LOWER TRAIL: invasives workparties

Greg Williams is taking advantage of the mild weather to get some invasives work done in Blair and Centre Counties.  Contact Greg to let him know you’re coming, and make sure you have his cell number (215-242-0854) to make it easier to find him when you get there.

Dress to get dirty and stay dry.  Greg has tools and gloves to share, but the more the merrier at a work party!

Sunday, January 6th 12:30-2:30, and Sunday June 13th 12:30 – 2:30
along the Lower Trail as it goes downriver – cutting back ailanthus, Norway Maple, bush honeysuckle and privet to make room for native plants.
We’ll meet at the Lower Trail parking lot at 1st and Liberty in Williamsburg and work our way downriver doing the same thing.

LOWER TRAIL invasives workparties

Greg Williams is taking advantage of the mild weather to get some invasives work done in Blair and Centre Counties.  Contact Greg to let him know you’re coming, and make sure you have his cell number to make it easier to find him when you get there.

Dress to get dirty and stay dry.  Greg has tools and gloves to share, but the more the merrier at a work party!

Saturday, January 5th 12:30-2:00
along the Lower Trail as it goes downriver – cutting back ailanthus, Norway Maple, bush honeysuckle and privet to make room for native plants. We’ll start at the playground at Riverside Dr. and High St. southwest of the bridge at 12:30 and work our way downstream until 2:30 p.m.  The photo shows what the playground looked like when the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River overflowed its banks last fall.

Sunday, January 6th 12:30-2:30, and Sunday June 13th 12:30 – 2:30
We’ll meet at the Lower Trail parking lot at 1st and Liberty in Williamsburg
and work our way downriver doing the same thing.

Work, Eat, Pray

Several locations benefit from regular Habitat Restoration care by dedicated groups of willing hands — most led by PA IPL Board President Greg Williams.  Look for “work party” offerings on our Events Calendar, or email to get on Greg’s lists (he turns out events faster than the deskbound can keep up during the growing season!) — or to learn from him about how to organize something like this in your community, or near your house of worship.  

Recently three Episcopal Churches in Blair and Huntingdon counties joined together to create a workparty to remove invasive plants and encourage resilient natives along a nearby rail trail, — and to also shared meal, and share an evening prayer service.  We got a great report from Greg, and learned that one participant referred to the event in her next-Sunday sermon.  Enjoy the report, below!  

Members of St. Luke’s, Altoona,  Holy Trinity, Hollidaysburg,  and St. John’s, Huntingdon,  all Episcopal Churches from Blair and Huntingdon counties met on Thursday August 16, from 4-7:30 p.m.,  with several goals in mind:

  • To give these parishes a chance to work together and better get to know each other,
  • To make a public statement that the Episcopal Church cares about climate change and our churches are making a long term commitment to do something about it,
  • To WORK for a couple hours removing  non-native invasive plants from the Mt. Etna station area on the Lower Trail with the goal of returning next Spring and planting native plants that will better support insects, the base of a healthy ecosystem. This healthier ecosystem protects the river, feeds toads (like this one who showed up to encourage us), cleans our air, and takes carbon from our atmosphere thus nudging us away from global warming,
  • To EAT, (as is appropriate at any church event) a delicious potluck picnic, chat, and build community,
  • To PRAY Evening Prayer, at dusk, as the storm clouds which had been building but not raining on our event, called an end to the event.

We had 11 joyous participants ranging from 7 to 70 who rode bikes, clipped privet from the safety of the trail, waded in behind the stinging nettle to open up new areas for planting native trees next Spring, or scooped up the clippings and laid them back in the forest to decompose and feed the soil.

There was talk that we may do it again, as early as October, perhaps with the addition of a VIP! Stay tuned for details. For more information, to sign up your faith community for a similar work party, or to get on our mailing list for future events, contact  Greg Williams, organizer of the event and member of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light.

Philadelphia Water Department working with houses of worship

This blog post features a recent project and grants initiative from the Philadelphia Water Department, but stormwater is an issue across the state, particularly as rainfall events become more intense.  Many of our cities have combined sewer outflow.  Torrential rain events lead to boil water advisories in Pittsburgh many times each year, and they also have green infrastructure plans.  Ask your local water department about stormwater abatement, click through to some how-tos below, and check out this LWV newsletter about several projects, including at member congregation Grace Lutheran Church in State College.  Document your changes so you can tell the story in your congregation, share it with us, and even submit it to the national IPL Cool Congregations Challenge (for activity completed in one calendar year), or get certified through the National Wildlife Federation under their Sacred Grounds certification program. 

As the world gets warmer, cities will increasingly suffer from extreme heat events. The hard construction materials used to build cities soak up heat, causing an “urban heat-island effect.” Building new green spaces is one of the best ways to fight the worsening heat in cities.

The Philadelphia Water Department’s Green City, Clean Waters plan is a 25-year effort to manage stormwater in the city by building new green “tools” around the city. These tools include specially engineered trees, rain gardens, and planters. While the first priority of Green City, Clean Waters is to manage stormwater, new urban green spaces have a heat-reduction effect. Keep reading to learn about a church Continue reading Philadelphia Water Department working with houses of worship