Ribbon Cutting, Sustainability Festival On Tap For MCCC Earth Day 2016‏

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will join communities across the world in celebrating Earth Day 2016 with a series of activities that engage students, faculty and community members with the institution’s sustainability efforts.

MCCC’s celebration kicks off on Monday, April 18 with the grand opening of the college’s Sustainability and Innovation Hub, located 140 College Drive in Pottstown. The opening marks the completion of the multiphase Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center project, which transformed a former energy substation and three-acre Brownfield site into a state-of-the-art center for STEM education, conservation and recreation.   A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m., followed by tours of the Sustainability and Innovation Hub, as well as tours of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area’s Interpretative Center.

Prior to ceremony, MCCC’s West Campus will host a Sustainability Fair in its South Hall, 101 College Drive, from noon-1 p.m. The fair will highlight many of the College’s green practices and STEM-related academic programming.

MCCC’s observation of Earth Day continues on Wednesday, April 20 at noon with a Sustainability Festival in the Advanced Technology Center at the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. The festival will feature sustainable student and College exhibits, as well as information and activities from green vendors and community organizations. Assistant Professor of Biology Jerry Coleman will also offer a walking tour of a proposed trail route that will pass through MCCC’s Central Campus, weather permitting.

Following the Sustainability Festival on Wednesday, April 20, MCCC’s Student Environmental Sustainability Club will host a discussion with Montgomery County Recycling Coordinator Veronica Harris in Science Center room 308 from 2-3 p.m.

During Earth Day events at both campuses, MCCC’s Ceramics Club, in collaboration with the Inter-Faith Housing Alliance in Ambler, will be selling handmade bowls as part of its Empty Bowls Project—an international grassroots effort to raise awareness in the fight to end hunger. Individuals who purchase a bowl—or who bring their own bowl—can receive a 25-cent discount off the purchase of soup in MCCC’s cafeterias.

Since signing the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, sustainability has become a core value at Montgomery County Community College and is incorporated into the institution’s strategic plan, core curriculum, and in everyday best practices as they relate to facilities management, campus operations and transportation. A team of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members comprise the Climate Commitment Advisory Council, which guides MCCC’s sustainability efforts toward attaining carbon neutrality by 2050.

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MCCC Gears Up For 2016 RecycleMainia Competition‏

RM_logo_2016Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Coming off its most successful finish in eight years of competition, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is gearing up for RecycleMania 2016, a national tournament among colleges and universities designed to increase student awareness of campus recycling and waste minimization.

The 2016 competition begins Feb. 7 and continues through April 2.

Historically, MCCC excels in RecycleMania’s Waste Minimization category.  The category measures an institution’s total waste—trash and recycling collected during the eight-week competition—and divides it by the number of students, faculty and staff on campus to calculate the amount of waste per person.

In 2015, MCCC collected 8.395 pounds of waste per capita, which was the lowest amount collected among competing Pennsylvania institutions and the sixth lowest among all competing U.S. colleges and universities.

“Less waste per capita means that our efforts to educate the campus community about the importance of reducing and reusing, in addition to recycling, are paying off,” said Jaime Garrido, associate vice president for facilities and construction at MCCC. “Montgomery’s participation in RecycleMania each year is a great way to benchmark how we’re doing.”

During the 2015 RecycleMania tournament, 394 institutions recycled or composted 80.16 million pounds of materials, preventing the release of 129,411 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere.

According to the U.S. EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), MCCC’s recycling efforts during the competition resulted in a greenhouse gas reduction of 33 MTCO2E, which translates to the energy consumption of three households or the emissions of six cars.

In addition to Waste Minimization, other RecycleMania categories measure the amount of total recyclables, the amount of recyclables per capita and overall recycling rates, among other data.

RecycleMania is made possible through the sponsorship support from the Alcoa Foundation, The Coca Cola Company, Rubbermaid Commercial Products and CyclePoint. Partner organizations include Keep America Beautiful, U.S. EPA Waste Wise, the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), the National Wildlife Federation – Campus Ecology, and the Food Recovery Network.

To learn more about the RecycleMania 2016 competition, visit http://www.recyclemaniacs.org.

MCCC Signs White House ‘American Campuses Act On Climate Pledge’‏

American Campuses Act on Climate - November 19, 2015Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA —Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) reinforced its commitment to sustainability on Nov. 19 by signing the White House’s American Campuses Act On Climate Pledge.

According to the White House, 218 colleges and universities representing 3.3 million students across the country have signed the pledge to demonstrate their support for strong climate action by world leaders in advance of next month’s international Conference on Climate Change in Paris, France.

Participating institutions were asked to submit three pledges outlining steps they will take to lower carbon emissions. For MCCC, the pledges build on the eight years of sustainability efforts taken as a charter signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.

In signing the new American Campuses Act On Climate Pledge, MCCC commits to:

* Build on the success of MCCC’s Green Office Initiative to pilot a Green Classroom program in collaboration with faculty and the student Environmental Club. In the Green Office Initiative, departments voluntarily progress through a four-tier program that evaluates and rewards their sustainable office practices and purchasing. A parallel program for classrooms would award certification to individual faculty and divisions who engage in green practices and activities, such as using refillable dry erase markers and going paperless.

* Support MCCC faculty in their exploration of open-source and online instructional materials. The incorporation of such materials may reduce the amount of paper used in classrooms, thereby reducing the institution’s carbon footprint. These materials could also save students money, which reinforces MCCC’s student success and financial literacy efforts.

* Promote local sustainability industries within Montgomery County to MCCC students and the community at large by facilitating job fairs, presentations and guest lecture opportunities for companies that employ sustainable practices.

The latest White House pledge for colleges and universities builds on last month’s American Businesses Act on Climate Pledge, which was signed by 81 companies from across the United States. Additionally, more than 150 countries representing approximately 90 percent of all global emissions have offered climate pledges to date.

For additional information or to share your support, join the conversation using the #ActOnClimate hashtag on social media.

MCCC To Observe Campus Sustainability Month With Activities On Oct. 20-21

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA — Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will join hundreds of colleges and universities across the country to celebrate Campus Sustainability Month with activities on Oct. 20 and 21.

The newly expanded national Campus Sustainability Month (CSM) builds on 12 successful years of Campus Sustainability Day activities. Coordinated by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), CSM is designed to inspire students and other campus stakeholders to become sustainability change agents.

This year, MCCC will hold Campus Sustainability activities on Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. in the South Hall Lobby at the College’s West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown, and on Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Advanced Technology Center Atrium at the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. All activities are free of charge and are open to the public.

Wednesday’s event coincides with a Sustainability Career Day for high school students, presented by Communities in Motion, a foundation of the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVF).

Both days will feature informational and interactive exhibits on a variety of “green” topics, including alternative energy, e-waste collection, alternative transportation opportunities, green office products, RecycleMania, electronic and rental textbooks, farm to table produce, a sustainable Price Is Right style game, a raffle with sustainable prizes, and much more. MCCC’s Medical Assisting students will also be collecting gently worn coats to benefit local community organizations.

In addition to these activities, the West Campus event will also include information about Bike Pottstown, the new Sustainability and Innovation Hub, and an ecosystem display by MCCC Biology students. The Central Campus event will feature acoustic music, solar telescope demonstrations, and hydrogen car presentations by MCCC’s Engineering students.

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, MCCC will also host a video conference presentation by Dr. Cable Green, Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons, from 12:20-1:20 p.m. in Advanced Technology Center room 101 at Central Campus and in South Hall 221 at West Campus. During his presentation, titled “Open is Sustainable,” Dr. Green will provide an overview of open licensing and open educational resources (OER) and will explore new OER projects that are pushing open education further into the mainstream.

Join MCCC’s Campus Sustainability Month conversation by sharing ways you’re going green using the #mc3green hashtag on social media.

Phila. Roofs Are Sprouting Greenery

When Esta Schwartz moved into her sixth-floor condominium at the Philadelphian, the view was not its best selling point.

The condos in the front of the building look out onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Art Museum, but her balcony, at the back, offered views of a black roof studded with large air-conditioning units.

Not anymore. Last week, workers began spreading dirt atop the roof, then planting it with sedum and other greenery that will be pink in June, ocher come November. Tall grasses will hide the air handlers.

“In some ways, it’s like a view out of a suburban window,” she said. Perhaps a third of the building’s condos now overlook, in effect, a huge lawn.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/science/20150422_Phila__roofs_are_sprouting_greenery.html#HmDdVpIU2KkOq5jx.99

Heinz Endowments Looks To Smart Urban Planning For Pittsburgh Moment

The Heinz Endowments is redirecting resources toward smart urban planning to seize upon an “amazing moment” in Pittsburgh’s development, foundation president Grant Oliphant said Thursday.

A citywide building boom, an infusion of young professionals and heightened partnerships between foundation and civic officials are among factors jump-starting conversations about long-term planning strategies.

“Suddenly, in 2015, Pittsburgh is a place to be,” Oliphant said. “There is an energy in Pittsburgh around development that makes possible things that were really not possible to push forward 10 years ago.”

Oliphant’s remarks emerge 18 months after a major personnel shakeup at The Heinz Endowments, Western Pennsylvania’s second largest foundation with more than $1.5 billion in net assets. A string of executive departures in 2013 left the foundation without an executive director for eight months, amid an apparent clash between the Heinz family and departing staffers over the foundation’s ties to an industry-backed environmental group.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8178606-74/heinz-foundation-oliphant#ixzz3Xapyylia
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Communities In Motion Honors MCCC, Others With Inaugural ‘Star Award’

King of Prussia, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) was among 15 recipients of the first-ever Star Award from Communities in Motion, a Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVF) foundation.  The award recognizes projects, plans and people who demonstrate leadership in sustainability planning and implementation.

Specifically, Communities in Motion recognized MCCC for its leadership and advocacy as a charter signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and for its sustainability work in the areas of transportation, waste minimization, energy and purchasing.

Associate Vice President for Facilities and Construction Jaime Garrido and Executive Director of Government Relations and Special Events Peggy Lee-Clark accepted the award on behalf of MCCC.

“Congratulations to our first ever Communities in Motion Stars recipients. We are honored to be able to recognize such wonderful organizations, individuals and local communities who are improving our communities of today so that they can be enjoyed now and well into the future. As Communities in Motion continues to grow and expand our programming, we are looking forward to continuing to work with our “stars” so that we can showcase their leadership and use their examples to continue to keep us all in motion.” said Rob Henry, CEO, Communities in Motion.

In addition to MCCC, other Communities in Motion Star Award recipients included the Borough of Phoenixville, Cheltenham Township, Chester County, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, King of Prussia District, Macerich – Tysons Corner Center, Montgomery County, Philadelphia Premium Outlets, the Borough of Pottstown, Saving Hallowed Ground, SEPTA, Simon, URS Corporation, and Vanguard.

Submission categories included building; development; green infrastructure; leadership/advocacy; marketing and promotion of a project; park, recreation or open space project; physical improvements; and planning.

To learn more about Communities in Motion, visit movingyou.org.

Since signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, Montgomery County Community College has put into place policies and procedures to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. As a result of its efforts, MCCC is a two-time recipient of Second Nature’s national Climate Leadership Award.  To learn more about MCCC’s sustainability initiative, visit mc3green.wordpress.com.

Sustainability: Pottstown Eyes Environmental Balance

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA – As any farmer can tell you, use any resource faster than it can be replaced — be it wood, water, money or patience — and eventually it will run out.

To put it simply, it’s not sustainable.

And where does that leave those who come after you?

Recognizing a responsibility to maintain a sustainable balance and to ensure resources are available to future generations, Pottstown may soon become the third municipality in Montgomery County to adopt a “sustainability plan.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141012/sustainability-pottstown-eyes-environmental-balance

The Hill School, Borough, And Pottstown School District Plan Second Pottstown CARES Clean-Up Event

POTTSTOWN, PA –About 700 volunteers from the Borough of Pottstown, The Hill School, the
Pottstown School District,and other organizations will again combine forces to demonstrate their
commitment to our hometown during the second annual CARES clean-up event to be held on Friday,
October 24, from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Rain date will be Monday, October 27.

Click here to view (and share) a short documentary created by Hill School student Jake Trombley
(Douglassville, Pa.) about last year’s CARES project and its impact on Pottstown.
(http://www.thehill.org/CARESvideo)

The clean-up will occur in a targeted area of Pottstown, from High Street north to Beech Street,
and Manatawny Street east to Edgewood Street.

All 515 Hill School students as well as Hill faculty and staff; at least 50 Pottstown High School students
and numerous faculty members; and many Borough workers and officials will be dispersed to weed,
pick up trash, and complete other “spruce up” tasks in public spaces in the core downtown area. In
addition, about a dozen volunteers from the Montgomery County Community College as well as
additional individuals from other community businesses and organizations will join the students and
other workers on their clean-up teams.

E-waste collector ReduxTech will be on hand to accept any old items that had electricity running
through them for recycling. The collection truck will be located in The Hill School Center For The
Arts parking lot off Beech Street from 9 a.m. to noon on October 24.

In addition, the Pottstown School District is running a blood drive in the High School gymnasium
from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Individuals interested in making a donation at the Pottstown High School
on October 24 may send an email to Pottstown faculty member Mark Agnew at
magnew@pottstownsd.org. Drop-in blood donations are also welcomed.

The CARES organizers ask that Pottstown area residents support our community by also
stopping by the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities at 57 North Franklin Street and
donating nonperishable food, laundry detergent, toiletries, warm clothing, and other items that will be
greatly appreciated by area families in need at this time. The Cluster will be accepting donations on the
CARES day (October 24) from 9 a.m. to noon.

Numerous organizations have contributed funding, tools, supplies, or other support to the CARES
endeavor. The generosity of the United Way and Home Depot provided funding for a Pottstown
CARES Community Tool Share Shed from which community individuals and organizations may
borrow tools. Interested parties should contact Katie Scanlan, High Meadows Foundation Sustainability
Chair at The Hill School, at kscanlan@thehill.org or 610-705-7277. CARES asks that tool borrowers
contribute one additional rake, shovel, or broom for each tool used and returned in order to helpexpand
the tool share program.

Organizations that wish to make additional donations of time, materials, or funding toward
CARES should contact Scanlan at the email address or phone number above; take donations of work
gloves, trash and leaf bags, or tools to Borough Hall at 100 E. High Street; or email
PottstownCARES@pottstown.org with suggestions or questions.

The massive CARES day volunteer crew will assemble under Hill’s former hockey rink roof at
8:30 a.m. on October 24 to receive instructions and participate in a group photo. All volunteers are
asked to wear blue – a “school color” shared by The Hill, the Pottstown School District, and the
Borough. Pre-organized teams then will disperse to their designated project areas until about noon,
when they will return to Hill for a picnic buffet lunch prepared by Sodexo, Hill’s food service provider.
Sodexo is generously donating the meals for all volunteers as well as Hill students and personnel.

The initial, joint CARES (Community, Awareness, Responsibility, Empowerment, and Sustainability)
endeavor was conceived in the spring of 2013 during conversations between Borough Manager Mark
Flanders, Pottstown School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Sparagana, and Hill School Headmaster Zachary
Lehman. The three leaders envisioned a collaborative project that would help to “spruce up” a
designated area in the core of Pottstown while boosting community pride. The CARES planning team
hopes these events will motivate Pottstown residents to engage in ongoing clean-ups of their own in
their immediate neighborhoods.

CARES project organizers wish to give special thanks to the Pottstown Police Department and
Emergency Services organizations and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department for their support.

MCCC Earns GVF Platinum Sustainability Award For Transportation Initiatives

MCCC

GVF Assistant Director Maureen Farrell (far right) and Action News Anchor Matt O’Donnell (far left) present (from left) Peggy Lee-Clark, MCCC executive director of government relations, and Dr. Celeste Schwartz, MCCC vice president for information technology and college services, with a platinum level sustainability award.

King of Prussia, Pa.— For the fourth consecutive year, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) earned a platinum-level sustainability award from the Greater Valley Forge Management Association (GVF) on Sept. 8 during the organization’s annual Sustainability Breakfast. MCCC was one of 32 organizations recognized for sustainability efforts in 2014.

MCCC partners with GVF to operate a campus shuttle service between its Blue Bell and Pottstown campuses and, for the first time this fall, between its Blue Bell campus and Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale. Last year, more than 10,400 riders took advantage of the free, 20-passenger shuttle, which is equipped with wi-fi to support student success.

On Earth Day 2014, MCCC and GVF introduced a new vehicle that runs on compressed natural gas (CNG), which, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, will further reduce emissions by 11 tons of carbon dioxide over the next year based on the 28,560 miles driven and 3,483 gallons of diesel fuel used in 2013. Prior to the introduction of the CNG vehicle, MCCC’s shuttle program helped to eliminate approximately 54,527 metric tons of carbon emissions and reduce vehicle usage by 522,144 miles annually.

In addition to the shuttle program, MCCC also employs Zimride, an industry leading rideshare service that provides a safe and easy way for students and staff to arrange carpooling through college community network that fully integrates with Facebook. Since launching Zimride in 2011, MCCC’s network has logged 1,461,492 carpool miles.

At the College’s Central Campus in Blue Bell, drivers of electric, hybrid, and conventional vehicles that average 25 MPG or greater, as well as carpoolers and shuttle riders, have the opportunity to park in a designated, convenient 185-space parking lot adjacent to the Advanced Technology Center. Electric vehicle charging stations are available in the Green Lot, as well as in the South Hall parking lot at the West Campus in Pottstown.

Other transportation initiatives include a Segway program for public safety officers in Pottstown, electric and hybrid vehicles for public safety and facilities staff in Blue Bell, and an increased effort to promote bicycle accessibility at all MCCC locations.

Since signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, Montgomery County Community College has put into place policies and procedures to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. As a result of its efforts, MCCC is a two-time recipient of Second Nature’s national Climate Leadership Award.  To learn more about MCCC’s sustainability initiative, visit http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

A Major Chunk Of PNC Tower’s New Glass ‘Skin’ Being Built In Pittsburgh

In a nondescript building in a city industrial park near Crafton, a big part of PNC’s $400 million Downtown skyscraper is being assembled piece by piece.

Permasteelisa Group, one of the world’s top contractors in the manufacturing and installation of building shells and interiors, has set up a mobile factory in the 80,000-square-foot warehouse to put together the 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza‘s “double skin” glass facade.

Roughly half of the building shell is being assembled at the site, with the rest being done in Windsor, Conn., Permasteelisa’s North American headquarters.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/02/27/A-major-chunk-of-PNC-tower-s-glass-skin-being-built-in-Pittsburgh/stories/201402270150#ixzz2uYvLYSzr

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Once Nearly Extinct, Streetcar Gets New Life In US

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) – When the auto plant here closed, this prosperous Wisconsin port city on Lake Michigan lost more than just its largest employer. Its sense of vitality seemed to drain away, and city leaders set out to find something that would inject life into the brick-storefront downtown while the economy went through a transition.

What they came up with was obsolete: an electric streetcar. Kenosha decided to bring back a relic that once clattered around metropolitan areas in pre-war America but was abandoned on the march to modernity.

More than a decade later, the experiment is now popping up all over. More than 30 cities around the country are planning to build streetcar systems or have done so recently. Dallas, Portland and Seattle all have new streetcar lines. Most projects involve spending millions of dollars to put back something that used to be there – often in the same stretches of pavement.

“It goes along with the revival of inner cities all over America,” said Steve Novick, transportation commissioner in Portland, which has spent more than $250 million to replace the lines the city shut down in 1950. “It’s too bad that they weren’t kept here all along.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/home/20131112_ap_043edaa93bec4e16a0a93d2539d71084.html#R3BS9I7CtAX4jqGH.99

Projects Sought For Pottstown Neighborhood Cleanup

POTTSTOWN — As planning for the Pottstown CARES cleanup event moves ahead, those hoping to help spruce up Pottstown’s core neighborhood and generate some activism there are soliciting residents for projects they might undertake.

The CARES project, standing for Community, Awareness, Responsibility, Empowerment, and Sustainability, has the three entities working on a community cleanup day scheduled for Oct. 25.

“We are trying to build a list of “doable” spruce- up projects, and the best way for us to do this is to generate a list of residents and their specific concerns/requests,” according to Cathy Skitko, communications director at The Hill School which is partnering with Pottstown borough and school district on the project.

Requests can be emailed to PottstownCARES@pottstown.org, or you can follow the link on the borough’s web page to make requests or register concerns.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130730/NEWS01/130739995/projects-sought-for-pottstown-neighborhood-cleanup#full_story