Sunday, March 29, 2009

Treez Please in Wick Park

Yesterday was a splendid day for tree planting. The sun was shining and it was a warm spring day. This was the first of several tree planting events to be hosted by Treez Please. Yesterday,seventeen trees were planted along the Park Avenue side of Wick Park. The trees were planted as part of the overall plan to revitalize the park. Among the trees planted were Honey Locust, and several Autumn Glaze and October Glory Maples. There were about forty people in attendance including a bus load of kids from First Friend's Church of Salem Ohio. The young people were doing community service in order to bring attention to world hunger. One young woman from the group explains their mission in this short video.

Below is a short video about planting trees:

Treez Please wishes to thank all of those who came out to plant trees yesterday. We would also like to thank Second Nature Landscaping for their assistance as well as the city forester David Sturtz for auguring the holes. We had a wonderful time and hope all those who joined us did as well.

Treez Please will be hosting several other events in the near future. If you or someone you know would like to participate go to and send us a message. We will add your name to our contact list.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Time Happenings in Youngstown

Well Spring time is here and there is a lot to do. It is time to clean up winter debris and start planting things. Last weekend's permaculture course presented by Grow Youngstown, and taught by Josh Benniston was a wonderful learning experience and a great social one as well, because it brought together people from Columbiana County, Mahoning County, and some from as far away as Oberlin, OH.

Grow Youngstown is once again offering an opportunity to participate in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) For information on costs go the website. The deadline for getting your contract to Grow Youngstown is April 1, 2009.

This weekend is busy as well. Treez Please is doing a tree planting in Wick Park tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. The tree planting will take place on the Park Avenue side of the park. I'm told the weather will be fine until tomorrow evening so come on out, get your hands dirty, and join the fun!

Also tomorrow, Judge Dellick of Mahoning County Juvenile Court and Tony Budak of the Time Bank of the Mahoning Watershed, are having a public meeting at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church at 514 Parmalee Avenue, Youngstown to discuss the development of a Teen Court. The meeting begins at 1:00 PM.

In addition a series of very important public hearings will be held by the Community Development Office of the city of Youngstown. The purpose of the hearings is to receive public comment regarding the City of Youngstown's One Year Action Plan. The Plan to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) includes estimated funding of $5 million of community development monies.

All interested citizens are encouraged to attend one of these meetings. Citizens will be provided the opportunity to offer input on how the City should allocate, within the Consolidated Plan, resources it receives from HUD. Audience dialogue is strongly encouraged, however these particular meetings are not designed to resolve general complaints. The meetings will remain focused on allocating resources within the plan. For further information, contact the City of Youngstown's Community Development Agency (330) 744-0854

Monday, April 6, 2009, 6:00 pm
115 S. Meridian Road, Youngstown, OH

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 6:00 pm
3660 Shirley Road, Youngstown, OH

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 6:00 pm
Park Vista Gathering Room
1216 Fifth Avenue, Youngstown, OH

Thursday, April 9, 2009 6;00 pm
Associated Neighborhood Center, Auditorium
1649 Jacobs Road, Youngstown, OH

Also, for those who are anxious to know when the Grey to Green Festival will be taking place; it has been scheduled for September 12, 2009 at Wick Park on Youngstown's north side. Further information will be made available at a later date.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Homegrown Revolution

This wonderful little film is about a matter that is near and dear to my heart. Although, the film is about a family in California, it could just as well be about a family in Youngstown Ohio. There are of course numerous differences in the type of produce that can be grown, the growing season, and the need to learn food preservation, but do not doubt it, we too can grow our own food.

Grow Youngstown is presenting a two day workshop in permaculture on March 21 and 22, 2009. It will be held at the Davis Center in Mill Creek Park. If you too have an interest in the freedom that can come from growing your own food please contact Elsa with questions at Information about the course is posted below the film.

Introduction to Permaculture Design Instructor - Josh Benniston
A Weekend Workshop, March 21st and 22nd, at the
D.D. and Velma Davis Center, 123 McKinley Avenue, Yo. Ohio
We will learn about:

* Practical design methods for gardens, farms,
buildings, organizations, communities, etc.
* Productive Edible Landscapes
* Principles of Ecological Design
* Urban Sustainability

Workshop cost is $70 per individiual for the weekend,
$60 ea. for two people and $50.00 ea. for three
people or more from the same organization. Depending
on enrollment, scholarships will be made
available based on need and community involvement.

Checks are payable to: Grow Youngstown
and should be mailed to
PO Box 1191,
Youngstown, Ohio 44501.

IMPORTANT: Please indicate the
names and number of people attending as well as
your email contact information.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Downtown Development Project - Where Less is More

Press Release from the Ohio Arts Council

The Federal Plaza Corridor is nothing short of “the key to revitalizing downtown Youngstown” Raymond John Wean Foundation

MAHONING COUNTY Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown in Mahoning County is shrinking. It has less than half the population it did 40 years ago. Where bustling mills once churned out sheet metal and tubing there are now abandoned buildings; busy streets once filled with children are now blighted neighborhoods of empty homes. But after waiting decades for boom times to return, the city is now trying a different strategy: through an initiative dubbed Plan 2010, the city is embracing contraction –“shrinkage,” with fewer residents, services and physical size – as a road to sustainability. Green space is being created. Incentives are offered to homeowners in sparsely populated areas to move to more densely populated ones. And the arts and cultural assets of the area, many of which receive operating and project support from the Ohio Arts Council, are being positioned to be at the center of the recovery.

The city’s rich past means it has abundant treasures worth celebrating. Federal Plaza and Federal Street are home to an amazing array of architectural jewels of early 20th century architecture, including the classical Sky Bank Building (1909), the neo-classical revival Reality Building (1924), and what was once a grand theatre. And today, the Raymond Jean Wean Foundation is funding “an exploration of the arts and culture in Mahoning County” – specifically the Federal Plaza corridor, once a thriving retail hub in downtown Youngstown. A large-scale project is being developed in the warehouse of nationally-known artist James Pernotto, where planners envision an adaptive re-use facility featuring artist live/work space, studios and shops. The Butler Institute of American Art is even considering a satellite exhibition space there. Nearby, over $12 million has been invested in a Tech Block business incubator for technology companies and other start-ups.

The Wean Foundation sees the Federal Plaza Corridor as nothing short of “the key to revitalizing downtown Youngstown.” The project is still in the conceptual stages but is gaining momentum and support. Change won’t happen overnight, but the mood is shifting – and you can feel it. Today Youngstown remains an example of rust belt glory days gone by, where streetscapes turned to eyesores and once-proud homes became empty lots. But tomorrow, with the vision of community leaders and an economic revitalization plan that embraces the arts, innovation and imagination, Youngstown’s best days may yet be ahead of it. YOUNGSTOWN DEVELOPMENT PROJECT Where Less is More We’re Building Ohio Through the Arts The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically.

Ohio Arts Council
727 East Main Street
Columbus, OH 43205-1796
General Information:
Ted Strickland, Governor
Susan Saxbe, OAC Board Chair Julie S. Henahan, OAC Executive Director

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Riding on the WRTA

This photo by Tony Nicholas

photo of the smiling bus driver by Tony Nicholas

A good time was had by all who participated in the bus trip organized by Shout Youngstown. The Vindy did an excellent piece on the event, check it out here. Approximately 25 or 30 people met at the WRTA station in downtown Youngstown to take the Buckeye 33 to Casa Fiesta on Midlothian Blvd. The Casa Fiesta serves a wide range of Mexican dishes, in a bright and cheerful environment. (The pina coladas are to die for by the way)

Yesterday's gathering was similar to a flash mob only on public transit. It was organized to show support for the WRTA and to bring attention to the fact that Saturday service has been restored thanks to the levy that recently passed. WRTA's current goal is to provide county wide service.

Bus schedules can be found at the WRTA website here. Riding the bus is for everyone. I have often heard people remark that riding the bus is for people in poverty, or disabled. Actually, riding the bus is not a "class" issue but rather an environmental issue. The more people using public transportation the better for our environment.

Yesterday was a first for a few of the participants. Some were a little nervous about the experience because they were uncertain how to ride the bus. The WRTA anticipating this feeling has posted a rider's guide to the bus system here.

More flash mob events on the WRTA are in the planning stages, the bloggers of Y-town will keep you updated. Hope you can join us next time! It is our hope that more and more people will become aware and make use of this wonderful asset in the Mahoning Valley.

The WRTA will be receiving 3.51 million dollars infunds from the Federal Stimulus Package to make needed improvements to the station and to expand service. WRTA can get a head start on making needed improvements by placing bus schedules in the station and fixing their change machine. It would also be wonderful if the WRTA window could be open on Saturday as well.

We do hope to see you all next time. It was a great way to get together with friends old and new, explore Y-town by bus, and have a wonderful lunch!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cornel West - The Jazz Man of Ideas

I was blown away by Cornel West on February 26th at Stambaugh Auditorium. I personally think this was mutual as I think that Dr. West was also blown away by the crowd and the venue. It is not often that we are privileged to hear intellectual discourse such as that Dr. West provided the other evening. The philosophical conversation is something that is often missing from our day to day lives. After listening to his lecture the positive energy in the auditorium was palpable. The issues he discussed are those that concern many of us. If you missed it,I'm sorry. However, you may have another opportunity to hear Dr. West.

Dr. West is in a new documentary coming soon called The Examined Life Philosophy is in the Streets. If urge you to seek it out. It would be wonderful if we could get a showing of the film in Youngstown - perhaps we can work on that. After the theatrical opening dvds will also be available and you can get information about that here. There are special rates for schools and institutions as well. Here is a clip from the film.