Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Festival Features Eco-Alley

Eco Alley 2010This weekend, Chestnut Hill hosts its 17th annual Home and Garden Festival. The free event features a activities, amusements, and vendors from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eat from restaurants up and down Germantown Avenue while listening to live music and browsing a wide selection of plants, gardening accessories, furniture, jewelry, and other handmade goods from over 150 artists, craftsmen and vendors. Amusement rides, face painting and arts and crafts activities for kids make this event blossom into an all day celebration for the whole neighborhood.

For the fourth year in a row, the festival will also be featuring Eco Alley, a stretch of the street dedicated to green projects and vendors. The Eco Alley, sponsored by PECO Smart Ideas, features vendors offering sustainable products from organic plants to repurposed furniture. The Alley is organized by Green in Chestnut Hill (GRinCH) and has quickly become a highlight of the festival. Building upon the success of the Book FreeCycle event last year, GRinCH is bringing it back and adding a Shoe Recycle to this year’s Eco Alley. Books and shoes can be dropped off at the W. Highland Ave branch of Valley Green Bank Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Then stop by the Eco Alley of W. Highland Ave on Sunday to help yourself to interesting books for free! Shoes are recycled by ShoeBox Recycling and provided as affordable footwear to those in need.

"We're delighted that GRinCH is a part of the Home and Garden fest for our fourth year," says Amy Edelman, president of GRinCH and owner of Night Kitchen Bakery in Chestnut Hill. "Eco-Alley has been a great addition to the event, and every year there is a great selection of sustainably minded exhibitors. This year, we're excited that, in addition to the Book Freecycle that was so successful last year, we've added a shoe recycling program, another innovative program to reduce waste and consumption, and help out a good cause."

GRinCH has been doing outreach, fundraising, education and community engagement on environmental issues in Chestnut Hill since 2009. Their recent projects, including the recent Green Warrior grant program, aim to use a variety of methods to incentivize and inspire sustainable innovation in Chestnut Hill. To get involved or learn more, contact GRinCH at: or visit


SARAH E. ADAMS enjoys old trees, spring vegetables, and pollen season.