Temple University Ambler explores Hopewell Furnace at the 2016 Philadelphia Flower Show

Ambler Arboretum of Temple University

The awe-inspiring vistas of Yosemite. The epic, craggy maze of the Grand Canyon.

Mention “national parks” to anyone and these are the images that likely come to mind. Preserving the natural heritage of the United States is critically important. Protecting our historical and cultural heritage is equally critical.

The 848-acre Hopewell Furnace National Historical Site, encircled by the 73,000-acre Hopewell Big Woods in Elverson, Pennsylvania, is a time capsule of the region’s industrial history. Students and faculty from Temple University’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture will reignite the fires of Hopewell Furnace at the 2016 Philadelphia Flower Show.

Just as Hopewell Furnace once used the resources of the land — iron ore, limestone, old growth forest, and diverted water from French Creek — to smelt iron, “After the Blast: Recollecting Roots and Resources at Hopewell Furnace,” distills the preserved industrial landscape into a 33-foot by 23-foot exhibit that will take visitors on a journey through this once thriving, nearly self-sustainable 19th century rural “iron plantation.”

The key features of the exhibit include a root cellar and vegetable green roof; a remnant forest; a rainwater race, which collects and moves water; and a representation of the furnace walls, which will depict the interior of the furnace chimney with foliage.

“One of the goals of our exhibits each year is to ‘keep them local’ — provide information and ideas that someone could use at their home, in their gardens,” said Adjunct Assistant Professor Michael LoFurno, who is coordinating Temple’s 2016 Flower Show exhibit with Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Rob Kuper, Horticulture Supervisor Anne Brennan and Horticulturist Kathryn Reber. “What this region has going for it is that it so rich in history; all of the national parks in the region are historic sites.”

Presented by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Philadelphia Flower Show will run from Saturday, March 5 through Sunday, March 13 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch streets. The 2016 show theme is “Explore America — 100 Year of the National Park Service.”

This year’s Flower Show theme honoring the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service will provide students from the ProRanger Philadelphia program — a partnership between Temple University and the National Park Service — an opportunity to support the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture’s Flower Show efforts for the first time.

The ProRanger program, which is currently recruiting for the Fall 2016 cohort,  has recently gone through a full curriculum update designed to provide students with even more experience with the National Park Service prior to graduation.

“In addition to coursework, our students now complete two summer internships, leadership training camp, a conservation project and the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program (SLETP) offered at Temple Ambler,” said Anthony Luongo, Director of Temple University's Criminal Justice Training Programs and Associate Director of the ProRanger Program. “Ambler is one of only seven institutions in the country to offer SLETP while Temple is just one of two sites to offer the ProRanger program — Temple is the only university to offer both.”