West Chester Area Transition
Current Status: Active
Year Founded: 2019
Summary of Activities: Earth Day Events: We collaborated with a West Chester University communications class taught by Green Team Board Member Professor Megan Schradley. We did a chalk walk along our High Street with six churches and all of the mayoral candidates participating. The Mayor and his wife unveiled our 2021 Transition-inspired sign. All the classes at West Chester Friends School were visited and joined in by State Representative Dianne Herrin, an event covered with a photo in our local newspaper. We had well over 100 people participating and plan to continue it next year. Community Gardens: three locations, 16 plots, three site administrators. 12 spots filled solar. Teaching gardening skills. Providing children's activities, an outdoor concert, and growing herbs for the dining hall of an elder's home. Living Landscapes: transitioning front lawns to a pollinator gardens. Sustainable Storefronts: working through a communications class at West Chester University. 25 students contacting local businesses about plastic reduction.
Summary of Accomplishments: Created a Green Team with four entities: 1. Don't Spray Me! 2. Plastic-Free, Please 3. Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection 4. a Sierra Club sub-committee. Established a 30+ member environmental alliance that meets quarterly and has been instrumental in establishing a countywide environmental advisory committee and specifying goals. Work through the West Chester Borough Sustainability Advisory Committee to propose a plastic bag and straw ban to the Council. It was passed and then preempted by the state of Pennsylvania. Now, Philadelphia and three municipalities including West Chester are suing the state for its use of preemption to block environmental initiatives. Worked with the past three Mayors of West Chester to limit the use of pesticides in the borough. The Borough Council passed a ban on spraying in 20218, which was again preempted by the state. In 2019, we found a 1949 pesticide notification law that has applied to public schools. We worked through the Sustainability Advisory Committee and took a regulation to the Borough Council extending notification requirements to private schools and day-cares.