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can claim a trailblazer of the modern environmental movement among its distinguished alumni, but Chatham University was where Rachel Carson, author of the 1962 classic "Silent Spring," was educated when it was called the Pennsylvania College for Women. Today Chatham does more than claim Ms. Carson as a former student; it embellishes her legacy. Chatham is establishing a green campus in Richland for environmental studies, and last week President Esther Barazzone announced the intention of developing eco-friendly housing for 500 students. The site is the 388-acre former Eden Hall Farm, donated by the Eden Hall Foundation. Buoyed by a $750,000 gift from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Chatham announced the hiring of an architectural team. Ultimately, the new School of Sustainability and the Environment will be located at the site, which is almost 10 times the size of the Shadyside campus.

ALLEGHENY COUNTY may grow greener this summer by planting vegetables on two acres at Round Hill Park in Elizabeth Township. County Executive Dan Onorato sought the approval of County Council for the project, which is to be called Allegheny FarmCorps. The idea is to promote sustainable agriculture and assist the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in feeding the region's hungry. County employees would plow the ground and volunteers would do the planting and maintenance. FarmCorps also would hold seminars on food production and offer apprenticeships to people interested in farming careers. County Council sent the proposal to its Parks Committee for consideration, as it did a kindred plan to establish gardens at county parks and senior centers under the Gardens for Seniors program. From these promising seeds, something good may sprout.

THE YWCA Greater Pittsburgh in Downtown is hoping for the approval of the city Planning Commission for a proposal that could reap a big green harvest -- as in dollars. The Y wants to operate a Nathan's Famous hot dog franchise at its busy location as part of its long-term strategic plan. According to projections, the street-level restaurant could make $80,000 in income during its first year and between $300,000 and $500,000 annually after five years, money that could be used to support the Y's mission of assisting women and children and promoting racial and gender equity. The Planning Commission should say hot-diggedy-dog to this creative idea -- and hold the mustard.


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