Temple University Ambler students were rewarded for their hard work last week at the Philadelphia Flower Show when they received the Special Achievement Award in Conservation from the Garden Club Federation. They were also honored with a Philadelphia Flower Show Award in the Academic Education Category from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
Their “Riparian Restoration” exhibit was showcased last week at the 175th Annual Flower Show in Center City. The exhibit visually demonstrated how plants can be used as a buffer for water that drains into freshwater resources. Students also explained how these concepts can be incorporated into environmental protection on a broader scale.
“The design this year was directly developed by our students,” Mary Myers, an associate professor of landscape architecture, who coordinated the exhibit, said. “The students came in a week prior to the beginning of the semester and worked right through their spring break, which I think says something about their commitment to and excitement for this project.”
At the beginning of the semester, students learned about the basic concepts of riparian restoration and then developed original designs to work with. The students unanimously chose Lisa Geyelin’s design, a junior Landscape Architecture major.
“The exhibit turned out really well.” We certainly appreciate these awards and are happy to be recognized for our work,” Geyelin added.
“It was definitely a group effort to work on this project, even though I came up with the original concept,” Geyelin said. “I thought it was important for viewers to walk through the exhibit, to create a kind of woodland setting and to show the importance of the stream.
The students’ display educated visitors about how they can protect water resources with specific applications and ideas they can re-create in their own backyards. The exhibit featured a walkway that ran through a running stream and a variety of plants, including 650 perennials and 82 woody plants. It also showcased a fully restored stream corridor.
“In a riparian situation, plants serve a number of roles, from incepting atmospheric moisture to stabilizing stream banks to extracting chemicals,” assistant professor of horticulture Sinclair Adam said. “I think the exhibit is an opportunity to demonstrate how plant arrays go together and see how they can restore a riparian community.”
Barbara J. Isenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.