Chestnut Hill is turning green, turning the neighborhood into one of the most environmentally friendly residential and business sections in the city. Because of dedicated individuals in the community, sustainability is becoming widespread in Chestnut Hill. These individuals are making an environmental difference and inspiring others to take up the initiative.
Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark
Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark, one of the Sisters of Saint Joseph at Chestnut Hill College has always felt strongly about social justice. A trip to Africa, however, opened her eyes to environmental problems.
“These other issues won’t matter if we don’t have earth,” Sister Clark said.
She orchestrated an eco film festival last year to educate college students about sustainability. One of the most powerful of the films was the true story of Sister Dorothy Stang, who was killed in the Amazon Rainforest in 2005 because of her environmental efforts. This year, Sister Clark plans on discussing careers in sustainability at the annual Sustainability Conference held at Chestnut Hill College. Her work at the SSJ Earth Center is linking local people directly to experts and inspiring activists.
Andrew Peska is the friendly face of Top of the Hill Market, which he now owns. He worked alongside the former owner when the fresh fruit and vegetables were sold at an outdoor stand, and he was there in 1994 when Top of the Hill Market opened at its current location. His dedication to providing local, fresh food to the community has been unwavering through the years.
Michael Herbst is the produce manager at Weaver’s Way Co-op, a market where local, sustainable, organic, fair traded and healthful food is sold. Those that work alongside Herbst recognize his passion for the job. He turned his love for gardening and cooking into a career that inspires his community and coworkers to think more about green initiatives.
Weavers Way Co-op is the Northwest’s most popular co-op. With four stores across Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy, they also reach surrounding neighborhoods through delivery and reversed purchasing.
Stephanie Kane has made a difference in the community by finding local merchants from farmers to natural dog food businesses to sustainable beauty care and more. She has made it her goal to feature local farmers and businesses as well as educate the community about co-ops and the importance of buying local.
Ed Bush, manager at Wissahickon Cyclery, not only recycles more medal at the shop than any other, saving it from ending up in landfills, but he also routinely cleans up bike trails. He cares about the cycling community and the environment, which is why he routinely restores bike trails at the Belmont Plateau.