Welcome to Transition Harrisburg! We are working to create a more sustainable, resilient and livable community... one person at a time. Join us!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Transition Town State College invitation.... Tuesday, January 25

TTSC is hitting a new stride.  We spent the last couple of months working on organization.  We have the list server and a blog (http://transitioncentrecounty.wordpress.com/).  Katherine Watt has maintained a strong presence with her month CDT sustainability page.  We are trying to lay the foundation for the next stage of the development of our model.

The Transition Towns (TT) movement is growing very rapidly.  There are nearly 350 official TT groups and nearly 350 addition registered groups, called Mullers, that are moving towards official status.  These are in 31 countries.  In the US there are currently 77 official Transition Towns, five of them in Pennsylvania and two in Centre County.

I know of at least a dozen more groups that are considering starting Transition initiatives in PA, two in Centre County.  Most are not on the official Muller’s map.  Last month I was interviewed about Transition Towns by WITF, Harrisburg area NPR (http://www.witf.org/news/smart-talk/5808-transition-towns.  Saturday I was in Harrisburg again and met with several of the local TT group.  There is a regional TT meeting near York coming up in February.

It is exciting to see how this idea is gaining momentum.  As the number of these communities grows and as their networking intensifies, we see a powerful synergy forming.  Sharing a common set of values we achieve a stronger sense of belonging to a larger community.  I’ve visited TTs in other states and find it delightful to be able to drop into a conversation we all already share in.

I am excited about the progress of the TT movement because issues related to energy and climate are becoming more urgent.  With the EPA under pressure, with Utica shale becoming more than a glimmer in the eye of the energy industry (and it underlies all of Centre County), with the failure of the Cancun climate conference, with the steady rise in the price of oil and gasoline, and other issues, we must intensify our response.  TT is just one of a number of groups with a similar sense of urgency and we are beginning to come together at the table.

Now that TT State College is digging in roots, Transition Centre will return to its focus of promoting the transition model, encouraging partnerships between groups working for sustainability, and developing an architecture for a sustainable community.

Speaking of the EPA, the PA Interfaith Power and Light Advocacy Committee is encouraging Senator Casey to support the EPA.  I am a member of the PA IPL Board.  Attached is a letter that will be delivered personally to Senator Casey if you would care to add your name.  Please mail it to the Advocacy Committee at the address provided in time to allow delivery by February 12th.  Thanks.

Hope to see you Tuesday evening.
Bill Sharp

Transition Town State College News
You are invited to a Transition Town meeting at Schlow Library

"$4-$5 a gallon gas - How will we cope?"

7pm Tuesday, January 25th 2011, at Schlow Library, State College Pa.
In the large meeting room at the back of the library main floor.

Hello friend,

We are having a public meeting of Transition Town next week, Tuesday Jan 25th, at 7pm in the meeting room in the back of Schlow Library in State College, and we wanted to invite you to attend.

The general theme of this public meeting will be "$4-$5 a gallon gas, how will we cope?" - and we hope to have a bit of discussion on ideas to help us deal with an age of permanently higher energy prices, but the real purpose of the meeting is just to give people interested in energy and Transition a chance to meet and talk and plan for the future.

So, this will be a relatively casual meeting, with a few snacks to share. Bring your thoughts and let's get to know each other better.

Thank you,

The folks of Transition Town State College

Contact Information
email: ttsc.steering@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"What is Permaculture?" Program, Thursday, January 27

Google's definition: Permaculture is a design system based on ethics and principles which can be used to establish, design, manage and improve all efforts made by individuals, households and communities towards a sustainable future.

Have you heard about Permaculture and weren't sure what it was? Here is your chance to learn more about this important subject from Scott Mann, a certified Permaculturist from central Pennsylvania. In this one hour introductory presentation, "What is Permaculture?". He will cover the history of Permaculture, the ethics, principles and Prime Directive. You'll have an opportunity to ask questions.

January 27, 2011 Thursday, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Green Center- H.A.C.C.'s Midtown 2 (1500 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg). 

Hosted by Green C.A.U.S.E. (Capital Area United to Sustain the Environment) and the Mechanicsburg Area Environmental Club's Adult E. Club and M.A.S.H. E. Club.

Please invite family and friends. This is open to the public.

Regional Transition Gathering on Saturday, February 5

 Feb 5, 2011 – Transition Town Lancaster Meeting

Join us on Saturday, Feb 5th at Woolen Mill Farm, 290 Woolen Mill Road, New Park, PA for a “TransitionTown Lancaster” meeting. A Transition Town meeting encourages sustainable communities and provides
advice on how to achieve them. For more information visit http://www.transitiontowns.org/

Arrive: 11 am – coffee/tea, meet and greet
Solar Tour: 12 noon – Led by Jay McGinnis
Lunch: 1 pm – Wood oven fired vegetarian pizzas
Discussion: 2 pm – Tony will share his experience w/T-Lancaster as facilitator. The group will share information regarding experiences, current state, projects, questions etc.
Video: 4-5 pm – An inspiring video from on the Transition Town movement. Schedule follow up meeting/event.

Anyone who is interested in learning about the Transition movement or has an interest in making our communities more sustainable, resilient and carbon-free is welcome to attend!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winter Lecture Series: Clean Streams and a Healthy Chesapeake Bay – Within Our Reach if Everyone Does Their Part

January 18, 2011
After 20 years of effort, the Chesapeake Bay is still impaired and as a result EPA is requiring states to meet new “pollution budgets” for local streams.  Lamonte Garber, Agricultural Program Manager for the Pennsylvania office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will discuss how bay-related requirements will affect residents, farmers, business and communities.
When and Where: Tuesday, January 18, 7:00 - 8:30 pm;  Meet inside the Olewine Nature Center.
Registration: No pre-registration required.
Fee: Free

Wildwood Park & Olewine Nature Center

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ngozi Eco Village is ready to start its 2011 growing season...

What is an Eco Village? An Eco-Village can be defined as a system of micro-structure agribusinesses and entrepreneurships, designed to be a viable solution in addressing and reducing health and poverty disparities in an underserved area. Ngozi Eco Village (NEV) is a new economic development initiative designed to:
  1. Nurture the growth of a diverse and equitable community food system
  2. Promote local economic opportunities
  3. Provide access to affordable nutritious food
  4. Provide social change education 
What does sustainability mean to you?  To some of us it means a way of life, to live below one's means.  To others it is pure survival or to save money. Ngozi Eco Village is all of these.  As we move forward in our development of an eco village concept, you will learn what sustainability means to you.

On Tuesday January 18, 2011 our next sustainability meeting will take place at the Boys and Girls Club, 1227 Berryhill Street, Hbg, Pa 17104, starting promptly at 5:30pm.  Please bring your ideas and expertise to the meeting.  Please RSVP by Jan. 14, 2011 of your participation.

We will be planning workshops on rain harvesting here at the Club. Scott Mann will be our permaculture educator for this project.  These workshops will take place this spring.  We have seven thousand gallons of water to capture! That is right, I said 7000 gallons of water.  This should be fun!  Donations are now being accepted for this project, which may include:

PVC piping and fittings
Rain Barrels: 55 gallons or more
Sturdy ladders
Use of power tools and drills with various bits                                            
Garden tools
Work and garden gloves, all sizes
Brass faucets and fittings or other shut off valves to be used for the barrels
New and used garden hoses

If you have donations and want to drop them off please contact me so arrangements can be made at drop off site.

We will also be planning our gardens. Sites include:
Reservoir Park
Boys and Girls Clubs                     
Wm Penn, Downey Schools 

Donations may include:

Seeds fruit, vegetable, herbs, flowers (non hybrid)
Straw by truckloads (for straw bale gardening)
Organic top soil
Garden and power tools
Gloves all sizes
Safety glasses all sizes
Container all sizes and kinds (all container must be clean and ready for use)
Lumber all sizes (no pressure treated; these will be used for our raised beds)
Fencing and chicken wire
Staple gun with staples
Old shower curtains
New and used garden hoses
Wheelbarrows or wagons
Rain barrels: 55 gallons
Old wooden ladders for trellis
PVC piping all sizes with fittings
String (cotton, jute, sisal, etc.)
clean cardboard (all tape and labels removed; no grease or waxed)
craft paints and brushes
contractor trash bags

We will also be planning our food co-op where families, individuals or groups can purchase their food in bulk at wholesale cost. We are working to accept SNAP/EBT benefits for the co-op.  Our first food order meeting will take place in Feb. 2011. 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Notes from Tuesday Dec 14, 2010 meeting.

Meeting started at 5:30pm ended at 6:30pm. Seven were in attendance:
  • Scott Mann - Permaculture Designer and Educator            
  • Susan Norris - Transition Harrisburg  
  • Yvonne Hollins - CEO Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Kim Dec - MSW
  • Cheryl Burns - Capital RC&D Land and Water Conservation
  • Craig Dalen - Messiah College
  • David Korba - Publisher Natural Central Pa.
  • Rafiyqa Muhammad - Ngozi Eco Village Director, Transition Hbg Member
 Community collaborates thus far:
  • City of Harrisburg
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Joshua Farms
  • Shady Nook Produce
  • Harrisburg School District
  • Capital RC&D/USDA
  • Transition Harrisburg
A mobile open-air farmers market is scheduled to open in June 2011 at Boys and Girls Club on Berryhill Street.  Afternoon / evening hours 2pm -7pm.  We are now recruiting vendors for our market. If interested please contact us for more information.

Urban Farming will take place at the Club along with other sites starting in March 2011. Land design and preparations are taking place now.

If you would like to become involved in our efforts, attend our meeting on Tuesday Jan.18. The meeting starts at 5:30pm.

May you always go in Peace,

Rafiyqa Muhammad,
NEV Director

If you any questions, would like to sponsor our programs, or make a donation, please contact:

Ngozi Inc. c/o Ngozi Eco Village
25 B West Canal Street
Hershey, Pa.  17033

Ngozi Inc. is a tax-exempt non-profit organization.  All donations are tax deductible.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Rally for Clean Air, Water & Communities on January 18th

Please come to Harrisburg on January 18th to show your opposition to hydraulic slickwater fracturing (fracking), the process used to extract natural gas from the "unconventional" source, Marcellus Shale.

This process is contaminating water all over the state. The "cleaned" waste water is being dumped into our waterways (Monongahela River, Susquehanna River, and others). Drill "cuttings" (the slurry produced when the hole is drilled), that can be highly radioactive, are being hauled to municipal landfills in Cumberland County.

From Yahoo! News:

According to state records treated drilling wastewater was discharged through the town sewage plant into the Neshaminy Creek. The natural gas boom gripping parts of the U.S. has a nasty byproduct: wastewater so salty, and so polluted with metals like barium and strontium, most states require drillers to get rid of the stuff by injecting it down shafts thousands of feet deep. Not in Pennsylvania, one of the states at the center of the gas rush. There, the liquid that gushes from gas wells is only partially treated for substances that could be environmentally harmful, then dumped into rivers and streams from which communities get their drinking water.

Industry is drilling for gas more than a mile down and a mile horizontally because all the "conventional" sources of gas are tapped out... We are running out of cheap, easy-to-get fossil fuels. We MUST learn to live without fossil fuels if we want to live in a world free from pollution, wars, and a host of other issues.

from our friends at PA Forest Coalition:

If someone borrowed your car and returned it with a dented fender, you would understandably be upset. 
But what about the billions of gallons of water that is being borrowed by industry and returned in a degraded condition? 

John Arway, our PA Fish & Boat Commission’s  Executive Director, makes a strong point to that effect in the latest issue of Pennsylvania Angler & Boater Magazine. http://www.fish.state.pa.us/straighttalk.pdf

Pennsylvania is blessed with over 83,000 miles of streams and almost 4,000 lakes.  In addition, there are 80 trillion gallons of groundwater which feed into our waterways.

The demand for our water is growing, with over 10 billion gallons / day being withdrawn daily.  Power plants, mining and Marcellus Shale development are using our water, without compensation.

Here is the link to your legislators. 
Just go to  http://www.legis.state.pa.us/    and enter your zip code in the upper-right corner.  Then contact your legislators and ask them why industry can do this to Our water and why shouldn’t they pay for what they use. 
Please relay legislative responses to Coalition-Secretary@comcast.net 

Since there won’t be an Impact Fee in the form of a severance tax, we have to get the attention of the legislators on this issue. Make this water-use  issue a priority for 2011 and keep in contact with your legislators, reinforcing your comments and asking for progress reports – Working with legislators is a little like training your dog, it’s not a ‘one-and-done’ message.

Yours in conservation,

Dick Martin, Coordinator www.PaForestCoalition.org 

The Pennsylvania Forest Coalition is a unique alliance of hunters, hikers, anglers, landowners, wildlife-watchers, paddlers, bikers, churches and conservation groups who are united in our concern for the good stewardship of our public lands. Caring for what God has created 

You can give up eating Gulf Coast shrimp, 
but you can't give up drinking Pennsylvania water

For an excellent presentation on hydro-fracking, see Dr. Tony Ingraffea's three-part lecture series