Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Virtual Three Rivers Urban Soils Symposium Jan. 13

Join regional and national experts, professionals and community practitioners at the January 13
Three Rivers Urban Soils Symposium for an exploration of urban soils and their relation to urban agriculture, stormwater management, and community health.

This free program will be held from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Featured speakers include--

-- Megan Midgley - Organic Amendment Effects On roadside Trees Are Tree Species Dependent. Meghan studies plant-soil interactions in a changing world. As the Soil Ecologist at The Morton Arboretum, she works to translate fundamental understanding of trees and soils into effective techniques for restoring and managing natural and urban ecosystems. She is currently using ecologically-based approaches to optimize urban soils for tree growth, health, and diversity.

-- Barton Kirk, Ecological Engineer / Principal at Ethos Collaborative. Barton is an ecological engineer whose core expertise lies at the nexus of energy, water, climate, and community. 

Through applied ecological economics and life-cycle systems analysis, Barton's work with green infrastructure (GI) offers holistic insight into the long-term economic and environmental costs and benefits of site-level infrastructure, institutional operations, and regional community patterns.  

Barton is an 18-year veteran green infrastructure design and practice leader whose passion for this work is predicated on the idea that green infrastructure is living infrastructure, and that the resilience and sustainability of engineered systems often depends upon our ability to create conditions conducive to life. Barton currently co-leads Ethos Collaborative, a Pittsburgh-based civil/ecological design strategies firm.

-- Ned Brockmeyer, Hilltop Urban Farm Soils: From Farming to Housing and Back Again. Ned is the Director of Farm Programs at Hilltop Urban Farm (HUF) and helped open HUF to the public in 2019. A native Pittsburgher, Ned previously worked as a Farm Manager at Indy Urban Acres, another non-profit urban farm in Indianapolis, IN, and is also an ISA Certified Arborist. 

Ned has a Masters in Landscape Architecture, and his thesis focused on the best management practices of integrating agriculture into public, urban greenspaces. Ned helps to manage all of the programs at HUF, which currently include a youth farm, community farm, and farmer incubator program.

-- Mary Tremonte, Hands-on Creative Approaches to Working with Soil Health and Community Health. Mary is an artist, educator, and DJ. From late 2019-2020, she worked with Grow Pittsburgh on a public art project organized by Pittsburgh's Office of Public Art, through their Environment, Health, and Public Art initiative. 

Dirt Is Beautiful includes two components: SHED, a portable soil health education cart that community gardeners can borrow from Grow Pittsburgh, stocked with creative educational activities about soil health, and Dirt Tales, a zine about soil health and contaminants in Pittsburgh, which will be mailed to TRUSS participants after the conference.

Sponsors of this event include Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens; Allegheny County Conservation District; Dept. of Geology & Environmental Science, University of Pittsburgh; Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Grow Pittsburgh and the PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture.

Click Here to register and for more information.

[Posted: December 30, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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