Take Action for Sustainable Indiana!

Greetings friends!
Thanks so much to all of you who made it out to Sustainable Indiana last week from the Coalition for a Healthy County (CHC) and the Appalachian Teaching Project. The event was well attended, and we were able to reach consensus on moving forward as an organization.
Take Action NOW!! The state has ruled our county can prohibit fracking at Yellow Creek. Our County Commissioners have already instituted a voluntary moratorium on drilling at Yellow Creek. It’s time to make it permanent! The Coalition for a Healthy County is launching a new petition to renew our calls to protect our county’s natural areas. Please sign, or renew your petition today!!
What is Sustainability, what are barriers, and where do we go from here?
CHC’s new Youtube channel features the videos compiled of the interviews that Appalachian Teaching Project students did of our Steering Committee members. Here they are in 4 parts.
Appalachian Teaching Project
Recommendations for the Coalition for a Healthy County
Students in the Appalachian Teaching Project spent the semester studying sustainability, and supporters of the Coalition for a Healthy County. These students presented their research in Washinton D.C. on December 3, where their instructor, Dr. Amanda Poole, was named an Appalachian Teaching Fellow. The students also presented their research at Sustainable Indiana last week. A summary of the survey results are attached. Below are some recommendations for CHC moving forward:
  • Promote the idea of the commons in future projects
  • Shift the discourse toward a more expansive understanding of sustainability, i.e. not only recycling, but also community participation and community collective efforts to rehabilitate contaminated places
  • CHC could work on brownfields identified in the survey.
  • Improve their website, include a website about the farmers market and other assets to build on
  • CHC might work to get the university and college students more involved in the community
CHC Outlines Sustainability Course for 2013
The discussion around community assets and sustainability in Indiana, and what role CHC could play resulted in these project themes:
  • Farms to schools and businessesIndiana sits among a number of local farms of all sorts, and yet it seems that few of the major food service providers are helping to support this local economy. Where is this happening, how can we build on this? Who’s valuing partnering with local providers?
    • Next steps: reach out to local farmers, IUP and school district policy makers, and local business to identify opportunities to support and highlight this food stream.
  • Community Education – Speaking of assets, several people in the room were part of an energy awareness training which identified a variety of ways households could save energy, and participate in sustainable living. From info about “vampire plugs” to easy compost bins, this “ECO Team” has been trained, and has materials to deliver this info to the community.
    • Next steps: Work with available ECO Team members to design community education program, i.e. training with congregations, public service announcements (the ECO Minute), info booths at community events.
  • Solar Cooperative – Our survey data indicated a demographic of county residents are interested in hearing more about the medium-term financial investment required to add solar energy to our community, either at home, or in community or municipal institutions. There are questions of how do we attract these kinds of business, are there economies of scale we could depend on, and what is already in the works.
    • Next steps: CHC could facilitate bringing together solar providers and installers with interested local parties such as the Borough Green Task Force, the County Planning Commission and the Comprehensive Plan, as well as interested individuals.
While these new directions are exciting, CHC will also continue to maintain action on protecting our county’s natural areas from fracking, as well developing greater awareness of air quality in Indiana Co. Our entire 2013 Agenda is attached. This is a draft document discussed at Sustainable Indiana, feedback is welcome!!
2013 Calendar
  • Thursday, 1/31, 7pm – Indiana County Phone Bank
  • Friday, 3/9 – 2013 Film Fest: A new economy
  • April – Air Quality Bike Monitoring
  • Monday, April 22 – Earth Day
  • August -Indiana County Fair
  • September – IUP Community Involvement Fair

HELP WANTED: We are expanding our communications, and social media presence – can you help? Internship experience available. Please reply to this email!

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