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DelVal students prepare for the Philadelphia Flower Show

Credit: Delaware Valley College. Students and volunteers are setting up DelVal's display for the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Feb 25, 2015

Each year, Delaware Valley College students gain hands-on experience building a display for the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s Philadelphia Flower Show, the largest and longest-running indoor flower show in the world. The 2015 Flower Show “Celebrate the Movies,” will give floral and garden designers a chance to interpret movies through their displays and runs Saturday, Feb. 28 through Sunday March 8 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

“We start right at the beginning of fall semester with the design and really, with the design you’re already starting to think about how to build it,” said Michael Fleischacker, assistant professor and chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Sciences. “We drove the first nail in October.”

DelVal’s exhibit, “2139: The Rising Tide of Urbanism,” is an educational perspective on living on the rooftops of a flooded Philadelphia. It shows Philadelphia in the year 2139 and imagines how people might adapt to living in the city after the polar ice caps have melted.

“We have embraced ways to produce food while showing a habitat for nature and inhabitable spaces for humans,” said Fleischacker.  “The display incorporates fish. The streets of Philadelphia are flooded so, we have lots of water; floating islands with food growing on them; moving water as it drains off the rooftops and splashes into our alley. We also have a balcony, which will take viewers five feet off of the floor so they will be able to see the show from above.”

He said the team always tries to create interactive, educational experiences so that Flower Show guests can go into the displays, not just read about them. 

The team building the display is made up of students from DelVal’s Flower Show course, which has four students in it this year, other student volunteers, staff, alumni volunteers and faculty. Students in the Flower Show course are required to be part of the whole process and are graded on everything from the construction stage to being at the show to staff the exhibit.

“I love participating because I’ve been coming to the Flower Show for the past nine years, so, to be able to be a part of it is pretty awesome,” said Patrick McDonough ’17, a student in the Flower Show course. “The four of us brainstormed ideas for the design, went through a few drafts and had a hand in building all of this.”

DelVal Flower Show set up team

Credit: Delaware Valley College. DelVal students gain hands-on experience designing and building a display for the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society's Philadelphia Flower Show each year. The Flower Show runs February 28 through March 8 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. From left: DelVal Assistant Professor Howard Eyre, Bill Kloos '16, Ian Riley '14, Patrick Dugan '10, Wes Franken '15, William Fox '15, Patrick McDonough '17, Salvatore Indelicato '17 and Volunteer Ed Hotham.

Tickets: For more information, or, to get your tickets to check out this year’s show visit: theflowershow.com. Proceeds from the event support the work of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.