PHS City in Bloom Beautifies Center City

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Angelina Maniero, a 7th-grade student at the Saint Francis Xavier School, spoke about her generation going green at this year’s “City in Bloom” event on May 22. Photo by Stephen Ladner.

By Marion McParland

PHS’s annual City in Bloom event celebrated its 22nd year yesterday with hundreds of volunteers cleaning, greening and planting thousands of annuals, perennials and shrubs throughout Center City. With the help of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and a group of corporate and student volunteers, more than 3,500 flowering annuals, perennials and shrubs were planted. Gardens were also cleared of debris and invasive plants. To view more photos from the event click here.

Volunteers from NRG Residential Solutions, Grant Thornton, PricewaterhouseCoopers, J.P. Morgan Chase and St. Francis Xavier School worked in the garden beds at City Hall, around the Swann Memorial Fountain on Logan Square, in JFK Plaza (LOVE Park), along the Parkway, and at Eastern State Penitentiary, 21st Street and Fairmount Avenue.

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Speakers at this year’s “City in Bloom” included, from left to right: Mark Focht, First Deputy Commissioner, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation; Heather Farber, Senior Director of Marketing Communications, NRG Retail Northeast; Nancy Goldenberg, PHS Chief of Staff; Angelina Maniero, a 7th-grade student at Saint Francis Xavier School; and Jimmy Owens, PHS Vice President for Business Development. Photo by Stephen Ladner.

The event began at Sister Cities Park, 18th Street and the Parkway, where sponsors, partners and volunteers came together.  Jimmy Owens, PHS Vice President for Business Development, and Nancy Goldenberg, PHS Chief of Staff, welcomed the crowd and spoke about PHS City in Bloom.  They were joined by Mark Focht, First Deputy Commissioner, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation; Heather Farber, Senior Director of Marketing Communications, NRG Retail Northeast; and Angelina Maniero, a 7th-grade student at the Saint Francis Xavier School in Fairmount.

Angelina Maniero offered this inspiring message:

My name is Angelina Maniero; I am a seventh grade student at Saint Francis Xavier School. I am delighted to be given the honor of presenting a speech and representing my school on the matter of my generation going green for this “City in Bloom” event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

I am proud to be part of this generation. I feel young people such as myself and my peers are a huge part of this world’s future. We have great ideas to offer the future; we have brilliant minds, creative spirits and passionate souls that are looking for new and innovative ways to better our world. With these abilities, I hope we can find new ways to preserve our environment and use our natural resources wisely.

To begin, our ecosystem works in a delicate way, meaning each member of this ecosystem is vital to keeping it working properly. Humans, especially today’s generation, have done many things to negatively affect this ecosystem. Air pollution is one of the major concerns that we are facing.

Thankfully, by planting different types of trees, shrubs and plants in addition to the use of window boxes and curbside containers throughout the city, we can help to undo the damage of air pollution. Plants take in carbon dioxide from the air that is polluted and expel clean oxygen that we need to breathe. This is just one of the many reasons going green is so important in today’s world.

Next, have you ever really thought about how much today’s world is centered on electronics? It is how we gain information, communicate, entertain ourselves, shop and even read. by doing this we miss all of the natural beauty of the earth.

Fortunately, groups like the Horticultural Society will make sure there is always greenery in the city. My generation’s responsibility is to take advantage of these green spaces by participating in outdoor sports, finding a quiet landscaped area to read or relax or even getting together with a group of friends and going walking instead of texting. These are just a few ways to “power off” and begin to admire earth’s natural beauty.

Finally, going green means not only minimizing time spent using things that pollute our environment or planting a tree, but also buying and using organic items. Most non-organic food is grown using pesticides. These pesticides prevent bugs from destroying plants and make it possible for farmers to grow and sell more of a crop; however, pesticides are extremely harmful to the environment.

Therefore, one way to minimize the harmful effects of pesticides is by growing your own food source. Joining a community project or growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs in your own backyard are great ways to get fresh, organic produce. When space becomes an issue, planting rooftop or windowsill gardens are an excellent alternative. These are fantastic ways to use your empty space to produce pesticide free food.

In conclusion, the importance of going green, whether to eliminate air pollution, make use of green spaces or going organic, is especially vital for my generation because if we do not create a better earth, how can we create a better tomorrow?

For more information on PHS City in Bloom, click here.

 

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Students from Saint Francis Xavier School planted flowers at LOVE Park as part of “City in Bloom.” Photo by Stephen Ladner.

 

 

 

 

PHS Presents 2013 Major Awards Recipients

PHS Awards

In November PHS presented its major awards to individuals who have greatly shaped PHS. Please join us in sending heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to the people (and place) listed below.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Chanticleer has been called the most romantic, imaginative, and exciting public garden in America, and in 2013 it celebrates its 20th year as a public garden, and the centennial of its creation as a country retreat for Adolph Rosengarten, Sr., and his wife Christine.

The garden has evolved greatly since the death of the owner, Adolph Rosengarten, Jr., in 1990. As the home of the Rosengartens, Chanticleer was beautiful and green with impressive trees and lawns. Most of the floral and garden development seen today has occurred since 1990, designed by Chanticleer staff and consultants. Chanticleer, which has 35 of its 48 acres open to the public, is a study of textures and forms, is a garden of pleasure and learning, relaxing yet filled with ideas to take home. It has been featured in magazine and newspaper articles, on the radio – and recently, was named by the BBC as one of the 10 best public gardens to visit in North America.

Staff members minimize harmful environmental impact at Chanticleer by reusing, recycling, and composting. Solar panels produce 20% of the electricity, and cisterns capture 22,000 gallons of rain water for irrigation and recharge. Integrated pest management keeps pesticide usage low.

Chanticleer’s educational component is different from other public gardens. Instead of labeling every plant, which would distract from the visual effect, Chanticleer encourages visitors to speak with the gardeners onsite about the 5,000+ plants there. Chanticleer offers a number of educational workshops, walks, and classes, many in partnership with PHS.

In addition to partnering with PHS on educational programs, Chanticleer staff members have been great volunteers at the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, including judging and passing in the PHS Hamilton Horticourt. Chanticleer has hosted events for PHS, including the Flower Show Summer Party and New Members Reception, and offers PHS members a discount on tickets.

Certificates of Merit

Steve Mostardi owns the full-service/three-generation garden center, Mostardi Nursery, based in Newtown Square. He traces his gardening roots to a grandfather who was an estate gardener on the Main Line, and Steve was trained at the Barnes Foundation Arboretum and Temple University. He has served on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association and is a recipient of the PLNA Hall of Fame Award.

Steve chairs the PHS Gold Medal Award Program Committee, which evaluates and recognizes trees, shrubs and woody vines of outstanding merit. Steve encourages gardeners who visit Mostardi Nursery to use these exceptional plants in their own landscapes, and features Gold Medal plants at the nursery and in his regular e-newsletters.

Steve served two terms on PHS Council, and has volunteered at the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show as a judge, passer, and Early Morning Tour guide.

Jane and Robert Pollock co-chair the volunteer committee of the PHS Store, and have been long involved in helping to make this revenue-generating component a great success for PHS.

Jane started volunteering at the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show in 1997, serving on the Infonet Committee, which she co-chaired in 2002 and 2003, and chaired in 2005.  Looking for other challenges at the Flower Show, Jane started volunteering at the then-named Flower Show Shoppe, where her considerable energies and talents invigorated this area of the Show. Jane served on the PHS Council 2005-2011, and is a past member of the Flower Shows and Events and Nominating committees.

Robert is also a past Infonet Committee member, chairing the Concourse Ambassadors group from 2004-2009 and working in the Show Information Booth. He also helped track labor hours and expenses for the Shows department at recent Flower Shows.

Together, they make an impressive team in the PHS Store, giving crucial behind-the-scenes support in the months leading up to the Show, and working long hours setting up and tearing down during the two weeks at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Robert and Jane also helped make the inaugural Holiday Pop Up Store in Chestnut Hill a great success last December.

Joe Revlock started volunteering for PHS in 1980. Based on his leadership role in the Summer-Winter Community Garden in the city’s Powelton Village, Joe was invited to become a charter member of the Philadelphia Green Committee. Thirty-three years later, he continues to make outstanding contributions in community greening stewardship with PHS.

The one-acre Summer-Winter garden, which has won many prizes in the PHS City Gardens Contest, serves a diverse group of gardeners from around the world. It features 47 actively gardened plots, two water features, an orchard including Paw Paw trees, persimmons, figs and elderberries, bee hives, two egg-laying hens in a chicken tractor, and two sitting areas.  Joe also engages students at Drexel University for Saturday clean-up days.

Joe also volunteers at the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show as a member of the “Grumpy Old Men,” and was recently elected to the restructured board of the Neighborhood Gardens Trust.

Again, congratulations to these and all of the other hundreds of volunteers who make all of what we do at PHS possible.

PHS Tree Tenders: Register Now for Fall Sessions

Remember in high school when there were dozens of extra-curricular clubs and you likely juggled several for the sheer joy of being involved? As adults, it feels as though there are fewer opportunities to connect with people around shared interests, but that’s not entirely true. PHS Tree Tenders is the best way I know to make friends (likely with people in your neighborhood), give back to your community, and learn something new.

And whattaya know, we have three sessions of Tree Tenders coming up this fall! Residents of Bucks County, Delaware County, and Philadelphia can register today. Through Tree Tenders training, you’ll learn tree biology, identification, planting, and proper care. The video below offers a preview of the good times that can be yours. After you watch, click this link to register!

Stick it to Sandy! Help Plant Trees this Weekend

This weekend, PHS Tree Tenders in all pockets of the city will plant trees. With all the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, this is a crucial time to get new trees in the ground. If you’d like to lend a hand, consult the map below. You’ll find contact information for group leaders who can provide details. Thanks for supporting PHS & Plant One Million!

Click here to view the map.

Have Fun & Make Friends: Philadelphia Garden Clubs

Ever think about getting involved with a garden club? You absolutely should! The greater Philadelphia area is crowded with clubs, so there’s bound to be one (or two or three) that are a good fit for you. Some are based around a special interest, like the Delaware African Violet and Gesneriad Society, and others are primarily location-based, like the Master Gardeners of Mercer County.

Click here for a compilation of garden clubs with open meetings. This is a tiny sampling though, so sound off in the comments sections if there’s a club you’d like to see recognized.

Remember, garden clubs are a great opportunity to connect to the horticultural scene in your area, and will likely lead to involvement in community-service projects, plant swaps, and garden tours. You could even end up exhibiting at the Flower Show!

Home Runs for Trees is a Game-Changer

Plant One Million is teaming up with the Philadelphia Phillies and ARAMARK to bring you Home Runs for Trees, a match made in Philadelphia heaven!

For each home run hit by a Phillies player during the 2012 regular season, Plant One Million will plant a tree to support the one-million goal. The trees will be planted in parks, municipalities, and watershed areas throughout the 13-county region at the end of baseball season.

Home Runs for Trees is a natural fit for the Phillies, whose ongoing Red Goes Green campaign encompasses clean energy, recycling, and volunteerism. ARAMARK, a Philadelphia-based leader in professional services, also has a demonstrated commitment to environmental stewardship.

The Home Runs for Trees partners gathered at Citizens Bank Park on April 30 to officially launch the campaign. PHS president Drew Becher said, ““With every homer hit by the Phils, the landscape will get a little greener and our air and water a little cleaner.”

Other attendees included David Montgomery, president of the Phillies, and Marc Bruno, president of ARAMARK Sports & Entertainment. Even the fan-favorite Phillie Phanatic came to help plant and water the ceremonial kick-off tree of the campaign.

Keep up with the Home Runs for Trees campaign by following Plant One Million, the Phillies, and ARAMARK on Facebook and Twitter. Look for the hash-tag #HRs4trees.

Save the Date: Love Your Park Week

Get ready for Love Your Park Week, eight days dedicated to cleaning, greening, and celebrating Philadelphia parks from May 12 – 19, 2012.

Whether you’re interested in service projects, fun events, educational programs, family activities, or tours, there is something for everyone. And with 100-plus participating locations,  you won’t have to travel too far either. Find out what fun is in store at your favorite park! And click here for volunteer opportunities.

Also, don’t miss out on the “Show Us Your Love” essay contest. The deadline is Thursday, May 10.

There are great prizes for runners up—but the grand prize is really special! A Yo Philly! Party in your favorite park with water-ice, soft pretzels, and a DJ spinning the sounds of Philadelphia. Wow!

So…how do you love your park?

LOVE Your Park Week is a collaborative initiative between the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Plant One Million Sponsors Spring Sweepstakes

April is Plant One Million month, meaning it’s a great time to plant a tree! While you’re at it, enter the Plant One Million Spring Sweepstakes to win a fabulous Phillies Prize Pak or one of five runner-up Partner Prize Paks.

Entering the contest is simple. After you participate in a tree planting, visit PlantOneMillion.org to fill out the entry form. You’ll need to include an awesome photo of your new tree to be considered, and creativity counts so make it memorable! The contest closes April 30.

Plant One Million is a regional partnership throughout 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. The goal is to restore the tree canopy cover—the area of land shaded by trees—in the Greater Philadelphia Region to 30 percent.

The tree canopy is the upper branches or crowns of mature trees. Measuring the area of land covered by tree canopy is an important yardstick for a healthy environment, since trees improve air and water quality and help reduce erosion, water pollution, and flooding. Learn more about the benefits of trees.

Good luck to all who enter!

Try Your Hand at Large-Scale Gardening

Have you ever looked at your yard and wondered what it would be like to maintain a garden of a grander scale? Maybe you’re an apartment dweller who’s just dying to get your hands dirty. Don your gardening gloves and join a team of dedicated volunteers as they work in some of Philadelphia’s most-loved gardens, including the Azaalea Garden, the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Also included are the Gas Station Garden and the Triangle Gardens, two small spaces near PHS headquarters.

The volunteer groups meet monthly from April through November. No experience is necessary to participate—just a willing spirit! For more information, check out the volunteer days on the PHS event calendar or contact Regina Cobbs at rcobbs@pennhort.org or 215-988-8896.