Photographs by Greg Benson, Rob Cardillo, and Gary Radin.

This project was made possible through partnership with The William Penn Foundation and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. 

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Windows on the Watershed, a 65’x50’ exhibition at the 2018 Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Flower Show, reveals the quiet jewels of the ecosystem—from headwaters to confluence—that often go unnoticed, drawing our attention to the many ways that nature is designed to protect itself.  Visitors trace a path through plantings that highlight the ecological heroes in each type of habitat—the powerhouse plants and trees that play significant roles in helping to keep our rivers and streams healthy while supporting the biological needs of countless different species as the web of life unfolds. Diversity of life in the Delaware River Watershed makes its water cycle work. Our plantings explore the major protector zones found in the Delaware River Watershed including the Wilderness Forest, Wet Meadow, Riparian Buffer and Tidal Salt Marsh. Photographer Nick D’Amico transports the visitor out into the watershed with iconic imagery (14’x6’) capturing a day in the life of the Delaware from sunrise in the mountains to sunset along the coastal plains. These extraordinary images serve as literal and figurative windows within the exhibition.

Windows on the Watershed tells a story of interconnection, creating an immersive experience that involves and implicates us in a complex natural web of local ecosystems that all rely on rain replenishing our freshwater system over and over again. With Inventory: Rain & the River, a site-specific sculptural installation by Stacy Levy, visitors will be submerged in a watery world. By meandering underneath the abstracted stream, we join in the cacophony of life (from microorganisms to megafauna) swimming in its flow. 

Habithèque also provided interpretive design for the PHS Entrance Garden, which brings the ecological lessons and stories of the rainforest to life, within our own complex ecosystem: The Delaware River Watershed. Following the flow of water and observing plant life in our planet’s rainforests provides new viewfinders to turn on our local ecosystem, and the endless cycle of water movement downstream and the filtration that happens across different, but connected, environments.

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