Delaware Valley University wins gold medal at Philadelphia Flower Show

Students in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Sciences designed and built an award-winning Flower Show display

The Times

Source: Michelle Glitzer

Delaware Valley University earned the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal at the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show for the display entitled “Launch.” The gold medal is awarded to exhibits earning 95 points or more. Displays are judged based on design quality, horticulture, planstmanship, and visitor experience.

“It’s exciting for the students to see the reward for their accomplishments,” said Howard Eyre, an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Sciences.

The Philadelphia Flower Show is one of the most renowned horticultural events in the world. This year’s theme was “Flower Power,” which focused on the impact flowers and plants have on human lives. The show ran through March 10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The students in the Flower Show Design/Build studio developed an exhibit to educate visitors about environmentally appropriate, sustainable landscapes. The description for the display reads, “Explore the water’s edge and launch into a healthy relationship between humans and nature.”

Guests entered the exhibit through a tunnel representing a mine shaft, with lanterns and bats hanging from the ceiling. A bridge was surrounded on either side by diverse plant life and water features. On one side of the bridge, a pond was home to a canoe named “Petunia.”

Representations of small animals like turtles and skunks were along the stream, and artificial birds were perched in the trees and suspended in the air. Guests enjoyed peeking into the display through a hole behind the waterfall on the side wall, allowing visitors to see the exhibit from a unique perspective. The edge of the display included bench seating for guests to relax and take in the peaceful scenery.

The students tucked educational signs within the landscape to teach visitors about how animals and plants rely on each other, and how humans can live harmoniously with nature. Bizzy the Beaver, a cartoon character in the exhibit, appeared on many of the signs to educate visitors about the surrounding environment.

Inspirational quotes were used throughout the display as well, to help visitors appreciate the importance of protecting the beautiful environment around them. One of the quotes was from Gary Snyder, an environmental activist and poet, “Nature is not a place to visit…it is home.”