MCCC’s Sustainability And Innovation Hub In Pottstown Earns Montgomery Award For Excellent Planning And Design

Montgomery County Community College received one of the Montgomery County Planning Commission’s Montgomery 2016 award for the planning and design of its Sustainability and Innovation Hub. From left: Jill Blumhardt, Montgomery County Planning Commission board member; Dulcie F. Flaharty, Vice Chair, Montgomery County Planning Commission, Dr. David DiMattio, Vice President of West Campus; Dr. Kevin Pollock, MCCC President; and Jaime Garrido, Associate Vice President for Facililties and Construction at MCCC.

Montgomery County Community College received one of the Montgomery County Planning Commission’s Montgomery 2016 award for the planning and design of its Sustainability and Innovation Hub. From left: Jill Blumhardt, Montgomery County Planning Commission board member; Dulcie F. Flaharty, Vice Chair, Montgomery County Planning Commission, Dr. David DiMattio, Vice President of West Campus; Dr. Kevin Pollock, MCCC President; and Jaime Garrido, Associate Vice President for Facililties and Construction at MCCC.

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA— The Montgomery County Planning Commission recently  presented Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) with a 2016 Montgomery Award for the planning and design of its Sustainability and Innovation Hub at 140 College Drive, Pottstown.

MCCC was one of five award recipients to receive this honor during a recent awards ceremony held at Theatre Horizon in Norristown. The other recipients are The Courts of Spring Mill Station, Whitemarsh Township; Narberth Place, Narberth Borough; Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, East Norriton Township; and Reliance Crossing, Souderton Borough. Additionally, Paul W. Meyer, the F. Otto Haas Executive of the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, received the 2016 Planning Advocate Award.

MCCC’s Hub not only has programs in sustainability and innovation, but the building and property are themselves models of these principles. During the course of six years, MCCC transformed the building, a former energy substation, and three-acre brownfield site into a state-of-the-art center for education, innovation and conservation.

“The building is a sustainable energy hub outside–with the wind turbines, green roof and impervious parking lot—and inside—with programs in aquaponics, hydroponics, robotics, engineering and software development,” said Vice President of West Campus Dr. David DiMattio. “The Hub also represents collaboration with the community, through partnerships with the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage area, Riverfront Park, Schuylkill River Trail and Pottstown Borough.”

The architect for the project was Murray Associates Architects of Harrisburg, and the engineering company was Bruce Brooks and Associates of Philadelphia.

Pottstown Borough transferred the property to MCCC in 2007. The rehabilitation was both part of Pottstown’s Redevelopment Plan, as outlined in its 2003 “Riverfront & Memorial Parks Master Plan,” and a way for MCCC to expand its West Campus.

Starting in 2010, MCCC developed the site in three extensive phases, concluding in 2016 with the opening of the Hub on April 18.

Phase I started with the installation of a 202-space parking lot. The innovative design uses bioretention and includes the planting of more than 130 native plants and trees. Through an EPA grant, MCCC installed energy-saving LED lighting.

Phase II included abatement and cleaning of mold, lead and asbestos from the building and involved preparing the building’s south side infrastructure for demolition and remediation. MCCC replaced the leaking roof with an eco-friendly green roof; added a new entrance, handicap-accessible ramp and energy efficient windows; and updated water and sewer services.

Between Phases II and III, MCCC installed four wind turbines on the property. The turbines produce a collective 4,000 watts of energy–enough to power the LED parking lot lighting. The turbines were designed as a demonstration project to teach students and the community about alternative energy production.

Phase III involved the construction of the Hub’s classrooms and innovation spaces in the building’s south side. The Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area (SRHA) has its headquarters in the north side of the building since 2002, which also includes the River of Revolutions Interpretative Center for visitors.

The Hub’s first floor features an aquaponics and hydroponics teaching laboratory, which supports MCCC’s interdisciplinary Environmental Studies degree program, as well as future programs in the areas such as greenhouse technology, food production, horticulture and landscape design. Aquaponics and hydroponics involve growing fish and soil-less plants in a symbiotic system.

The Hub’s second floor features an Engineering Design Center, which supports MCCC’s Engineering Technology program and prepares graduates for careers in the advanced technology fields of instrumentation, communications and mechanical structures and systems. In this space, MCCC students, faculty and community businesses are working with robotics and 3D printing.

The Hub’s mezzanine floor is a flexible innovation space that can be used by the community, as well as for classes. MCCC holds its new Software Developer Academy in this area.

For more information about MCCC’s Sustainability and Innovation Hub, contact Dr. David DiMattio at ddmatti@mc3.edu or 610-819-2070.

Mosaic Community Gardens News

Mosaic Community Gardens are always “popping up” with opportunities to become a member or join the Community Land Trust board.

Join us for a social evening at our newest garden location, Elizabeth B. Barth Elementary School, to find out more about the organization or to reserve your garden bed for the 2017 growing season.  The FREE evening social takes place on Friday, October 28 from 5-7 PM. We will be inside the school – meals will be served and information offered!  Please plan to join us!

Contact our garden manager at 484-300-2410 if you have any questions or need additional information.

Also, our next workshop is in the “works”, please be on the lookout for more details in an upcoming email, Facebook post and on our website!

Art And The Environment Featured In New Educational Exhibit At ArtFusion 19464

 resourced-hakun.jpg artwork by Bob Hakun

resourced-hakun.jpg artwork by Bob Hakun

POTTSTOWN, PA – ArtFusion 19464 is proud to announce the opening of the latest in their series of educational exhibits. As part of their effort to live their mission of making the arts accessible to everyone in their community, ArtFusion 19464 curates a special exhibit each year with an educational focus. They choose topics they believe they can teach about through art. Past topics have included the civil rights movement, the Vietnam war, and women’s history. This year the focus will be on art and the environment with a show called Reclaim. Art featured in this show will be created from recycled, upcycled and salvaged items. The artists have been challenged to reclaim the definition of art, to show that creativity and imagination can expand a view of art as only paint and canvas. Reclaim will run in the main gallery from October 8 through November 19.

During every educational exhibit, ArtFusion 19464 offers free field trips to local schools. Each field trip is tailored to the age of the students and is a fun, interactive learning experience.  Students who visit during Reclaim will learn important facts about the environment, recycling and the newest inventions in the fight to tame this country’s trash. They will also have an opportunity to create a piece of recycled art themselves. In keeping with the theme, students will engage in a discussion about environmental issues and how individual and group actions affect the health and well-being of the planet. Teachers and group leaders interested in scheduling a field trip can call 610-326-2506 or emailinfo@artfusion19464.org.

resourced-siemel.jpg artwork by Dora Siemel,

resourced-siemel.jpg artwork by Dora Siemel,

ArtFusion 19464 invites the public to a private, catered opening reception for Reclaim on Friday, October 7 from 6-8pm. Sponsored by Advantage Insurance, the event features a catered menu created by @107. Individual tickets are $20, interested community members can help an ArtFusion 19464 student to attend this event for free with a $30 student sponsorship ticket. All proceeds help fund the free field trip program.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Pottstown Puts Best Foot Forward With Another Spectacular ‘Carousel of Flavor’ Food Festival

wp_20160918_13_13_20_proThousands flocked to High Street in downtown Pottstown today for the 13th Annual Carousel of Flavor. This event is the primary fundraiser for the Carousel at Pottstown and one of the largest events hosted in the borough.  It turned out to be a beautiful day after some rain overnight and early this morning seemed menacing.

The trolley was carrying people from the festival site to the carousel building on regular intervals.  When I went, the trolley was full.  I noticed many folks taking advantage of the free ride.

sight_2016_09_18_193433_675-1The carousel is hopefully going to be up and running by the end of October.  This has been a decade long project that has finally reached completion.  We congratulate the Carousel committee and everyone involved for making this project a reality!

Here is a link to the entire album of photos from today https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154164324778192.1073741827.135214378191&type=1&l=7c017ae9ca 

ArtFusion 19464 Connects Kids And Art

Pottstown, PA – ArtFusion 19464 is proud to announce three free programs sponsored by The Greater Pottstown Foundation that will be running this fall. Kids 8 to 12 can choose between Art Academy and Clay Academy. In Art Academy, students will explore different mediums from drawing to recycled art. Clay Academy gives each student the opportunity to create pottery using hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques. For teen 13 to 17, Teen Clay Studio will give them the opportunity to design and create amazing self-directed projects in clay.

The application deadline for these programs is September 30, 2016. Applications can be downloaded at artfusion19464.org/classes/scholarshipsprograms/. Interested parents can also stop by 254 E. High St. to pick up a paper copy.  Spaces will be filled on a first come, first served basis. While ArtFusion encourages everyone who is interested to apply, those students who qualify for free or reduced lunch and those who have not attended a free program at ArtFusion before will be given priority.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Classes do run outside of gallery hours.

Pottstown YMCA Is Hiring And Other News

We are currently hiring in the following areas: Membership, Aquatics, Youth Programming, Child Watch, Wellness Coaches & Group Exercise Instructors, Before and After Care, Child Care. Pick up an application today at the Welcome Center.

We are still excepting participants for our next LIVESTRONG group that runs September 13th-December 1st. The Y and the LIVESTRONG Foundation have joined together to create LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, a research-based physical activity and well-being program designed to help adult cancer survivors reclaim their total health. For more information and how to enroll contact Jennifer Gaj, Jgaj@philaymca.org.

Our 7th Grade Membership Initiative, provides a FREE one-year membership to all 7th Graders in the area. To register students simply need to come in with their parent or guardian and proof of 7th Grade status.

CLASSICAL GUITARIST OPENS SEASON IN POTTSTOWN‏

Russell Ferrara performing classical guitar Lake Lanier, GA

Russell Ferrara performing classical guitar Lake Lanier, GA

Pottstown, PA –  Classical Guitarist Russell Ferrara begins the 2016 fall season with 3 formal and informal performances in Pottstown. He will perform for the Steel River Playhouse Gala on Saturday September 10 at 7:00 PM, for Pottstown FARM on High Street on September 15 with sets interspersed throughout the 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM event. On September 24 he will present informal performances as well as pop up classes on guitar and ukulele at the Pottstown Latin Festival. Information and
tickets to the Steel River Playhouse Gala are available at steelriver-playhouse.org. Pottstown FARM and the Pottstown Latin Festival are free and open to the public.

With Kim Robson: Lake Lanier, GA

With Kim Robson: Lake Lanier, GA

These performances mark the end of a highly productive summer for Ferrara, who has been performing and teaching in and around Pottstown since the opening of Steel River playhouse in 2008. He began the summer with a 10 day trip to Georgia to perform, teach and direct guitar ensembles with his flute playing partner Kim Robson. Upon returning from Georgia he taught ukulele classes and workshops at Pottstown Middle School and Steel River Playhouse, made his first appearance at Pottstown FARM and went immediately into rehearsals for the Wings of Hope benefit concert at the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville. From there he and Robson began sessions for their completed but as yet unreleased album. He took time away from the studio only to do a run in the pit band of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” at the SALT theater in Yellow Springs.

Ferrara begins this month presenting the class “Ukulele Fun” at Steel River Playhouse. Designed to provide an introduction to playing string instruments, “Ukulele Fun” uses music familiar to everyone to build solid playing skills. The format of the class is ensemble based with everyone playing together in a fast-paced fun environment. Ferrara brings his years of experience performing and directing guitar ensembles to the design and format of the class. Further information can be found at steelriver-playhouse.org.

SUMMER PLAYGROUP SPONSORED BY POTTSTOWN FAMILY CENTER

Location

Fountain of Youth Spray Park (Memorial Park)

King & Manatawny Streets

Pottstown, PA 19464

United States
Date:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 – 10:00am11:30am

If you are a parent (age 24 or under), join the Pottstown Family Center for FREE Summer Playgroups at the Spray Park!

Playgroups take place in a relaxed setting and feature a discussion topic for parents, a parent/child activity, and snacks for children and parents to enjoy.

When?
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
10-11:30 a.m.

Where?
Fountain of Youth Spray Park
Memorial Park
King and Manatawny Streets
Pottstown, PA 19464

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Kari Williams at 610-326-1610 ext. 326 or kwilliams@fsmontco.org.

Pottstown Community Field Day Aug 27‏

Genesis Housing is joining with the Hill School, Art Fusion 19464, Pottstown Athletic Club, Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, CustomFit and others to create a day for families to spend time together learning about low-cost outdoor and indoor activities available in our area.

The Pottstown Community Field Day will take place on Saturday, August 27th from 11 AM – 2 PM (Rain date: Sunday, August 28th) at the Chestnut Street Park (Washington & Chestnut Streets). There will be 15 stations of fitness/sports or other activities for group participation for about 5 minutes.  The DJ will play family appropriate music continuously until the 5 minutes are up.   At that time, the DJ will use audio equipment to announce SWITCH and each group will move on to a new station.  Each participant will receive a coin for every station they complete.  When they complete 10 stations, participants will receive a free gift.  We will track how many people completed the minimum challenge equating to at least 45 minutes of fitness.

We are asking for area businesses and organizations to participate in the 3-hour event by making a donation, facilitating fitness stations and setting up information tables. In appreciation for any organization that donates and/or participates, we will advertise their company in social media outlets and in printed materials. We will also provide the opportunity to set up an information table and include coupons or other information in the free gift packs.

For more information or to support the event, please contact me at wash5000@msn.com or (484) 300-2410. Please join us and be a part of this great day!

Great FREE Pottstown Food Program‏

The Borough of Pottstown’s Summer Food Service Program is in full swing serving FREE lunches daily! 
 
Every Monday-Friday from 1-2 PM FREE meals are served at the Memorial Park Pavilion (75 W King Street) for all aged 18 and under! The program is running now until Thursday, August 18th so hurry over! Don’t miss out on this awesome, FREE opportunity!!
 
It is a goal of the program to reach as many children in need of the program’s benefits as possible. They will deliver to numerous sites around Pottstown, and personally oversee the location at the Memorial Park Pavilion.
So far, participation has been great, but they are always looking to gain more youth and offer them a free meal daily.
 
The program is about halfway through but there is still plenty of time for people to benefit!
Share the information with those who need it and those who can help spread the word!
Please contact Kristin Robinson at krobinson@pottstown.org for more information.

SOME POTTSTOWN 2016 SUMMER HAPPENINGS

The attached PDF file is a wealth of information about summer events for the whole family that are going on in Pottstown this summer.

http://tcnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/POTTSTOWN-SUMMER-HAPPENINGS-2016x.pdf

$10,000 Arts Scholarship To Be Awarded

POTTSTOWN, PA – The 2016 Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship for the Arts is a $10,000 scholarship designed to financially assist a local high school senior from Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Owen J. Roberts or The Hill School in obtaining a degree from accredited academic institutions of higher learning for study in the arts. ArtFusion 19464 is proud to partner for the fifth year with the Foundation to present this scholarship.

The scholarship is awarded based on two criteria:  artistic performance as displayed at the Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship Art Exhibit at ArtFusion 19464, and an essay on why the applicant wants to continue their education in the arts.  The applicant’s intended field of study must include a major or a minor in an arts-related field.

The 2016 applicants are: Leila Atoo (Pottstown), Aslan Berbaum (Pottsgrove), Bryan James Collins (Pottsgrove), Zachary Eric Foreman (Owen J. Roberts), Alexandria Gallion (Pottsgrove), and Madison Schaeffer (Owen J. Roberts).

The scholarship will be awarded at a ceremony at ArtFusion 19464 on Saturday, May 21 at 1pm. The ceremony is open to the public. The candidates’ artwork, along with artwork by other local high school students, will be on display in the ArtFusion main gallery until June 4.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 am-5 pm and Saturday 10 am-3 pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Free Summer Programs At ArtFusion 19464

POTTSTOWN, PA – In addition to their regular class schedule, ArtFusion is very proud to offer three free programs during their summer session of classes. All three porgrams are sponsored by The Greater Pottstown Foundation. For kids ages 8-12, Art Academy is a general arts exploration class where students work with many different mediums. Clay Academy teaches students how to create with clay. Teen Clay Academy will challenge teens 13-17 to design and create an amazing self-directed project in clay.

The application deadline for all three programs is June 3, 2016. Applications can be downloaded at artfusion19464.org/classes/scholarshipsprograms/. Interested parents can also stop by 254 E. High St. to pick up a paper copy.  Spaces will be filled on a first come, first served basis. While ArtFusion encourages everyone who is interested to apply, those students who qualify for free or reduced lunch and those who have not attended a free program before will be given priority.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

MOSAIC Summer Youth Program – June 2015

MOSAIC’s summer youth program begins in June!  We are always looking for volunteers!!!! Now is the time to get your criminal and child abuse clearances!  The program is jammed-packed with more learning experiences, field trips and other great activities!  Please plan to help out!

Check our website and Facebook page often for more opportunities to get dirty, to grow and know what you eat, and to get outdoors in downtown Pottstown!

Are You Interested In Becoming A Volunteer?

We are the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing The Secret Valley Line and restoring its services to offer the greatest turn-of-the-century railroading experience in the nation.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Colebrookdale Railroad. Quite literally, the train doesn’t roll down the tracks without them.

Our volunteers are:
 the source of all accomplishments of our programs
 the most critical and unique resource we have
 the leaders in our organization
 committed long-term with frequent participation
 committed to a safe, productive, and cohesive workplace
 responsible for our future

Our dedicated family of volunteers does everything from track work, to passenger car restoration, to operations.

If you have what it takes to work on the railroad, contact us today at info@colebrookdalerailroad.com! Be sure to include the words, “I Want to Volunteer” in the subject line.
Mission
o To serve as a catalyst for economic development in Southeastern Pennsylvania through the preservation and interpretation of the historic, cultural, and natural heritage of the middle Schuylkill Region, birthplace of the American iron industry.
Vision Statement
o To establish national-caliber heritage and recreational anchor attraction around an authentic Edwardian-era experience of the sort offered on the grand limited trains of the 1900-1920 era by developing the Colebrookdale Railroad, its infrastructure, equipment, and real estate, and by building local and regional partnerships.

TriCounty Community Network Nonprofit Conference 2016

WHEN: Monday June 13th 8:30 am – 2:00 pm  
WHERE: The Hill School, Boyer Gallery, 800 Beech Street, Pottstown, Pa 19464  
WHY: Event to support the staff, board members, community leaders and volunteers of nonprofit organizations, public agencies and associations. Our goal is to increase collaboration, outreach efforts, partnerships, capacity building and volunteerism to have a greater impact within our organizations to enhance our communities.
 
Keynote Luncheon
IRA KORETSKY, “The Chief Storyteller”
 
VENDOR SHOWCASE: 
*FREE* 
We are looking for vendors providing services and products for nonprofits, agencies and associations. Complete the vendor form to:
– Register and list your product or services
– Indicate if you are able to provide a product or service offering of at least $50 in value as a raffle gift for attendees. All vendors will receive acknowledgement in the conference directory, online advertising with conference promotions and eligibility for a one year membership to TCN .
 
WORKSHOPS: 
9:45 am – 10:30 am 
Workshop A– EITC and DCED: Learn about the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) resources developed to foster opportunities for businesses growth and community sustainability. 
Workshop B– Volunteer management: Organization leaders and recruiters will learn key strategies to attract, train and maintain strong volunteer support. 
Workshop C– Partnership and Collaboration: Discussion of strategies to increase your collaborative efforts, fundraising abilities and acquisition of effective partnerships.  
Workshop D– Email marketing: Increase awareness of your services and participation in events through email marketing and online engagements. 
 
10:45 am – 11:30 pm 
Workshop E– Grant Writing and Development: Understand the grant writing process and learn tips, strategies and best practices to write and develop grants that get results.  
Workshop F– Mobile Marketing: Discover powerful tools and applications to grow your reach, reputation and engagement with clients. 
Workshop G– Program Design and Evaluation: Learn of key steps for good program design including description, measurable outcomes, piloting and feedback mechanisms.  
Workshop H– Strategic Planning for Organizational Development: Discussion of strategic planning techniques to increase corporate compliance and performance.