Brick by brick, building a sustainable future!

The Friends of Silver Lake Nature Center’s Zero-carbon Footprint, Sustainable Building, also known as an Earthship (a building style created by Michael Reynolds) is nearing completion, and needs your help. This amazing building uses rainwater for water, solar energy for electricity, and thermal mass for heating and cooling.

By purchasing a brick (or bricks), you can help to bring this model project to completion. Your name and/or message will be carved in brick for everyone to see. The bricks will be prominently placed in the Earthship’s entryway.

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Native Plant Demonstration Garden to grow into teaching tool

by June Portnoy

Plans are underway to create a Native Plant Demonstration Garden at Central Park on Wells Road in Doylestown. It will consist of about 1800 square feet around the existing bird bind and small outdoor classroom.

Jeannine Mitchell, a member of the EAC (Environmental Advisory Council) of Doylestown Township and Bird Town Coordinator for the EAC, initiated this project because she wanted to enhance the bird bind environmental education center. She also wanted to create a place where residents can learn more about native plants’ beauty and value.

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Renewable energy becoming mainstream

submitted by Mark Bortman, Exact Solar, mark@exactsolar.com

Something is happening now that I never could have imagined. As recently as a couple of years ago, it seemed that solar panels were the domain of the rich and NASA. That is not the case anymore. Solar panels have become mainstream, so mainstream that there’s now a category for Best Solar Panel Installations in the Best of Philly annual awards.

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PHS launches awards program for ‘Gardening and Greening’

A new program that honors the beautification efforts of individual gardeners and groups is being launched this year by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. “PHS Gardening and Greening Contest” will spotlight well-designed, well-maintained and inspiring gardens and green spaces throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

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Newtown students honored for Arbor Day poster designs

Goodnoe Elementary School first and fifth grade students recently competed in Newtown’s annual Arbor Day Poster Design Contest.  Students were encouraged to design a poster illustrating the importance of trees in our world. The result of the challenge was a beautiful collection of children’s artwork that was displayed on April 25th at Brian Gregg Memorial Park during Newtown’s Arbor Day Celebration.

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Cows are like solar panels

submitted by Mark Bortman, Exact Solar, mark@exactsolar.com

Have you heard the expression, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” Well, since no one is giving away free milk, maybe I should buy the cow. The price of milk is close to $4 per gallon. According to CBS News, the price of milk is headed up even higher. I can’t imagine what a gallon is going to cost in five or 10 years.

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Mark Bortman to speak at environmental forum

The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council has announced its next environmental forum, to be held on Saturday, April 12th from 9:30am until noon at the Newtown Township Municipal Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown Township. The forum will be an informational session on solar and energy efficiency technologies.

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Langhorne Open Space preserves land used for community gardens

by June Portnoy

Whether you’re a novice or master gardener, if you’re looking for a location with excellent growing conditions to plant vegetables or flowers this upcoming season, consider renting space at the community gardens at Langhorne Heritage Farm, located at 222 North Green Street.

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Warmer pool, lower bills, cooler world

submitted by Mark Bortman, Exact Solar, mark@exactsolar.com

Finally it seems that spring has sprung! After our long, cold, snowy winter, it is nice to play outside and plant some flowers. Before we know it, it will be time for one of my favorite summer activities – swimming.

I really enjoy swimming. One of the things I don’t like, however, is getting into cold water. Unlike my kids, if the pool is cool, I take forever to get in, if I get in at all.

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DelVal announces upcoming symposium on energy in transition

The Precarious Alliance, a sustainability symposium conceived by Delaware Valley College President Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan, will be exploring energy-related issues such as climate change, green design and technology, fossil fuels and renewables, boomtowns and transition towns during its spring forum to be held April 3rd and 4th at the college in Doylestown.

To get the dialogue started, three keynote speakers will be featured. Among them, renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben, best-selling author and founder of 350.org, the first large-scale global grassroots climate change initiative.

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