Category Archives: Environment

Investing in the environment has paid off for Chester County

By Steven Hoffman, Chester County Press, 5/07/2019

Last week, Chester County officials and the region’s leading land conservation and economic development partners unveiled a new study on the economic benefits of the county’s efforts to preserve open space.

The study, “Return on Environment: The Economic Value of Protected Open Space in Chester County,” coincides with the 30th anniversary of the county’s open-space preservation efforts. In November of 1989, Chester County voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot referendum that allocated resources for open space preservation. The funding has continued ever since. When Chester County launched its open space preservation program in 1989, it was the first county in the region to formally set aside funds for an open space preservation program based on the economic, environmental, and public health benefits that open space preservation provides.

Back in late 1980s, the county was experiencing strong commercial and residential growth, prompting fears of suburban sprawl, and all the societal issues that come with it. Since that time, county officials, as well as land conservation groups throughout the area, have consistently supported preservation efforts. The study outlined what the 30 years of commitment has produced, and the results are impressive…

read more at Chester County Press

Plan to build housing on contaminated Bishop Tube site in Chester County faces major setback

by Frank Kummer, philly.com, April 29, 2019

Plan to build housing on contaminated Bishop Tube site in Chester County faces major setback

A Pennsylvania environmental board has essentially scrapped two state actions that would have paved the way for developer Brian O’Neill to build housing on a contaminated Chester County site.

The ruling on Friday appears to be a major setback for Constitution Drive Partners, a limited partnership involving O’Neill. The company wants to build housing at the defunct Bishop Tube site, contaminated by a variety of hazardous compounds.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board concluded that amendments to an agreement with the developer stretching back to 2007 and 2010 not only are “arbitrary and capricious, ” but also “are void.”

“This is yet another environmental David and Goliath story,” said Maya van Rossum, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network….

read more at philly.com

Earth Year

The patient bee
comes to the blueberry
bush in bloom.
They haven’t heard
the bad news,
climate and storms.
Nor have the ferns,
the squirrels, the spruces.
One species
among the endangered
knows all about it,
knows it and doesn’t.

Outdoors for All

By Richard Louv, Sierra magazine, Apr 25 2019 [Louv is the author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder]

A nascent global movement proclaims that access to nature is a human right

A FEW YEARS AGO, pediatrician and clinical scientist Nooshin Razani treated a four-year-old girl whose family had recently fled Yemen and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. The family had received news the night before that members of the father’s family had been killed in a bombing back home. The child was suffering from anxiety. “I was thinking, ‘I have nothing to give to this little girl. What can I give her?'” Razani says. The typical medical response would be to offer the girl some counseling and, if necessary, medication. Razani decided the patient needed an additional, broader prescription. She asked the girl and her parents if they would like to go to the park with her. “The expression on that child’s face, the yearning for a piece of childhood, was deeply moving,” the doctor recalls.

Razani is the founder of the Center for Nature and Health, which conducts research on the connection between time in nature and health and is the nation’s first nature-based clinic associated with a major health provider, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California. The clinic collaborates with the East Bay Regional Park District to offer a program called Stay Healthy in Nature Everyday. Participating physicians share local park maps with their patients and offer family nature outings–70 of them so far. Often, the physicians will join the outings. Burned-out doctors need these experiences too, Razani says….

read more at Sierra

Pete Seeger 100th Anniversary Concert

Benefits West Chester Green Team, a member of CCEA

Friday, May 3,7:30 – 9:30pm
501 S. High St, West Chester, PA 19328

Pete Seeger 100th Anniversary Concert Pete Seeger – the iconic folksinger, activist, songwriter, and organizer – was born on May 3, 1919. Come celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pete’s birth with folk musicians Two of a Kind, Dan Schatz, and Doug Morris, plus special guests. The concert, held at the Unitarian Congregation of West Chester, will benefit the congregation and the new West Chester Green Team, which supports environmental initiatives in greater West Chester. Suggested donation is $20 – more if you can, less if you can’t, and no one turned away.