Olga Trushina

SEEDS (Sustainable Energy and Education Development Support) is pleased to announce Olga Trushina as its new Executive Director.

SEEDS is a non-profit environmental education organization based in Honesdale, and serving northeastern Pennsylvania, promoting sustainable energy and sustainable living.

Trushina, of Hawley, brings more than a decade of professional experience in energy and sustainability disciplines through the lens of accounting, ratemaking, policy, and communications.

Most recently, Trushina specialized in energy related consulting and content development for individual companies, highlighting their sustainability efforts, translating complex information into user-friendly materials and recommending policies and best practices for sustainability initiatives. Previously, she served as an auditor with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), ensuring compliance of jurisdictional companies in the wholesale electric power, natural gas pipeline, and oil pipeline industries.

“Olga’s background in the energy and sustainability sectors is a perfect fit for SEEDS as we embark on the goals recently set in our Strategic Plan,” said SEEDS Chair, Katharine Dodge. “Our Board of Directors is looking forward to working with Olga as we continue to empower sustainable communities.”

Trushina earned a Master’s degree in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Policy from Penn State and a B.A. in Public Accounting from The City University of New York. Her expertise and interests include energy and sustainability technologies, community resilience, and strengthening and empowering families. She also enjoys snowboarding, hiking and biking with her family and is an avid history buff.

 “I am so grateful for this opportunity to give back to our community—a place that’s rich in history, natural resources, wonderful people and big ideas,” said Trushina. “I am committed to strengthening our community’s resilience as the world moves toward automation and faces new environmental challenges. I truly believe small improvements add up to big progress.” 

For more information about SEEDS, visit www.SeedsGroup.net; email Olga@SeedsGroup.net or call (570) 245–1256.

SEEDS Annual DIY Solar Workshop

At the heart of every thriving community are the connections we make—among those who share our lives, our love of the beautiful region we call home, and who share our commitment to working together in support of a sustainable future here. 

SEEDS (Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support) has spent its first decade focused on providing people the tools to empower personal change. By continuing to expand such opportunities, the potential for positive choices and actions will multiply.

Our small but effective non-profit organization has done valuable work over the past decade in support of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable living in our communities. But we haven’t done it alone.

We deeply appreciate having shared these good efforts with many individuals and community businesses, working side by side to empower others with the knowledge and tools to create the potential for truly transformative outcomes. In this once-a-year outreach, we are asking for your financial support to help us to continue this important work.

SEEDS has come a long way since its founding in 2008—and it could not have happened without people like you. For the past decade, our organization has sown and nurtured numerous projects in support of a more sustainable future for all who live here—the people, the plants and animals with whom we share our lives, as well as the natural resources that support us.

SEEDS Plans for Its Second Decade

As SEEDS entered its second decade in 2019, we launched a strategic planning process (http://seedsgroup.net/seeds-strategic-plan/) to sharpen the organization’s focus while exploring fresh projects to expand its outreach and to connect with new friends in the communities we serve. During this time, SEEDS maintained its established events while forging ahead with new initiatives to lay the groundwork for fresh growth.

Some 2019 SEEDS Highlights:

• The 8th Annual Free Book Swap received well-deserved recognition with a 2019 Environmental Partnership Award from the NEPA Environmental Partners in celebration of working together to get big jobs done for the benefit of the environment and our communities.

• SEEDS partnered with the Wayne Conservation District to host a highly successful Bus Tour of 5 Wayne County Farms, educating the public about the importance of local agriculture to our region’s sustainability. SEEDS also established a new Sustainable Food Circle to promote local foods and farming.

Calkins Creamery was one of the stops on the Wayne County Farm Tour

• SEEDS actively promoted an initiative that came to fruition when the Wayne County Commissioners adopted the C-PACE program (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) in support of our regional business community and its clean energy options. We also educated key officials about the benefits of Community Solar Legislation in collaboration with the Pike Wayne Conservation Partnership.

• SEEDS supported our local waterways by assisting with the Lackawaxen River Cleanup hosted by Here and Now Brewing. Four dumpsters of trash were removed from our beautiful river.

• SEEDS awarded the fourth $1,000 annual scholarship in memory of Michael “Jake” Burkhardt to Phoebe Cykosky, a graduate of Wallenpaupack Area High School.

• In collaboration with the Chamber of the Northern Poconos, SEEDS selected The Car Wash on Rt 6, in Hawley, PA as the recipient of the 2019 Green Business Award honoring its green initiatives.

• SEEDS held its annual DIY solar workshop, a battery storage forum, promoted electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy at two public events, helped launch local EV charging stations, partnered in the second NEPA Green Fair, gave guided trail walks, organized local authors talks and more.

• SEEDS launched “SEEDS Reads,” a community outreach program promoting the joy of reading while educating people of all ages about the importance of care and stewardship of our natural resources. The program includes a book club focused on titles related to our mission as well as establishing Little Free Libraries in our local communities.

SEEDS Reads!

We hope all this inspires you to provide the financial support needed for continued growth.

Your gift is crucial to SEEDS. Our lean but mighty organization achieves its mission on a very conservative budget. With your donation, we can do even more to make a difference—here in OUR communities.

SEEDS raises more than half of its general operating budget with this one annual fundraising initiative. We don’t like to waste resources and burden you with lots of mail. Please help SEEDS to continue its history of efficient and effective action by making your donation today. Be assured that we’ll put your gift to good use toward creating the kind of future in which we can all thrive.

It’s not too late to lend your support! Please take a moment now to make an online donation by clicking on the DONATE TODAY button at top right on the SEEDS homepage at www.SeedsGroup.net . Or mail your check (made payable to “SEEDS”) to SEEDS, 1030 Main Street, Honesdale, PA 18431. Make a one-time donation or select a monthly sustaining amount. Thank you from all of us at SEEDS!!

It takes a large group of hard-working volunteers and generous support from the community to pull off the highly successful annual Free Book Swap–a collaborative effort providing a sustainable outlet for repurposing mass quantities of books. Now in its 8th year, the event was recognized with a 2019 Environmental Partnership Award from the Northeast PA Environmental Partners.

SEEDS (Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support) recently celebrated the most successful Free Book Swap in the event’s 8-year-history. Conducted at the Park Street Complex in Honesdale, PA, the cherished community event achieved its highest numbers ever.

More than 22,000 books were donated, sorted into multiple categories and made available—at no charge—to hundreds of readers who thronged the tables for treasures.

Over 12,000 books were rehomed and will be enjoyed by people of all ages from Wayne and Pike counties in Pennsylvania, and Sullivan County in New York. Books that were not taken home were shipped to Better World Books to be donated across the globe.

Many of those in attendance commented that it is one of their favorite events of the year and they look forward to it every fall.

The number of titles and genre of books was truly impressive and patrons left with overflowing bags. The event, coordinated by Jenna Wayne Mauder of NaturEd and SEEDS, promotes sustainability, recycling, literacy and a sense of community.

The popular event has grown every year and would not be possible without the outstanding support of many dedicated volunteers and community sponsors, including the Wayne County Bar Association, PPL Foundation, Brookfield Energy, Frey-Fetsock Funeral Home, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Honesdale National Bank, Farm Arts Collective, Cooperage Project, Platform Industries, Karen and Charles Lutz, Jeanne and Grant Genzlinger and Melissa Bell.

SEEDS entered its second decade in 2019 with a Strategic Planning process launched in January. Attend the Annual Membership Meeting on September 17 to learn more and to check out our Electric Vehicle and Solar Device Displays!

SEEDS to Reveal New Initiatives and More at Annual Membership Meeting on Tuesday • September 17 • 5:30 pm • The Cooperage, 1030 Main Street, Honesdale PA.

Have you been wondering what SEEDS has been up to since entering its second decade in 2019? Find out at the upcoming Annual Membership Meeting! All are welcome, from current members to the curious. Come and learn the latest as SEEDS embraces its own sustainability.

• Learn about the status of the Draft Strategic Plan launched in January

• Hear about new initiatives from the folks spearheading fresh organizational growth

• Talk to SEEDS volunteers to find your fit with the region’s decade-long leader of sustainability initiatives

• Check out our Electric Vehicle Display and talk to the owners

• Explore an array of interesting items in our Solar Device Display

• Win one of several great door prizes, ranging from energy efficiency kits and solar devices to locally grown and prepared food items!

Healthy and delicious food from the Mustard Seed Café will be available for purchase.

Doors, Electric Vehicle Display and Cafe open at 5:30 p.m.

Program begins at 6:00 pm. and will include a brief business session.

Please RSVP at https://forms.gle/A8HjDBzxDcy3BvEs9  (to help determine food quantities) or call (570) 245–1256 or email Sandy@SeedsGroup.net. (Food purchase not required).

Local authors Doug Bill and John Harvey will participate in a panel discussion moderated by SEEDS Executive Director, Sandy Long at the Milford Readers and Writers Festival on September 22 at Grey Towers National Historic Site.

Experience the beauty and healing that can be found within the natural world at the program, “Seeing the Forest Through the Trees: Finding Deeper Meaning in Nature,” on Sunday, September 22, from 1-3 pm, at Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford, PA.

This free panel discussion and optional field excursion with authors John Harvey and Doug Bill is part of the Milford Readers & Writers Festival. Co-sponsored by Pike/Wayne Conservation Partnership and the US Forest Service at Grey Towers, with support from the Grey Towers Heritage Association, the program will be moderated by Sandy Long, Executive Director of SEEDS.

Grey Towers hosts public programs that help carry forward the conservation legacy of Gifford Pinchot, founder of the US Forest Service and two-term Governor of Pennsylvania.

John Harvey, author of The Stillness of the Living Forest: A Year of Listening and Learning, is a naturalist and consulting psychologist whose years of experience helped him to appreciate the healing potential of a nature connection. He completed a year-long commitment to sit an hour each week in the same spot in the woods. As he settled into his routine of visiting his “sit spot” and fully engaging his senses, rich and illuminating experiences began to unfold.

Doug Bill’s work is focused on bringing a profound, spiritual truth into a hectic world. During the early 1970s, he traveled to India and Nepal, where deeply moving experiences in overcrowded villages, along with later advanced studies in psychology and spirituality, awakened him to the oneness of all life. Those experiences planted the seeds for his book Living the Namaste Principle, which outlines his quest to awaken, access, and embody the awareness of the divinity within.

Following the panel discussion, Harvey and Bill will lead an optional field excursion that will include a brief sensory-based meditative experience and a Wander Walk. It is a unique opportunity for festival goers to interact with the authors and gain new insights into what informs their writing.

The program will be held rain or shine; dress for the weather and with appropriate footwear for uneven terrain. Light refreshments will be served and pre-registration is appreciated at 570-296- 9630 or greytowers.org.

For more information about the Milford Readers & Writers Festival
visit milfordreadersandwriters.com.