Senator Carolyn Comitta and YMCA of Greater Brandywine to Celebrate Earth Day at Free Community Event on April 20

State Senator Carolyn Comitta plants a tree at the 2023 Earth Day Festival at the Upper Main Line YMCA in Berwyn. Pictured (L to R): Commissioner Todd Pride, PA Game Commission; State Senator Carolyn Comitta; Oliver Bass, President of Natural Lands and Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

Second annual event to offer a free day of family fun at the Upper Main Line YMCA in Berwyn, PA

(Berwyn, PA) – State Senator Carolyn Comitta and the YMCA of Greater Brandywine invite the community to enjoy a day of family fun at the Upper Main Line YMCA (UMLY) on Saturday, April 20 from 10 AM – 1 PM in celebration of Earth Day. The event will spotlight UMLY’s 54-acre campus which includes an environmental & STEM education complex and more than five miles of trails at the headwaters of Darby Creek. It is also home to Pennsylvania’s first conservation easement.

The Earth Day event will be held in conjunction with the YMCA’s national Healthy Kids Day event which inspires kids and families to keep their minds and bodies active throughout the summer and beyond. Together, the events highlight the joy of a summer spent outdoors; actively enjoying and exploring nature, spending time away from devices and connecting with friends, family and peers.

Both events are open to the community and free to attend. Activities include bird walks, canoeing, art, tree-planting, stream studies, face painting and live music. The event will also feature a vendor area highlighting environmental and sustainability focused businesses, state agencies, and local non-profit organizations. Attendees can also enjoy YMCA amenities and learn more about membership, programs and summer camp offerings.

Prioritizing a Sustainable Future for Chester County
“We are proud to partner with Senator Carolyn Comitta to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability, to spotlight the many organizations across the county doing great work in this area and to provide a great day of fun for local families,” said Brian Raicich, Executive Director of the Upper Main Line YMCA.

Senator Comitta is a respected leader in environmental efforts for the state. She is co-chair of the Pennsylvania Climate Caucus and serves on the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

“Environmental health and public health go hand-in-hand. The YMCA is a perfect partner for showcasing how outdoor recreation and environmental education stimulate our minds and bodies. We thank the Y and its staff for their ongoing efforts to support sustainable communities and a healthy environment while preparing the next generation to lead us to a cleaner, brighter future,” Comitta said.

The event will feature more than 30 vendors representing state agencies, such as the Department of Environmental Protection, regional non-profits such as Natural Lands, French & Pickering Creek Trust, and Brandywine Conservancy, and local businesses such as Mother Compost and Green Mountain Energy. Many of these individuals are helping to shape the future of a more sustainable Chester County.

The event will host the Pennsylvania Wood Mobile, a traveling 34-foot exhibit that provides an interactive experience educating visitors about our forest, the sustainable forest products industry, how products are made, and threats to our state’s forests. Food trucks will also be present and will include the famous Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Alliance Milkshake Truck, a very popular vendor at the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Shreiner Tree Care is the title sponsor for the event and has served as the arborist for the YMCA’s campus and Cassatt Preserve for over 30 years.

A Commitment to Youth Development
With a commitment to delivering quality STEM and environmental education to local youth, it is fitting that the YMCA serves as the co-host for the Earth Day Festival. In addition to offering weekly STEM classes at locations throughout the county, the YMCA provides an expanded catalog of related offerings at UMLY – where the organization’s environmental education program was first launched 26 years ago.

"Environmental education and time spent in nature are not just enriching experiences; they are essential for nurturing the next generation of stewards for our planet,” shares Raicich. “YMCA programming plays a crucial role in increasing accessibility to these transformative experiences, ensuring that every child, regardless of background or circumstance, has the opportunity to explore, learn and grow in nature's classroom.”

UMLY hosts a variety of STEM and environmental summer camps, in addition to year-round programs at their environmental & STEM education complex - which includes a nature center, raptor center, micro-farm and barnyard, STEM classrooms, watershed lab and a woodshop cottage. UMLY also offers a Zoo & STEM on Wheels program which brings learning to life in schools, libraries and senior centers across Chester County and beyond.

A Legacy in Environmental Education
In addition to its long-standing history in environmental education, UMLY is home to the first conservation easement in Pennsylvania. The easement, put into place in 1966 in partnership with Natural Lands, permanently protects a portion of the YMCA campus indefinitely from future development.

In just the last few years, more than 500 native trees have been planted to enhance the wildlife habitat, restore floodplains and increase the tree canopy on UMLY’s campus where over 130 species of birds have been observed and documented.

To complement the variety of offerings on the UMLY campus, the program also has partnerships with local school districts and community groups to bring quality nature programs into classrooms across the region. Graduates of UMLY’s environmental education programs have gone on to become science teachers, civil and environmental engineers, wildlife biologists, ornithologists and more.

To learn more about Senator Comitta’s Work in the Pennsylvania Legislature:
To learn more about Environmental Education at YGBW:
To learn more about Natural Lands:

About the YMCA of Greater Brandywine
The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW), an association of nine YMCAs and Program Centers serving Chester County, is a leading non-profit organization committed to building community. We strive to nurture the potential of every child, promote healthy living and foster social responsibility through life-changing programs for all. YGBW raises funds to provide financial assistance to those unable to pay the standard rates. In 2023, $2.2 million was provided to more than 11,000 individuals to ensure they had access to childcare, summer camp, programs and memberships at YGBW. Nearly 80,000 people are members of YGBW. To learn more, visit 

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