Archive

Sharpsburg, Etna, Millvale will share $2.3 million Hillman grant for energy alternatives | TribLIVE.com
Fox Chapel

Sharpsburg, Etna, Millvale will share $2.3 million Hillman grant for energy alternatives

herlibraryaward111815
The Sharpsburg Community Library at 1212 Main Street will benefit from a $2.3 million grant from the Hillman Foundation geared at sustainable development.

Three Allegheny County river towns are partnering to implement sustainable development and energy alternatives thanks to a $2.3 million grant.

The Sharpsburg Neighborhood Organization, Etna Economic Development Corp. and New Sun Rising will share equally in the multi-million dollar grant from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation to benefit the community-led, sustainable initiative, the Triboro Ecodistrict.

The initiative benefits the boroughs of Sharpsburg, Etna and Millvale. Development will be over the course of two years, and the first round of projects installing solar panels in each community is set to start in June.

New Sun Rising is a Pittsburgh nonprofit providing programs and services to communities to create equitable opportunity. Brian Wolovich is a Millvale council member, New Sun Rising team member and Triboro Ecodistrict coordinator. He said that the 10,000 residents throughout the three neighboring communities have the opportunity to play a key role in planning projects.

“The residents have the wisdom of the community and know what the neighborhoods need in ways that we sometime’s can’t see,” Wolovich said.

Because Millvale, Sharpsburg and Etna have joint comprehensive planning and shared interests, Wolovich thinks the three boroughs are perfect partners. Each project is unique to each individual borough, he said.

Sharpsburg recently approved the installation of the panels at the Sharpsburg Community Library. Solar energy is expected to save thousands of dollars in utility costs.

“This will help the library become more sustainable and resilient, teach residents about how solar energy can be used to help our community, and improve air quality by reducing the library’s reliance on electricity produced by burning fossil fuels,” said Brittany Reno, council president and Sharpsburg Neighborhood Organization executive director.

Millvale will install panels at the community center — the Millvale Moose — using a solar-charged battery to back up on-site electricity storage.

Panels will surround the Garden of Etna. The panels will provide energy and catch stormwater that can be reused in the garden.

Wolovich said the Triboro Ecodistrict is working to install a charging station for electric cars in Etna. With electricity at the garden, the goal is to host cooking classes, allowing residents to pick what they need straight from the ground.

Etna Manager Ellen Ramage said the Triboro Ecodistrict has helped engage people in their communities.

“In Etna, it has also helped us bring forth strong leadership from within the community, residents and business owners who are now actively engaged in strategizing and planning for a brighter, healthier future,” Ramage said in a press release.

Other developments over the next two years include completion of the Etna Riverfront Park, equitable housing repairs and development and paid teen fellowship programs for students in Sharpsburg, Millvale and Etna.

“They will job-shadow solar installation jobs and learn about solarizing energy all around,” Wolovich said.

The end goal of the initiative is to strengthen the resiliency of food, water, energy, air quality, mobility and equity systems.

With the funds, the Triboro Ecodistrict will create an environmental justice policy tool kit that will develop policy in all three boroughs as well as document the project to share with other communities.

The community planning and architecture designs will be done by EvolveEA, an East Liberty consulting firm working for sustainability-driven communities.

Christine Manganas is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.