We’re having a party!

metta movement 2013: Thursday, November 7th!
On Thursday, November 7th, we’re co-hosting a party with a purpose with lululemon athletica Walnut Street. The metta movement 2013 is about creating positive change in our community and we want you to be a part of it. At this special event at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, we’re celebrating Next Generation Health!

We’ll be showcasing other local non-profits who are up to big, game-changing things. Your ticket is your passport to a fun evening–and gives you the power to choose how funds are awarded. Tickets are extremely limited, so get yours today and make your mark on the future of health and wellness in our community.

The semifinalist organizations are:
Urban Blazers
HYPE (Healthy You. Positive Energy.)
Child Guidance Resource Center

metta movement 2013: Next Generation Health
Thursday, November 7, 2013, 5:30pm to 7:30pm
at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center
(640 Waterworks Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19130)

Learn more about this unique event and buy your ticket here!

Guest Blog: Cape May Monarch Monitoring Project

You may remember back to last year, when we started featuring guest blogs from John McGlaughlin, who is training to be a PA Master Naturalist . Today John discusses the Monarch Monitoring Project in Cape May, New Jersey, and shares his video of the project.

Monarch Monitoring Project

Greetings friends and nature lovers! It’s been quite some time since my last post so I figure I’d start by getting y’all up to date with my latest happenings. First and foremost, I done got hitched to the girl of my dreams last New Year’s Eve and have been a bit preoccupied with my newly minted married life. Luckily, my bride is muy sympatico so I’ve still been out adventuring and exploring the natural world. We’ve also been volunteering at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education’s Wildlife Clinic up in Roxborough and I hope to have an upcoming blog post/video about the Clinic’s amazing work.

And finally, I’ve been meticulously planning my next blog for Green Treks and am now ready to go public! The feature of today’s post takes us down to the beautiful coastal community of Cape May, New Jersey. Each fall, thousands of nature enthusiasts flock to the Cape May Point State Park to witness the annual migration of countless species of birds. An often-overlooked member of this relocation fest is the exquisite Monarch Butterfly, on its annual 2500-mile pilgrimage to its over-wintering grounds in the Sierra Madre Mountains just outside of Mexico City.

The Cape May Monarch Monitoring Project (MMP) has been documenting and researching this astonishing trek since 1992 and I caught up with Mark Garland, the MMP’s Communication Director, after a tagging demonstration one beautiful fall afternoon.

If you have a chance to fly south for the day, the MMP has a highly informative tagging demonstration every afternoon at 2pm (except Tuesday and Thursday) from September 15 through October 16 at Cape May Point State Park. There you’ll have the opportunity to learn some remarkable facts about this incredible insect from the MMP’s expert staff and take part in the tagging and release of a real-live, genuine Monarch Butterfly. Be sure to check out MMP’s website before you go. Happy Trails!

Repurposing materials for our DVD holders

GreenTreks' Creative Reuse

If you’ve ever come to an EcoExpress or StormwaterPA workshop, you’ve encountered our GreenTreks folders! Well, besides the occasional workshop, we honestly don’t get much use out of them. At the same time, we’ve been running low on DVD cases. We used to have a stockpile of plastic DVD holders, which we always felt icky using.

Last week, Barry and our new GlaxoSmithKline Pulse Volunteer Alysia concocted this creative reuse for our folders. Thus, we now have brand-new, recycled-paper DVD cases. And they’re pretty cool to boot, if I may say so myself.

Our online store may be down, but you can still purchase DVDs (or VHS tapes! Yes, we still have them!). To place an order, contact me (Meghan) via email or by phone at 215-545-5880.

If you have more creative reuse ideas for us to make DVD cases in the future, share them below!

What’s New!

Our two keystone projects, EcoExpress.org and StormwaterPA.org, have so much going on! Here’s a quick update about new additions to these resourceful sites.

New Teaching Materials on EcoExpress.org:

EcoExpress: Clean Water Classroom Activity

Thanks to our resident science curriculum expert, Anita, there are new teaching materials up on EcoExpress.org! As you know, we’ve crafted many short documentaries on managing rain water and trying to reduce the impacts of flooding and pollution. The thing that I really love about these videos is that they take this complicated and technical topic, and spell it out in a way that just makes sense. This is thanks in no small part to the great film producer on our team, Maria. Since these videos serve people so well via our StormwaterPA.org project, we want to also make these programs accessible for teachers and students. So Anita selected some of our most popular films and developed complementary teaching materials.

Here are some of the most recent lessons:

Green Apple Day of Service at Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School

And come see EcoExpress staffers in action! Anita will be presenting at a great event at one of our favorite schools – Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School. Come check out their new school meadow by attending their Green Apple Day of Service on Saturday, September 28th, 2013, from 9am to 2pm! The school is located at 201 E Salaignac St, Philadelphia, PA 19128.


New Videos on StormwaterPA.org

Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership is one of the most exciting watershed groups in the state! They are featured in our recent piece, Tacony Creek Restoration: Improving Water Quality and Quality of Life.

In other exciting news, we also created an animated short! Clean Water: A Long Journey from the Source to Our Tap is an amazing film that shows exactly what pollutes the water – and the solutions!

And, in case you missed it, our video on Rain Gardens that was released in the spring has been a big hit! And, yeah — you’re in luck! EcoExpress has water education tools for it!

11 Great Plants of the West Coast (and a photo of alpacas for good measure)

I hope you enjoyed seeing some watery West Coast scenes earlier this month. It’s a rainy day here in Philadelphia, PA, where our office is located, so looking at sunnier sights feels like a welcome reprieve. While traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles earlier this summer, I couldn’t stop admiring all of the plant diversity. So cool!

Here are some of my snapshots of the various green spots I encountered on my own Green Trek (see what I did there?). From a green roof atop the California Academy of Sciences to succulents in a friend’s yard in Portland, OR, to the majestic redwood forest, I was in awe of it all!