Lend a Hand at the Plymouth Creek Restoration Project — and Help the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers along the way

The Plymouth Creek restoration project is an excellent example of cooperation in action and demonstrates how applying stormwater best management practices (BMPs) can have a positive downstream effect. In case you haven’t seen it, check out our video on the project’s first phase, which took place in Fall 2007.


Plymouth Creek Restoration Project from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

If you want to see how the restoration effort is holding up, what better way than visiting the site and getting involved. Here’s your chance:

Plymouth Creek Restoration Project Workday
Friday, September 10th & Saturday, September 11th, 2010
9:00 am – 2:00 pm

You are invited to join the Montgomery County Conservation District and partners in an effort to stabilize the stormwater BMPs, perform invasive species control, and provide general maintenance at the Plymouth Creek restoration project.

The site is located below the Cracker Barrel at 2095 Gallagher Road in the Metroplex Shopping Center in Plymouth Meeting.

Please dress appropriately and bring gloves. Some heavy lifting involved.

Please RSVP here>> by September 8th if you are planning to attend.

Uncommon Heroes: Your Choice of Fair Trade Can Change the World

It’s hard to acknowledge that despite our current “economic hardships”, here in the U.S. we enjoy a standard of living that’s unheard of tin the rest of the world. How’s this for a bit of perspective:

Worldwide, more than 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day!


We’re all increasingly concerned with what our products contain and how they’re made because of the potential impacts on our own health and the health of the environment, but how often do we make the connection to the farmers, laborers, and factory workers involved in the production process in other parts of the world?

Understanding and supporting the Fair Trade movement is a very real and tangible way to ensure that when we spend our hard earned dollars, we are truly getting the most “bang for the buck”. This short film from the Skoll Foundation offers a great introduction to Fair Trade, and highlights Paul Rice, founder and CEO of Trans Fair USA.

For more information about Fair Trade, check out Trans Fair’s FAQ>>

And look into some of these other sources of Fairly Traded Goods:

  • A Greater Gift – a program of SERRV International, one of the first alternative trade organizations in the world and a founding member of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT).
  • Bead for Life – Ugandan women craft beautiful beads out of colorful recycled paper, “eradicating poverty one bead at a time.”
  • Fair Trade Federation – a membership association of retailers and importers committed to fair trade principles.
  • Fair Trade Sports – the first sports equipment company in the US. offering fairly traded soccer balls, sports apparel and more.
  • Global Exchange Online Store - shop online with Global Exchange, knowing the products you buy are entirely sweatshop free.
  • Mercado Global – a non-profit fair trade organization that links rural and economically-disadvantaged cooperatives to the U.S. market.
  • Pachamama, World of Artisans – Pachamama works to increase consumer awareness, build equitable producer relationships and bring beautiful fair trade products to the public.
  • Ten Thousand Villages – one of the world’s oldest and largest fair trade organizations, offering jewelry, home décor and gifts.
  • World of Good – Berkeley-based World of Good offers ethically sourced gifts, housewares and accessories.


DID YOU KNOW used sneakers can be donated to community organizations or recycled into sports surfaces that are used all over the world?

Most of us feel that 300 miles per pair is the limit for runners, which means that millions of pairs of sneakers get tossed every year, instead of being reworn or ground down for reuse.


Soles4Souls

Soles4Souls is an amazing organization that collects shoes and distributes them free of charge to people in need — and their ever-growing number of events and drop off locations makes it easy to donate.

Check them out>>

Another option is Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program, which collects old, worn-out athletic shoes for recycling. It transforms sneaks into Nike Grind, a material used in creating athletic and playground surfaces as well as select Nike products.

Learn about NIKE’s program>>

While you’re here, check out Herron Park playground in South Philly to see recycled rubber in use, doing double duty as a safe play surface that is also permeable and helps control stormwater runoff by putting it back into the ground…


Greener, Healthier Play from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.



GreenTreks Film to be featured at “The Food Revolution” Community Screening and Panel Discussion Event

We’ve been all about making the healthy food, healthy environment connection for years and are delighted to have a segment from one of our GreenWorks programs selected for screening at MiND TV’s upcoming event. The segment from Eat Locally, Think Globally features PA’s own multi-generational Milky Way Farm and the decision to go off chemical based pesticides and fertilizers. It will be online soon, but why not check it out at the screening along with other shorts and follow it up by taking part in a panel discussion with experts on local food and farms.


Here are the details:

The Food Revolution: A Community Screening + Panel Discussion on Local Food

Time: August 18 · 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Location: The First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, 2125 Chestnut Street

- Opening Reception w/ Light (local!) Refreshments: 6pm
– Brief Introduction, with Musical Performance by Eco-Man: 6:20pm
– Screening: 6:30pm
– Panel Discussion: 7pm

The panel discussion will include:

- Marilyn Anthony, Regional Director, PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) / PA Buy Fresh, Buy Local
– Lily Cope, Director, Philly Homegrown
– Mary Seton Corboy, Director, Greensgrow Farms
– Raina Ainslie, Farm Educator, Pennypack Farm & Education Center
– Annmarie Butera, Natural Foods Educator

RSVP to Kim Kunda kkunda@mindtv.org

We have a whole batch of other farm and food related videos on our YouTube Channel, so take a look and let us know what you think.

Orange Water, Green Jobs: Turning Acidic Streams into Economic Assets

The dark side of Pennsylvania’s coal mining legacy is well known, if little publicized: “acid mine drainage” is the largest polluter of the Commonwealth’s rivers and streams — particularly the Chesapeake Bay. People have been working on the AMD problem for years and progress is slowly being made. As evidenced by the following video segment (derived from our GreenWorks show From Bay to PA),  anyone can take on a big issue and achieve success if they’re willing to take that first step…


An interesting article in the recent issue of Solutions Journal looks at successful reclamation efforts in Appalachia — and argues that unless changes are made to some of the enabling laws before they expire, the job of cleaning up the waterways affected by abandoned coal mines will never get done.

Making targeted but important changes to the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund would ensure that current coal mines continue to be taxed until reclamation of abandoned coal mines is complete, thereby generating thousands of green jobs and turning polluted streams into economic assets.

Orange Water, Green Jobs. Solutions. Vol 1, No. 4. 2010. by Hansen, E. Hereford, A. McIlmoil, R.

Like many waterways in the U.S. region of central Appalachia, the Cheat River once ran acidic—a legacy of drainage from the watershed’s countless abandoned coal mines and refuse piles. Just a couple of decades ago, the noxious waters stressed fish populations and polluted potable water supplies, and the unreclaimed mines posed health and safety threats. It was not uncommon for streams to glow bright orange or turn a turbid, milky gray as the metals in the polluted mine drainage mixed with the stream water. Stained orange rocks coated with “yellow boy” were a sure sign that the water, even if clear, carried acid mine drainage from abandoned mines toward Cheat Lake downstream.

Today, it is a different story. Cheat River and Cheat Lake host thriving fish stocks and have become meccas for anglers and boaters. The lake is the site of a popular bass-fishing tournament, and homes in the area house residents of the greater Morgantown, West Virginia, region as well as vacationers. Upstream, Cheat Canyon is renowned for white-water rafting and kayaking.

Check out the complete article>>