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Half a Century of History at the Home & Garden Show

“From the Ground Up” installation at the 2018 Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show. Photo by Valerie Njie.

“From the Ground Up” was the underlying theme of Bidwell Training Center’s (BTC) exhibit at the 2018 Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show. In grand style, the event served to kick off BTC’s anniversary year celebrating 50 years of helping people find direction and opportunity by way of its innovative adult training programs.

The exhibit unfolded in the garden pavilion on the first floor of the David Lawrence Convention Center where displays created by the horticulture technology students included vignettes suggestive of the many programs that BTC has offered over the past 50 years. Each was constructed from repurposed items, to create fun and even somewhat whimsical plant containers bursting with the colors of spring. The exhibit also included salutes to our sister affiliate Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, which is also celebrating 50 years of enriching the lives of area youth through creative arts programming

In addition, BTC’s horticulture department took their collective skills to a new height as they expanded their theme in a second floor display, which included the Pennsylvania Woodmobile. The traveling exhibit managed by the State Department of Agriculture offered guests a fun and interesting romp through Pennsylvania forests and highlighted the economic importance of trees to the Commonwealth. The walkthrough display contained both educational and interactive components for tree lovers of all sizes. As if that wasn’t enough, the Woodmobile was set amidst islands of fun facts about economically important plants, also created by BTC’s horticulture students.

This event was not an add-on for the students, but rather a unique way of bringing all of their studies and classwork together within the context of one amazing applied learning module.

Other features included an amazing floral display created by Sogetsu Ikebana, rose experts from the Pittsburgh Rose Society and our ever-popular garden shop with an array of seeds, plants, and garden-related products.

In addition to over 400,000 people enjoying the show first hand, BTC’s horticulture department received accolades from both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Tribune Review and got great media coverage on KDKA’s “Pittsburgh Today Live.”

Watch for more exciting events as we continue with our year-long anniversary celebration including ways in which you can participate in this unprecedented time in our history.