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NKCDC Showcases Benefits of Neighborhood Revitalization at Philadelpha Flower Show

Through a partnership with the city’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD), NKCDC showcased “From Blight to Blossom” at this year’s flower show, which took place the week of March 6th. Representing neighborhood revitalization, sustainability, and community partnerships, the exhibit recreated the transformation of a vacant lot in Kensington through simple gardening techniques undertaken by neighborhood youth. The exhibit, which featured hand-painted flower pots and a stepping stone path, was paid for by the Flower Show as part of it’s Backyard Challenge Entry Program. Children from Pop’s Playground worked with NKCDC to paint the stepping-stones, and students from H.A. Brown Elementary School’s OIC after-school program decorated the flower pots with colorful hand-prints.

According to Paul Chrystie, Director of Communications at OHCD, this exhibit was created to tell the story of how simple greening techniques can be used in inner-city neighborhoods, and to inspire others. “The benefits of greening aren’t just aesthetic and environmental, they’re also economic,” Chrystie explains. According to a 2005 study conducted by Wharton Professor Susan Wachter, the greening of vacant land in NKCDC’s service area has resulted in a 30% increase in value of adjacent lots.

NKCDC and OHCD have a long and successful partnership, including the support of NKCDC’s Vacant Land Management program through the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS)’s Philadelphia Green Program. Together with PHS, who each year organizes and hosts the Flower Show, NKCDC has transformed hundreds of vacant lots into green space since the program’s inception in 1995.