out with "Shale Gas 101" to fill us in on the basics;   fractivist and artist Briget Shields will talk about the local activist response and future screening opportunities for GASLAND II;  former Pittsburgh City Council member Doug Shields will discuss the Community Rights movement and the local drilling ban that paved the way for many other such bans around the country;  and GASP Legal Director (and enviro rep in the collaborative) Joe Osborne will give us an insider's view of the CSSD.   In between these presentations we'll have lots of lively discussion, as always.  Please don't forget to rsvp, if you might be coming!

And if you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden as well as the many other interesting things around our place, from the shiitake logs to the seedling nursery.  That'll mainly be happening between 3 & 4 p.m.

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3pm; we plan on introducing 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.  For your calendar, the next salon will be on August 10, a relaxed summertime gathering, and after that the 20th Sustainability Salon will be on September 14th, with all the latest developments in Community Solar.

Note that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by Sunday morning if not before.  One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit (assistance would be welcome), 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 basically a house party with an environmental theme -- usually with featured speakers on a particular topic -- accompanied by stimulating conversation, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.

Past topics have included green 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. 

Jul 2: CeaseFirePA discussion

CeaseFirePA, the NorthShore Community Alliance (NCA), the Thomas Merton Center, the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP)/Coalition Against Violence (CAV), Alliance for Police Accountability, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and the NorthSide Initiative to Preserve Community Excellence (N.I.P.C.E.) present:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 6:30pm - 8:00pm at
Northshore Community Alliance Limbach Community Center
816 Tripoli St, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212
Please join CeaseFirePA as we present, discuss and act upon community-based legislative strategies to end gun violence, as well as discuss what we can do to fight threats to our community from our state and national legislatures.

Rob Conroy and Shanon Williams of CeaseFirePA will lead a solution-based discussion designed to tangibly promote the passage of common-sense gun legislation.

WE SEEK an end to gun violence and an end to the trafficking of illegal firearms-
-a plague that is ravaging our communities, including the North Side.

WE INVITE all area residents, community leaders (both faith and secular), activists and students to actively participate in the meeting and work together as a community to forge a safer environment for all generations.