This year at the Philadelphia Flower Show, Villanova University’s Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship (CBEST) invites visitors to step into their research sites—woodlands giving way to sunny open meadows, dissipating into marshes and bogs. The CBEST exhibit, “Blooming Biodiversity,” will be on display at the 2022 Philadelphia Flower Show “In Full Bloom” from June 11 – 19 in FDR Park.
For the scientists of CBEST, nature is their research lab, and their exhibit aims to show visitors a glimpse of the science in the world around them. The exhibit focuses on biodiversity—featuring trees, shrubs and herbs native to Pennsylvania—and its importance to the resiliency and health of habitats in a changing world. The Villanova scientists have also placed scientific tools used in their research in the exhibit itself. Visitors can spot, among other things, a precipitation collector used to evaluate rainwater chemistry, automated bird feeders used to tease apart bird behaviors, and a marsh organ used to study the impact of sea level rise on wetland systems.
A team of Villanova students and researchers designed and implemented the exhibit, while Villanova's grounds crew provided trees and shrubs and implementation assistance. The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, The Villanova Center for Resilient Water Systems and Longwood Gardens’ Associate Director of Conservation Peter Zale, PhD provided wetland vegetation and informational support. All plants from the exhibit will return to Villanova’s campus where they will be incorporated into educational displays, including a bog garden and native plant pollinator friendly gardens.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.