Jun 28: Clean & Green Energy Fair

The future of renewable energy is NOW!  Vendors, speakers, and activities to enable you to green your home and everyday life.  Extra fun with children's activities, an iPad raffle, and free solar snow cones

The location of the fair on the Beaver/Allegheny border will enable people from the neighboring communities in Allegheny County to be a part of this event.

This first-ever event is being sponsored by Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Committee (BCMAC) to raise awareness of the clean and green energy resources available to local communities.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Saint Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church, 624 Park Road, Ambridge, PA, 15003 (parking lot on Rt. 65).  For more information:  http://www.marcellusawareness.com


Jun 28: "Resistance" film screening

Worried about where your meat comes from? Worried about antibiotic resistant bacteria (commonly known as "superbugs")? Join Food and Water Watch for a screening of Resistance, a documentary tracing the creation of superbugs and what we can do to stop them.  

These superbugs will infect 2 million people in the USA just this year alone, and kill 23,000 of those people. 

We need to take action now! Come learn more about the FWW campaign, meet other interested folks, and enjoy a delicious lunch catered by Chipotle, who features antibiotic-free meat on every menu! 

1 p.m. at the Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill (5801 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217).  The event is free (including a Chipotle lunch!) but please RSVP online.

Jun 27: "Pandora's Promise" film screening

Pandora's Promise features a former EPA official advocating nuclear power as a clean energy solution.  The panel before the film will include representatives of organized labor, the Indiana coal industry, the East End Hellbenders, and environmental experts from IUP.

6:30 - 9:30 PM at the Indiana Theater, 637 Philadelphia St., Indiana, PA  15701  Doors open at 6:30 PM; panel begins at 7:00 PM; film starts at 7:30 PM.  Admission is a suggested donation of $5.  For more information: https://theindianacenter.wordpress.com/whats-new-at-the-center/

Jun 25: Farmageddon author discussion

Join author Philip Lymbery and local sustainability leader Patricia DeMarco in a discussion of his book Farmageddon:  The True Cost of Cheap Meat.  Come and share your ideas about restoring the land, family values, and stopping the chemical poisoning of our food.

Philip Lymbery is Chief Executive Officer of Compassion in World Farming and co-author of the book Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat. Read more about the book and view a trailer here.

7-9 p.m. at Carnegie Mellon University's Mellon Institute (4400 Fifth Ave; enter on Bellefield Ave.).  Free, but please RSVP to Patricia at demarcop6@gmail.com so we can prepare enough refreshments for everybody.

This event is brought to you by the Environmental Group of the Pittsburgh Section of the ACS , Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon UniversityCompassion in World Farming, and Women for a Healthy Environment

Jun 24: Corporations vs. Democracy potluck

Corporations vs. Democracy and Money in Politics...  Corporations vs. Democracy is an organization working to shrink the powers of corporations will discuss its current goal and strategies in coming potluck dinner.  Corporations control our legislators through campaign contributions  and revolving door promises which offer employment after leaving the government.  However, they do so at the cost of our environment like what happens with gas and oil drillers and campaign contributions, which often equal no taxes on fracking.  But we could stop this by amending the constitution.
Join TMC to hear the latest news and find out how you or your organizations can help! 

6 p.m. at the Thomas Merton Center, 5129 Penn Ave Pittsburgh PA 15224.  Please bring a potluck dish to share.

Jun 23: Knotweed dinner and demo event

Enjoy some creative, locally-sourced grub from Chef Chad Townsend from Salt of the Earth this Monday at Bar Marco as part of their No Menu Monday series.

This dinner is inspired by GTECH's Knots on Lots project, which experiments with finding a productive, beneficial use for the nuisance, invasive, ever-present plant,  Japanese Knotweed. 

It will be an evening of Knotweed - local fiber artist, Albert Pantone, will be demonstrating paper making techniques, GTECH will have knotweed biochar on display and some knotweed may make it into a dish or two. 

GTECH works to turn waste into assets for communities. Proceeds raised from the evening's sales will go towards funding innovative vacant land projects in Pittsburgh neighborhoods. 

5-11 p.m. at Bar Marco (2216 Penn Ave, 15222).  For reservations for the evening's event, please contact Bar Marco at 412.471.1900.

Jun 22: Summer Solstice Sessions at Legume

Legume Bistro chef/owner Trevett Hooper believes that people who hold useful knowledge should share it.  We should not be end-users. Methods of preparing foods belong to everyone, and these methods should be shared by people who understand them.  The food system as it is right now depends on passivity; it depends on us not being able--or not wanting--to prepare food for ourselves; it depends on us trading our due cultural inheritance--the life skills of self-sufficency learned over long periods of time and history passed down through generations--for convenience. Cooking, growing and preserving foods are something that the vast majority of people knew how to do not too long ago.  Re-learning and sharing these skills with others is one of the most important things we can do.

The Summer Solstice Sessions are about sharing knowledge. They're about exploring and sharing things that compel us to prepare food for ourselves and our community.  Legume is honored to be hosting four very thoughtful guest speakers who will be sharing what they know about this.  These speakers were chosen because they do work that in some way encourages participation in one’s own culinary destiny here in Pittsburgh.  Jake Seltman, Director of Educational Programming for Grow Pittsburgh, will talk about starting a garden in the middle of the growing season (it’s not too late!).  Leah Lizarondo from Brazen Kitchen will discuss strategies of working through one’s CSA box.  Local food and drinks writer Hal B. Klein will discuss ways to engage in contemporary urban permaculture and give people the scoop on who’s doing it in Pittsburgh.  Slow Foods Pittsburgh co-founder and food writer Virginia Phillips will be discussing making vinegar at home, and will generously share some of her own homemade vinegar.  Last but not least, they’ve invited local environmental educator and activist (and MarensList's own) Maren Cooke to speak about ideas about growing and foraging food in the city, important issues for activism, and where to learn more.

From Team 'Gume, current Legume bread baker and floor manager Neil Blazin will be teaching a workshop on sourdough bread.  Butcher Tyler Mossman will be breaking down a side of beef to help de-mystify the various cuts of this large animal, and Butterjoint manager Will Groves will be highlighting local breweries and spirits producers through pairings of local shots with local beers. Trevett will be doing a workshop on easy-to-make wild-fermented meads and country wines.  We’ll start a batch of mead, study one in progress, and taste several batches of house-made alcoholic beverages we’ve been making over the past couple of years—some good, some awful, and all intriguing.

The main event of the day will be the party, which includes a buffet, live music by Arlo Aldo, and dessert.  Tickets for the workshop and the dinner may be purchased separately.  You do not need to attend the workshop to attend the party.  Doors open at 4pm for social hour.  The buffet will begin at 5pm.  After dinner there will be popsicle and ice cream stations by Healcrest Urban Farm and Family Farms Creamery.  The cost for the party is $20 and includes all food.  Drinks may be purchased next door at Butterjoint. 

Jun 21: Allegheny SolarFest

Join SUNWPA, The Sierra Club, and The Borough of Millvale for a celebration of summer and solar energy in Western PA.  There will be educational workshops, live music, live music, solar education, yoga sessions, a rock climbing wall, food trucks, facepainting, and other fun activities for young and old, including test drives in electric cars and bikes!  The entire event will be solar powered! Consider biking to the event, as it is located on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.

Attendance is free, but please register at the EventBrite page or on Facebook.  

Jun 19: Green Drinks with the Pgh Climate Initiative

The Pittsburgh Climate Initiative (PCI) is a collaborative of multiple partner organizations created in 2008 to guide the implementation of The Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan to reduce local greenhouse gases to 20% below 2003 emissions by 2023.

PCI Partners will be on hand to talk about the recently released progress report of the plan, as well as sector-specific emissions reductions activities, like the Green Workplace Challenge, the 2030 District, and local government sustainability initiatives.  

5:30-8 at Uptown, Pittsburgh's Ultimate Rooftop Lounge (unless you count my rooftop garden/farm/apiary/power generating station), 1014 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh 15219.  Free and open to the public;  complimentary appetizers and drink specials provided by Uptown.

Green Drinks Pittsburgh is a sustainability network platform to inspire new ideas and awareness, find out what is happening in Pittsburgh, meet up with friends you haven't seen for a while and make new ones too!  Email Green Drinks with any questions or comments, or find GD on the web.

Jun 14: Rhubarb Social

Join the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange to celebrate the beginning of the growing season (wait a minute, I've been harvesting for months!) with Marisa McClellan, author of the wonderful Food in Jars blog and cookbook and Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces.

There will be live music from the May Day Marching Band and DJ Chris Flyer, free food and drink from Wigle Whiskey and Marty's Market, treats from our friends at Legume, canning demonstrations, canning cookbooks for sale and canning-related merch. And more!

Proceeds from the Rhubarb Social will help the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange achieve the goal of providing low-priced canning workshops that make use of local organic produce.  Join PCE to celebrate the return of summer! 

7-10 p.m. at Marty's Market in the Strip.  Tickets are $15 via Eventbrite or $20 at the door. 

Jun 13: Nuclear power film & discussion

Pandora's Promise:  Is nuclear power the key to solving the problem of catastrophic climate change?  This controversial film makes the most compelling argument to date that energy from the atom is the most viable way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and in turn, save the planet.

Elnora Balserwho works in the nuclear energy industry, will present the film and then lead a discussion of the issues.

Pandora’s Promise” is essential viewing because it challenges people...to examine their own fears or predispositions." --Andrew Revkin, The New York Times

6:30 (food & socializing), 7 p.m. (screening and discussion) at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room (477 Melwood Ave.  15213).  Click here for complete program information.

Through June 13: Weigh in on transit

Have your say on transit

Transit riders and local citizens are invited to share their vision for the future of public transportation in our region by visiting Port Authority’s new community engagement website at http://paac.mindmixer.com. The site presents a variety of questions on topics including capital projects, barriers to transit use, and accessibility for seniors and riders with disabilities. Participants can share their thoughts or weigh in on ideas submitted by others.

The site will be active through June 13 at a minimum. As a supporter of the recent transportation law that is providing much-needed funding to maintain Port Authority service, Rep. Dan Frankel hopes you will use the new website to make your voice heard.

Jun 11: Three Rivers Timebank initial meeting

  • Timebanks are a way of sharing skills, meeting needs, and meeting new people without the need for currency transactions. They’re a part of many Transition initiatives, and now there’s one in Pgh, run by Holly Eve. The initial meeting will introduce members, give you a chance to ask questions, and help you get started!   
  • 5:30-7:30 at CafĂ© Rachel, on Woodland Road at Chatham University.

Jun 11: Land Art Generator Initiative lecture

Pittsburghers Robert Ferry & Elizabeth Monoian are the founding directors of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), which gathers ideas that seek to create substantive models for change by addressing renewable energy infrastructure within the genre of public art. The goal of LAGI is to design and construct a series of large-scale site-specific installations that uniquely combine art with utility-scale clean energy generation. The artworks utilize the latest in renewable energy science as media for their construction, and help to innovate the application of new technologies. Each land art generator sculpture has the potential to provide power to hundreds or even thousands of homes, while fulfilling its traditional role—public art as conceptually engaging amenity to our common space.

Elizabeth and Robert will discuss the LAGI competitions held for Dubai/Abu Dhabi, New York City, and Copenhagen and the portfolio of ideas that have come from the project. But we will begin the talk by providing a context for LAGI within the history of art and architecture, eco art, sustainable urban planning, and the net positive movement. 

7 p.m. in the conference room of the Ann Jones Gerace Center—formerly the CCI Center (on the South Side at 64 S. 14th Street, Pittsburgh PA 15203).  Free and open to the public.

Jun 8: Plant sales

Putting Down Roots plant sales:
Spring is still springy, and it looks like the weather will be lovely again this weekend! I'll be available here once again, set up for sales from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday (Saturday we'll be busy with the Sustainability Salon). I have grown lots of tomatoes (over 40 varieties), brassicas, cucurbits, herbs, and flowers from seed this winter and spring, and will also have transplants of various perennials from ferns to sweet woodruff as well as black raspberries, strawberries, many members of the mint family, and a wonderfully productive native food-and-flower plant, the jerusalem artichoke. Also bagged worm castings (from local worm-whisperer Matt), floating row cover if you need a moderate quantity (I buy it by the roll), and CobraHead gardening tools, perfect for ground ivy and many other plants-in-the-wrong-place (often referred to as "weeds"). If you'd like to come over, it would be great if you can let me know (RSVP here, and/or email with "plants" in the Subject line and more info about your planned time). Than I can send you directions and other info. Other times are also possible; just contact me and we can set up a meet!  BTW, just as with Sustainability Salons, I need your email address to send some additional information (different from Salons)... so if you haven't received email from me recently, please send your address to me (maren dot cooke at gmail dot com).

Jun 8: Chicks In The Hood

The 4th annual Urban Chicken Coop Tour!

9 a.m. - 3 p.m.  Tickets $10 (kids free);  proceeds will benefit the Animal Rescue League.  For more information, email Jody.

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. 

Jun 7: Rock Concert for Social Justice

Mike Stout and the Human Union will perform a politically-charged show drawing attention to issues including health care and the single-payer movement.  They'll debut the new anthem "Health Care is a Human Right."

8:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church (605 Morewood Ave. 15213).  $15, with proceeds to Health Care 4 All PA (a nonprofit devoted to achieving a single-payer health care system in PA).  For advance reservations or more information, contact Mike Stout by email or call 412-461-5650.
"In the Woody Guthrie tradition, his songs reflect contemporary issues without resorting to journalism. They're more like partisan op-ed columns that grab political opponents by the throat and don't let go." - John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Jun 6-7: BioBlitz in Emerald View Park

At the BioBlitz, scientists and citizen scientist volunteers will conduct an inventory of plants and animals living in Emerald View Park. The public is invited to attend the BioBlitz, where you will interact with scientists, learn about nature, and participate in fun activities for all ages.

Day 1:  Friday, June 6
  • Owl Calling Hike
    7-9 pm
Day 2:  Saturday, June 7
  • Early Morning Bird Count
    6-10 am
  • BioBlitz Main Event: Plant & animal inventory, nature games, crafts, hikes
Emerald View Park – Olympia Park Entrance
Virginia Ave. & Hallock Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15211
Contact: kathryn@mwcdc.org or 412-481-3220 x200

Become a Citizen Scientist!
Sign up to be help scientists identify plants and animals during the BioBlitz–no experience necessary
Click here to sign up online
Click here to access a full volunteer description and the sign up sheet as a .pdf file

WPC Logo
In association with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Jun 1: Towboat tour

On Sunday June 1st, you can take the opportunity to tour an AEP River Operations Towboat!  The M/V Chuck Zebula will be docked at the Gateway Clipper Fleet and open for free tours all day!
For more information,  check out these links www.riverworksdiscovery.org,

https://www.facebook.com/riveroutreach  or contact Errin Howard (513-403-9312).