The 2015 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show opened this weekend, and they’ve rolled out the red carpet in honor of the this year’s theme “Celebrate the Movies” held February 28 to March 8 at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Dazzling, grandiose floral and garden exhibits inspired by Disney and Disney-Pixar films will transport visitors to worlds limited only by imagination. Major exhibitors have highlighted their favorite movies in larger-than-life floral fashion, with themed displays like “Cars”, “Frozen”, “Maleficent”, “Nemo”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “Narnia”, “Cinderella”…and more!

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Flower Show.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Flower Show.

This year features a line up of special events and attractions that are definitely not to be missed, including Wedding Wednesday (Mar 4), Girls Night Out (Mar 5), Fido Friday (Mar 6) and Cinderella Sunday (Mar 8). For a full listing of events and to purchase tickets, visit http://theflowershow.com/events.

Photo courtesy of UWISHUNU (www.uwishunu.com)

Photo courtesy of UWISHUNU (www.uwishunu.com)

So…what does this incredible celebration of all things floral have to do with community impact? The Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS) supports a number of programs that meet real needs in the community in relevant and meaningful ways.

City Harvest Program: The PHS City Harvest program taps the skills and energy of urban gardeners to make fresh, nutritious produce more widely available in under-resourced neighborhoods. Through City Harvest, PHS and its partners have empowered urban gardeners to share the fruits of their labor with families in need. The program is creating an infrastructure of agricultural supply and education centers, as well as expanding fresh food production, distribution, and consumption in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, thereby creating a healthier future for thousands of city residents. City Harvest also has offered more than 850 inmates opportunities to gain job skills, give back to their communities, and look forward to promising futures.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Horticultural Society.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Horticultural Society.

Roots to Re-Entry Program: PHS Roots to Re-Entry program maximizes the chances of future employment for inmates involved in City Harvest by providing job-skills training and placement assistance, as well as supportive services to help inmates make the transition to life outside the prison system. Selected inmates receive 14 weeks of training, beginning with health and job preparedness workshops at the prison offered through the Federation of Neighborhood Centers: Career Support Network (CSN). They also receive training at the prison greenhouse and garden, focusing on food production and landscape management. Inmates approved for work-release then enter the hands-on landscaping phase at multiple locations, including three historic public gardens: Bartram’s Garden, Awbury Arboretum, and Friends Hospital. Roots to Re-Entry’s employer partners offer a direct link to the landscaping industry for participants and, at the same time, are helping to develop a new workforce for their industry.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Horticultural Society.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Horticultural Society.

To learn more about all of the PHS programs- or to make a donation- visit Philadelphia Horticultural Society Online.

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