Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs this weekend!

ME News Fair logo

For anyone not already aware of it, here’s a quickly approaching opportunity to learn about many aspects of sustainable living. The Mother Earth News Fair comes once again to Seven Springs Mountain Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania this weekend, September 12-14th! You’ll be able to hear from leading experts in the fields of renewable energy, organic gardening, sustainable agriculture, green home building and more. You can view exhibits and state-of-the-art products, and interact with others who share many of your own interests, at a fun-filled, family-oriented regional event.

Find details and ticket information at:



Macoskey Center to host permaculture workshop August 23rd.

Macoskey logoThe Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable  Systems Education and Research at Slippery Rock University will offer an Introduction to Permaculture Design on Saturday, August 23rd from 9:00 a.m. until noon.  The workshop will introduce permaculture design, using the Macoskey Center as a model. Beginning in 1987, principles and practices of permaculture have been used to guide the design and development of the Center as a holistic and organic system.  This system includes gardens, an edible landscape, natural building methods, LEED-certified building design and renewable energy systems. Participants will learn the principles and practices of permaculture and see firsthand how they have been applied at the center.

The instructor will be Darrell Frey, owner and manager of Three Sisters Farm and Nursery, a permaculture market garden farm. Frey has been a permaculture design professional since 1986. He is the author of Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm.

Pre-registration is required, and cost of the workshop is $25.  To register, complete the form found here: Permaculture Workshop registration,  and mail it, along with check made payable to: “SRU/Macoskey Center,” to: Macoskey Center, 247 Harmony Road, Slippery Rock, PA 16057.

For more information or answers to questions, contact the Macoskey Center at 724.738.4050 or


Don’t miss the FOSSIL-FREE ENERGY FAIR tomorrow July 26th!


Marcellus Outreach Butler and Slippery Rock University’s Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator (SEA), with various additional sponsors that include Sustainable Slippery Rock, will present the second annual “Fossil-free  Energy Fair” on Saturday, July 26th from 11 a.m. until 7 pm.  The free event will be held in the Advanced Technology and Science (ATS) Hall on the Slippery Rock University campus.  This is a premier opportunity to learn more about and celebrate renewable energy alternatives through speakers, vendors, displays, children’s activities (with Jennings Environmental Education Center staff), music, and entertainment.   Free solar-cooked hot dogs will be featured.

Also, just announced, BMW and Ford will display their latest electric vehicles. Pittsburgh’s BMW dealer, P&W Motors, will display the BMW i3 with Range Extender (also called the REx), which has a backup internal combustion engine.  Ford Motor Company will showcase the Ford C-Max Energi, featuring a combination of an electric moter and gasoline engine.   Unlike a conventional hybrid, the C-Max Energi has a battery that can be charged overnight by plugging into a 120-volt outlet, or within 2.5 hours on a 240 volt circuit.

For more information, including a detailed schedule and lists of presenters, exhibitors and sponsors, see the event website at 



Photovoltaics presentation and Sustainable Slippery Rock meeting: next Tuesday, June 24th

Sustainable Slippery Rock (SSR) will hold a general meeting on Tuesday, June 24th, starting at 7:00 pm at the Robert A Macosky Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research (RAMC) at 247 Harmony Road, on the eastern campus of Slippery Rock University (SRU).

Dr. Carolyn Steglich, Professor of Biology at SRU, will speak on the topic “Almost Off the Grid,” focusing on her use of photovoltaics as a primary source of power at her home for the past 15 years.  She will welcome questions regarding her experience in this important aspect of sustainability.  This presentation will be offered in anticipation of the upcoming “Fossil Free Energy Fair” on July 26th at SRU, co-sponsored by Sustainable Slippery Rock, along with Marcellus Outreach Butler and the Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator and others.

Prior to the talk, there will be a business meeting to discuss concerns of the SSR membership, including the passage of important amendments to its Bylaws, the next steps towards forming a nonprofit organization, help needed for the Energy Fair, and new initiatives between Sustainable Slippery Rock and Slippery Rock University.  The meeting and presentation are free and open to anyone who has an interest.

Parking is available on both sides of the road.  Be careful in crossing the road, if you park across from the Macoskey Center.   With questions, or for more information, please e-mail

Sustainable Slippery Rock Partners in “Cornucopia Project”

Sustainable Slippery Rock will make vegetable seeds available to gardeners who agree to donate all or part of their harvest to local hunger relief efforts.  Learn more by viewing this flyer: Cornucopia Project flyer 2

Coming up at Slippery Rock Community Farmer’s Market

This Saturday, May 24th, from 9:00 a.m. til noon, tavern chef Bill McGary will demonstrate some of the Early American cooking techniques that will be taught through the summer at the Old Stone House.

The market has been open at Rock Falls Park south of Slippery Rock since the first Saturday in May. Vendors are currently featuring seedlings and plants for home gardens, as well as grass-finished beef, a few early season vegetables, herbs, baked and preserved goods, home-made body care items and hand-crafted wares.  In addition to items for sale, the market schedules informative speakers and displays related to food, gardening, health and sustainable living; live music; and activities for children.  On June 28th Sheryl Kelly, Butler County Recycling/Waste Mgt Coordinator, will offer information and chlidren’s activities related to recycling, waste reduction and safe, proper disposal of various items.  Watch for an “Ask the Master Gardeners” display from Penn State Cooperative Extension, Butler County, in the very near future, as well.  Check the SRCFM Facebook page  for the latest additions to the market schedule.

Slippery Rock Farmers’ Market is Now Open!

Slippery Rock Community Farmers’ Market has opened for the 2014 season, featuring a bounty of fresh foods and unique, handcrafted items. Get to know the folks who grow your food, and support the regional economy on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon at Rock Falls Park (on Route 173 just south of Slippery Rock).
From now through October 25th the market will offer locally-grown and produced items, including plants for your own garden; seasonal fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers; canned and preserved items, baked goods and cheeses; local meats, eggs and honey; handmade/ homemade soaps and lotions; candles; jewelry and more.
In addition to items for sale, the market schedules informative speakers and displays related to food, gardening, health and sustainable living; live music; and activities for children. On May 24th, tavern chef Bill McGary will demonstrate some of the Early American cooking techniques that will be taught through the summer at the Old Stone House. Certified yoga instructor Rachel DeWolf Gilkinson offers a yoga class from 10 – 11 a.m. each Saturday (donation requested). Learn more at or Better yet, come see for yourself what the market has to offer!

Local Foods Event Follow-up Meeting Scheduled

On Wednesday, March 26th Sustainable Slippery Rock and Northwest Pennsylvania Growers Cooperative co-sponsored a very successful event, “Green ’14: Building a Local Food System in the Slippery Rock Area.”  More than 80 people attended to view exhibits, sample tasty snacks and interact with individuals and organizations who are involved in growing, distributing and consuming local, sustainably-produced foods.  During a facilitated discussion segment, participants contributed their ideas to envision a strong and viable system that provides that food.

If those who attended learned something new, connected with someone who has a similar interest, or found a resource that will be helpful to them, then we have met part of our goal. To maintain the interest and enthusiasm generated during that event, we invite anyone who is interested to continue the process that was started, by attending a follow-up meeting of Sustainable Slippery Rock.

The meeting will be held this coming Friday, April 4th at 7:00 p.m. at the Ginger Hill Unitarian Universalist Congregation’s building at 174 South Main Street, Slippery Rock, PA 16057. (Located just behind the main row of buildings along the west side of Main Street.) The agenda will feature a summary of the ideas generated during the facilitated discussion and look ahead to some next steps to moving further toward that vision.  Updates will also be given on Sustainable Slippery Rock’s plans and future events.  For more information or answers to questions, e-mail


Cosponsors Sustainable Slippery Rock and Northwest Pennsylvania Growers Cooperative invite all who care about where their food comes from to attend “Green 14: Building a Local Food System in the Slippery Rock Area.”  This networking and visioning event will take place on Wednesday, March 26 from 6:00 until 8:30 p.m. at the Slippery Rock Township Building, 155 Branchton Road.  It is free and open to the public.  See a flyer about this event here: Local Foods Event flyer 2

The event aims to connect community members, farmers, business people, and consumers who have an interest in building a vibrant, economically viable system that supports sustainable farming practices and links local food producers with consumers.

The program will begin with time for informal networking, sampling local foods and viewing displays.  The agenda will continue with brief, presentations by a panel representing various facets of  local food production, distribution and consumption; facilitated discussion designed to involve participants in defining a vision for a strong, local food system; and finally, summarizations of discussions and proposals for the future.

This is the first in a series of “Green ’14…”events being planned for the coming year by Sustainable Slippery Rock.  Other events will focus on renewable energy alternatives and on green design and construction. Sustainable Slippery Rock is a community-based, networking group with the mission of “envisioning, supporting, and celebrating sustainability in the Slippery Rock area.”  Northwest Pennsylvania Growers Cooperative is a regional cooperative of farmers dedicated to providing fresh, natural/organic, local produce every season of the year.   For more information e-mail or call 814-330-2550.

Upcoming opportunities to learn about shale gas development, hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and related issues

Saturday, November 9th, 2:00 p.m.
Free screening of Gasland Part II, HBO documentary film, presented by Marcellus Outreach Butler, at the Robert Smith Student Center at Slippery Rock University. Filmmaker Josh Fox, former Pittsburgh Councilman Doug Shields, and Bridget Shields will lead a Q & A session following the film.
For information, contact Dr. Itzi Meztli, Department of English, 724-738-4933.

Thursday, November 21, 7:00 p.m. at the Succop Theater at Butler County Community College (BC3) in Butler.
“The Science of Shale Gas; The Latest Evidence on Leaky Wells, Methane Emissions, and Implications for Public Policy”, with  Cornell University Professor of Engineering, Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, on the science, safety and debate over hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Free and open to the public. Co-hosted by Marcellus Outreach Butler.