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Chestnut Hill Man Builds Prize Exhibit

Release Date: 3/9/1999
Contact Information: Donna M. Heron (215) 814-5113

PHILADELPHIA - Dan Welker of Chestnut Hill,  an environmental protection specialist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, played a major part in bringing together EPA’s award-winning exhibit at the 1999 Philadelphia Flower Show, "The All-American Garden."

For the second year in a row, the EPA won best in show in the non-academic educational category.  The woodland and wetland exhibit also won the American Horticultural Society award, which goes to the exhibit that best demonstrates the bond between horticulture and the environment and inspires gardeners to beautify their own homes and community.

Welker and other EPA employees assembled the agency’s blue-ribbon display of plants, which they started propagating last fall.  The collection of native plants including tall pines, shrubs and perennials, visually demonstrates beneficial landscaping -- an earth-friendly way of gardening.  Such plants will thrive with less water, less fertilizer and pesticides and a lot less work. than exotic plants because they have already adapted to the climate and soil conditions.

"We are really excited about the award," Welker said.  "Winning two years in a row is quite an accomplishment."

Visitors to the exhibit will find a restful, woodland landscape that creates a wildlife habitat for birds and butterflies by providing food and water, shelter, and reproduction sites needed for their survival.

The EPA emphasizes beneficial landscaping because imported plants like Norway maple, Japanese honeysuckle, kudzu, purple loosestrife and crown vetch grow at such a fast rate that they can crowd out native vegetation and even lead to extinction of local species.

For more information about environmentally beneficial landscaping, call the EPA at 215-814-5662/5663 and ask for a copy of "A Gardener’s Guide To a Health Environment."