Are you interested in learning about sustainability in Chester County? If so, then be sure to sign up for our Sustainability eNewsletter! Each issue will cover news and stories of the work happening in our communities, as well as tips, and other relevant information regarding sustainability in Chester County. The articles below have been featured in previous issues. Sign up for the quarterly eNewsletter so you don't miss out on any tips and resources not included below.

Winter 2024

View the Winter 2024 Sustainability eNewsletter

Adopt a Highway SignAdopt a Highway in Chester County

February 2024

Have you ever seen the blue and white Adopt a Highway signs along PA roadways and wondered what they were? Ever seen bags of trash along the shoulder of state roads throughout the county and wondered why they were there? Read on!

EV BUSUnionville-Chadds Ford Students have a New Ride to School

February 2024

In the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, two electric school buses have entered the parking lot. The buses are part of a pilot to explore electrifying the bus fleet, a recommendation in the District's Sustainability Plan. Continue Reading

WatershedsWatersheds 2045 Plan Adopted by County Commissioners

February 2024

On January 24th, the Chester County Commissioners adopted Watersheds 2045 as the County's new integrated water resource plan. (Photo Credit: Cash Grant, Landscapes3 Photo Contest Submission) Continue Reading

Solar EventChester County Hosts Solar Adopter's Conference

February 2024

Chester County's Environmental and Energy Advisory Board and partners hosted the county's first Solar Adopter's Conference on January 18 for businesses and organizations to learn about the ways to obtain long-term benefits and cost savings using solar energy. Continue Reading

County EVCounty Acquires First Electric Vehicle

February 2024

In support of the goals established by Chester County's Climate Action Plan, we're excited to share that the county acquired its first Electric Vehicle! Continue Reading

Fall 2023

View the Fall 2023 Sustainability eNewsletter

Christmas TreesSustainability Perspectives: Are real or artificial Christmas trees better for the environment?

November 2023

Welcome to the holiday season! Whether you haul out your holiday decorations before Thanksgiving or wait patiently till December, the big question is: real or plastic. Some families prefer the convenience of a plastic tree that can be used year after year, but there is a strong sustainability argument to be made for a fresh, locally grown tree. Continue Reading

Karena DiLeoEEAB Spotlight — Meet Karena DiLeo

November 2023

Karena DiLeo feels most at home in the woods, so as a stewardship coordinator at French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust, one could say she works from "home." Her role involves assisting property owners of conserved land to advance the conservation value of their land by planting trees and native plants, managing invasive species, and improving habitats through projects like converting lawns to meadows. Continue Reading

RecyclingCommunity-Based Recycling Center Re-Opens in North Coventry

November 2023

Residents of northern Chester County and Pottstown now have a new way to recycle with the re-opening of Recycling Services, Inc., or RSI for short. RSI opened its doors to the public on October 21 after a hiatus of a few years. This non-profit community-based recycling drop-off center is run entirely by volunteer recycling enthusiasts and aims to not only offer recycling services but also to educate patrons about recycling, responsibility, and sustainability. Continue Reading

HOAPlanning Commission Launches Sustainability Resource Guide for Chester County HOAs

November 2023

Did you know that 46% of homes in Chester County are located within a community that has a home owners' association, or HOA? HOA covenants often impose strict standards to regulate a community's aesthetics, although the result often restricts residents from adopting sustainable practices like growing food in a backyard garden, having a compost bin, or installing solar panels. Continue Reading

PartnershipChester County Joins Sustainable Energy Partnership of Southeast PA

November 2023

At their October 12 meeting, the Chester County Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding between Chester, Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery counties to create and participate in the Sustainable Energy Partnership of Southeast PA. Together, the group will take a wholesale market approach to purchasing low, transparent, and stable electricity for county operations. Continue Reading

Summer 2023

View the Summer 2023 Sustainability eNewsletter

SummitYou're Invited! Chester County Hosts its First-Ever Sustainability Summit

August 2023

Registration is now open for Chester County's first-ever Sustainability Summit. This FREE half-day event will take place on Tuesday, September 26 at Penn State Great Valley's Conference Center from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Business owners, local government representatives, facilities managers, higher education and health care decision-makers, non-profits, and volunteers will benefit from the connections, resources and information provided at the Summit. In addition to the main event, Chester County is partnering with several local organizations to offer a series of in-person tours showcasing sustainability in action throughout the county. The tours are also free and open to the public, but registration is limited, so reserve your spot now! Learn More

Energy TransferFour Northern Chester County Municipalities Collaborate on Energy Transition Planning

August 2023

In response to a recommendation in the Chester County Climate Action Plan, the Chester County Planning Commission amended its Vision Partnership Program, which provides planning grants for Chester County municipalities to offer funding for energy transition planning. Four communities in northern Chester County — East Pikeland, West Pikeland, West Vincent, and Schuylkill Townships — were the first to take advantage of this, and after an 18 month-long process, their plans are now complete. Continue reading

WoodlandsNew Webpage Provides Resources for Woodlands & Tree Protection

August 2023

Trees and woodlands provide a multitude of benefits to the environment and our overall health, which is why it's important to understand how to best protect these resources. The Chester County Planning Commission recently launched a new webpage with information to assist in the protection and expansion of wooded areas, tree canopy, and individual trees — wherever they're located in Chester County! Continue reading

WoodlandsEEAB Spotlight — Meet Kevin Warren

August 2023

Kevin Warren, a Professional Engineer and Certified Energy Manager, has served on Chester County's Environmental and Energy Advisory Board since its inception in 2020. He is the owner and Principal at Warren Energy, an independent energy engineering company that focuses on energy efficiency supporting a range of clients, from business owners and design consultants, to utilities and energy services companies. Through his professional and volunteer roles he has developed expertise in measuring and verifying the benefits of energy efficiency and clean energy projects. Continue reading

HiberniaWildflower Meadow at Hibernia County Park Provides a Pop of Color

August 2023

Chester County is blooming with the recent re-introduction of a five-acre wildflower and seasonal grass meadow located at Hibernia County Park! This colorful addition represents the county's dedication to preserving and enhancing its many natural landscapes and scenery. Continue reading

Spring 2023

View the Spring 2023 Sustainability eNewsletter

Repair CafeToss it? No Way! Find a Repair Café!

May 2023

When a household item like a lamp or stand mixer breaks, many of us know no other option but to throw it away. Enter the Repair Cafe, an international model for pop-up events where those skilled in fixing various things — from broken bicycles to mending clothing — volunteer their time to fix your broken things. Continue reading

TrashAn Inside Look into Where our Trash Goes

May 2023

If you live in southern Chester County, chances are that your trash ends up in the Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority Community Landfill in West Grove. If you've ever wondered what happens to the 4.4 pounds of trash we each make every day (on average), here is a glimpse into the operations of the SECCRA landfill. Continue reading

KrugEnvironmental and Energy Board Member Spotlight: Meet Steve Krug, AIA, PE, LEED-AP, AEE Fellow

May 2023

Chester County is thankful to have the expertise of Steve Krug on its Environmental and Energy Advisory Board. As the owner of Krug Architects, Steve's tagline for his work is "Designing and planning for healthy, sustainable, vibrant places." Continue reading

Earth DayEarth Day 2023 Wrap Up

May 2023

From tree plantings to community cleanup events, Earth Day 2023 in Chester County featured a wonderful array of events and activities to help invest in our planet. Continue reading

Plastic Bags

Photo Source: plastic bags tied to fence by Dunk, licensed under CC-BY-2.0

Municipal Single Use Plastics Bans Gaining Traction in Southeast PA

May 2023

Each year, Pennsylvanians use more than 4.7 billion plastic bags — less than 2% of which are ever recycled. Single use plastics have become ubiquitous in our packaging and transport of items, and reducing our reliance on these materials has been a priority for Pennsylvania environmental advocates for some time. Continue reading

KCCB ContestKeep Chester County Beautiful Gives Away Supplies to Local Volunteers

May 2023

Last month as part of "Pick Up PA," Chester County's Keep Chester County Beautiful program held a Spring Giveaway to provide a volunteer group with supplies for their cleanup event. Our winning volunteer group was Schuylkill Township's EAC, nominated by Earl Cram. Continue reading

Winter 2023

View the Winter 2023 Sustainability eNewsletter

PXNVEOPhoenixville Borough Installs the First Hydrothermal Carbonization Wastewater Treatment System in North America

January 2023

Wastewater treatment is a hot topic in Phoenixville Borough! The Borough currently uses an anaerobic digestion system to treat its wastewater, which is already considered a more advanced type of treatment system than the average. Continue reading

Paul SpiegalMeet Paul Spiegel, Vice Chair of Chester County's Environmental and Energy Advisory Board

January 2023

Paul Spiegel is not afraid of building big things. He started his career as a structural engineer and worked his way up to being Mid Atlantic VP at a firm managing QA/QC for major construction projects like the Wells Fargo Center, Kimmel Center, and Vanguard's Malvern campus. Continue reading

Pick Up PAPick Up PA Season is Almost Here!

January 2023

Pick Up Pennsylvania's Great American Clean Up is scheduled from March 1 through May 31. During this time, clean-up events can receive free trash bags, gloves, and safety vests provided by support from the Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT and Keep America Beautiful, while supplies last. Continue reading

DCNR Awards Riparian Buffer Restoration Grant to Chester County Department of Parks + Preservation

Warwick Park

January 2023

In January the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced awards for its Fall 2022 round of applications to the Community Watershed and Forestry Program. Chester County's Department of Parks + Preservation was awarded a $70,000 grant for a multi-site project that will strengthen the natural resources within the county parks. Continue reading

Solar PanelsInflation Reduction Act Provides Tax Credits and Funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects

January 2023

The Inflation Reduction Act is billed as the most significant action related to climate change ever taken by the US Congress. It was signed into law in 2022 and went into effect on January 1 of this year. Continue reading

Upcoming Events and Resources

January 2023

View upcoming events and funding opportunities.

Fall 2022

View the Fall 2022 Sustainability eNewsletter

photoIt's Electric!

November 2022

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more common, particularly in southeastern PA. To accommodate their growing popularity and to encourage the transition to electric vehicles, more charging infrastructure is needed. Fortunately, information and funding resources are available to help the transition. Continue reading

Let's Keep Chester County Beautiful!

November 2022

photoBeautiful landscapes characterize much of Chester County, and this October Chester County took steps to protect the beautiful and healthy environment treasured by so many by becoming a local affiliate of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. Keep Chester County Beautiful is an initiative administered by the Chester County Planning Commission and will help connect Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful's resources and programs to the greater community. Continue reading

Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority Moves Forward

Fall 2022

photoBack in April, the Chester County Commissioners joined Berks and Montgomery Counties in approving the creation of the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority (SRPRA) to oversee and implement the restoration of passenger rail service between Reading and Philadelphia, including potential stops in Phoenixville, Pottstown, and Reading. At its most recent meeting on September 19, Authority board members approved the appointment of Thomas Frawley as the organization's first interim executive director. Continue reading

Chester County's Schuylkill River Trail Expansion Boosts Trail Usage

Fall 2022

photoThis past Spring, local officials celebrated the opening of the final stretch of the Schuylkill River Trail in Chester County during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Earth Day (April 22). This $6-million, 4-mile paved extension of the trail –filled one of the only gaps remaining in the 60-mile section of trail between Reading and Philadelphia. The project also included paving of a 6-mile section of the trail between Phoenixville and Parker Ford. With its two new trailheads, this project has expanded access to the trail, which is evident in recent trail usage data. Continue reading

photoChester County Planning Commission Creates New Sustainability Division

Fall 2022

In March of this year the Chester County Planning Commission formed a new Sustainability Division to assist municipalities and other stakeholders in implementing the County's Climate Action Plan and advancing sustainability initiatives within county government and the greater Chester County community. In addition, the division interfaces with the County's Environmental and Energy Advisory Board. Continue reading

Five Minutes with Jess Cadorette

Fall 2022

photoJess Cadorette was appointed to the Chester County's Environmental and Energy advisory board in 2020 and has served as its chairperson since then. In her professional life she currently serves as the Field Director for both Conservation Voters of PA and Penn Future — two distinct nonprofit organizations that both advocate for clean air, drinkable water, protected lands, and a healthy climate. Prior to this role she served as CVPA's Chester County Director and PennEnvironment's Climate Defender Organizer for Chester and Delaware Counties. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside in the environment she works to protect. Continue reading

Municipal Spotlight: Sustainable PA Certification

Fall 2022

photoFor local municipalities looking to take on sustainability initiatives and gain recognition for their efforts, the Sustainable PA certification program provides a framework to achieve sustainability goals, save money, conserve resources, and innovate to improve the lives of their residents. Administered by the PA Municipal League and Sustainable Pittsburgh, this free and voluntary municipal certification program was created to assess a local government's level of sustainability and provide a curated list of resources and opportunities to help municipalities improve in ways that are most beneficial and relevant to each unique community. Currently four Chester County municipalities are certified through the program: East Goshen, Caln, and New Garden Townships, and West Chester Borough. Continue reading