Previous Summit Events

Summit IV Webinar Series

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Public Art and Creative Sustainability,
Aired March 2, 2021

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Ramiro Davaro-Comas, creator and director of a unique traveling artist residency program, Dripped On The Road, will be presenting a talk about the programs October 2020 residency in Indiana, PA. The talk will touch on the history of the residency program, its October 2020 project in Indiana, PA that brought 14 new murals to town, and the Creative Sustainability initiative they launched to curb emissions and environmental waste, while continuing to create public art. The talk will also feature video segments from their upcoming documentary, in which community members and artists are interviewed about their process and impact on the Indiana community.

Dripped On The Road is a traveling artist residency program dedicated to fostering a unique creative environment for its resident artists while enhancing the visual atmosphere of communities through public art.

This one of a kind program invites selected artists to:
- Travel a predetermined route around the U.S.
- Create public murals in a diverse array of cities and communities.
- Camp at national & state parks to create small works on paper.
- Collaborate with a variety of arts/community organizations on workshops, talks, and panels.
- Create Sustainably by using environmentally conscious materials and planting trees for every project completed.

Keystone State wildlife In a Changing Climate and What We Can Do About It, Aired March 4, 2021

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Pennsylvania is home to a surprising amount of biodiversity, including 22 salamander species and over 400 bird species. Human-caused climate change is happening in Pennsylvania and impacting the state’s plants and animals. We’ll discuss some of the benefits of biodiversity, impacts of climate change on migratory birds of PA, and ways individuals and communities can take action to support birds and biodiversity and to reduce climate change.

This session will be presented by four team members from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and University of Pittsburgh’s Climate and Rural Systems Partnership, who are funded by the National Science Foundation Award #1906774 and #1906368.

Family Forest Carbon Program: Making an Income from Private Woodlots, Aired March 5, 2021

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As the Conservation Forester for The Nature Conservancy, Kevin Yoder promotes sustainable forest management throughout Pennsylvania. His career has revolved around the integration of wildlife management and forestry, with an emphasis on sustainably managing privately-owned forestland. Kevin is interested helping landowners manage their land sustainably and developing tools and programs that help fund conservation on private lands.
Did you know that forests play a critical role in helping mitigate climate change? Trees take carbon dioxide from the air, store part of the carbon in the wood, and release oxygen. Landowners can manage their forests to store more carbon while also improving wildlife habitat and growing more timber. Landowners can also enroll in programs that pay them to implement certain practices that improve forest carbon storage. Kevin Yoder, Conservation Forester with The Nature Conservancy, will present on forest carbon management and opportunities for landowners to get paid for sustainable forest management.
One of the programs being launched in Pennsylvania is the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP). The FFCP is a new way to unleash globally significant climate change mitigation through America’s family forests. The American Forest Foundation (AFF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are working with leading U.S. businesses, state and federal agencies, other non-profits, and America’s 21 million family forest owners to capture and store more carbon to meet climate goals.
The FFCP represents an opportunity to engage rural landowners with new types of incentives, benefitting family forest owners by helping offset the cost of the needed forest management practices and offer opportunity for income. The program is designed to remove one of the most significant barriers for family forest owners—the high cost of forest of management activities, while also providing technical assistance and professional guidance to landowners on the best options for their forests.
The FFCP incentivizes specific forest management practices which have been scientifically demonstrated to enhance carbon sequestration. Through the program, private landowners will work with professional foresters to implement one or more practices that align with the landowner’s management goals. The practices are consistent with sustainable forestry, provide more suitable wildlife habitat, and support long-term production of forest products.

The FFCP is a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and American Forest Foundation.

Energy Policy Creating Opportunities for PA Residents, Aired March 11, 2021

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Panelists from Solar United Neighbors, Penn State Extension, and other organizations will cover how current energy policies can inhibit or provide energy options available to residents of Pennsylvania. Energy resiliency will also be discussed. A brief presentation by each panelist will conclude with a question and answer session.

Henry McKay, Pennsylvania Program Director at Solar United Neighbors (SUN)
Mark Szybist, Climate & Clean Energy Program Senior Attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
Ed Johnstonbaugh, Education Program Associate at Penn State Extension
Robert Routh, Public Policy and Regulatory Counsel at Clean Air Council

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Summit III

Reinventing Rural America

Join us to hear our expert speakers on sustainable practices in economic development, agriculture, renewable energy, building construction, environmental restoration, and rural broadband.

WHEN: Friday October 4, 2019

WHERE: at the Rustic Lodge in Indiana PA

TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

DETAILS: Breakfast/Registration at 8:30 a.m. Includes lunch.

Free and open to the public; attend any or all of the presentations.
The final report of the Task Force was presented at Summit II, on September 28, 2018. This year’s Summit celebrates the efforts of the Task Force and its community to pursue the opportunities and recommendations outlined in the report. A panel of group leaders will share their successes and plans for future action. Guest speakers will highlight opportunities for promoting economic and workforce development, and citizen education, within each of the issue areas.

Summit III Guest Speakers

Mother Earth Farms

Chloe Drew & Jennica Hopkins

Mother Earth Farm, PA
Chloe Drew & Jennica Hopkins are twin sisters who own and operate Mother Earth Farm PA. As farmers and owners, Chloe and Jennica focus on growing their produce using sustainable practices including no-till, on-farm inputs and locally sourced manure and food waste to enrich the soil.
Joey James

Joey James

Senior Strategist, Downstream Strategies Inc.
As the technical expert for the Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition, Mr. James has helped communities throughout West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio develop project plans, quantify impacts of potential projects, and secure implementation funding for transformational land reuse projects.
Matthew Alan Mahoney Picture

Matthew Alan Mahoney

Western PA Program Manager, KEEA
Matthew Alan Mahoney was born and raised in Bairdford, Pennsylvania, a small coal townorth of Pittsburgh. In 2018, Matt began working with the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA), a nonprofit committed to advancing the energy efficiency industry.
Sascha Meinrath Headshot (Large)

Sascha Meinrath, Ph.D.

Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State University
Meinrath’s research focuses on broadband connectivity, distributed communications, Digital Feudalism, Digital Craftsmanship, telecommunications and spectrum policy, cybersecurity and privacy, and the impacts of disruptive technology, and is a testament to his lifelong commitment to promoting social and economic justice.
Emily Rhodes

Emily Rhodes, AICP

Technical Assistance & Planning Manager, Just Transition Fund
Emily provides technical assistance and community planning support at the Just Transition Fund. With a background in urban planning, Emily’s work has focused on resilience and land use planning throughout the Midwest.

Greg Winks & Will Brown

Solbridge Energy Advisors
Greg Winks and Will Brown founded Solbridge Energy Advisors to make the process of going solar more straightforward and user-friendly, while creating opportunities for greater innovation and cost competition among service providers.

Summit III Presentations

Opening Presentation
Molly Sarver: Indiana County Sustainable Economic Development Task Force
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Keynote: Economic Development
Emily Rhodes, AICP: Economic Development in US Coal Communities in Transition
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Renewable Energy
Greg Winks & Will Brown: The Future is Renewable: Policy, Practices, and Potential for Solar in PA
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Luncheon Speaker: Rural Broadband
Sascha Meinrath, Ph.D.: Mapping US Broadband Connectivity: Results and Implications of Documenting Pennsylvania’s Digital Divides
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Sustainable Building Construction
Matthew Alan Mahoney: Pennsylvania’s Energy Efficiency Economy
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Environmental Restoration & Stewardship
Joey James: Making Assets of Liabilities: Innovative Land Re-Use in Central Appalachia
Joey James PNG

Sustainable Agriculture
Chloe Drew & Jennica Hopkins: Cultivating Community, Compost and the Small Scale Farm
Mother Earth Farm PA_Community, Composting, and the Small Scale Farm_Page_01

Summit II

WHEN: Friday September 28, 2018
WHERE: at the Rustic Lodge in Indiana PA
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
DETAILS: Breakfast/Registration at 8:30 a.m. Includes lunch.

Free and open to the public.

Family supporting jobs. Healthy and thriving communities. Rural economic vitality that gives all its citizens a chance to prosper.
These are aims of the Indiana County Sustainable Economic Development Task Force.
The Indiana County Commissioners established the Task Force in May 2017, following a successful inaugural Sustainable Economy Summit. The Task Force was charged with identifying new opportunities for economic development, citizen education, and job training/workforce development within four issue areas:

• the renewable energy sector
• innovative agriculture
• sustainable building construction, renovation, and restoration
• wise use of the County’s natural resources

Over the past year, the Task Force has developed a set of recommendations to help guide the County’s progress as a sustainable community. Its final report will be presented at Summit II, on September 28, 2018 at Rustic Lodge, 2199 Oakland Avenue, Indiana, PA. A panel of group leaders will provide background on the process, as well as the recommendations of each group.
Keynote speaker Scott J. Sheely, Special Assistant for Workforce Development for the PA Department of Agriculture, will be joined by other expert speakers. They will highlight opportunities for promoting citizen education, and workforce and economic development within each of the issue areas.
The Task Force steering committee is comprised of representatives from:

• Indiana County Office of Planning & Development
• League of Women Voters of Indiana County and Pennsylvania
• Center for Community Growth
• The Evergreen Conservancy
• IUP Sustainability Studies Program
• Indiana Borough
• Indiana County Conservation District
• Indiana County Technology Center
• Indiana County Center for Economic Operations, a consortium of:
• Indiana County Commissioners
• Indiana County Chamber of Commerce
• Indiana County Development Corporation
• Indiana County Tourist Bureau
• Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Summit II Program

2018 Report
Report 2018

Summit II Presentations

Henry McKay Solar United Neighbors Presentation
Henry McKay Presentation

Andy McAllister - Land and Water Restoration and Stewardship Presentation
Andy McAllister Presentation

Erica Cochran Hameen Sustainable Building Construction Presentation
Erica Cochran Hameen Presentation

Scott Sheeley Sustainable Agriculture Presentation
Scott Sheeley Presentation

Zaheen Hussain Sustainabillity