New Beginnings and Fond Farewells

by Lorren Kezmoh

20150316_153359Robins are returning by the dozen, the days are getting longer, and colorful patches of crocuses are beginning to sprout up from beneath the earth  – it’s becoming more and more apparent that spring has sprung in Pittsburgh, and especially here at Phipps. And it couldn’t have arrived at a better time! We happily welcomed the change of seasons this past month with the unveiling of our Spring Flower Show. With this year’s theme, “April Showers Bring May Flowers,” highlighting the importance of rain and its critical role in maintaining the ebb and flow of the natural environment. But, the Spring Flower Show wasn’t the only new addition to the conservatory this past March. In addition to the hundreds of colorful blossoms and fragrant bulbs, the conservatory’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes has also received it’s Living Building Challenge certificate, making it the first and only project to attain the planet’s highest sustainability certifications, and the installation of the conservatory’s brand new SEED Classroom, a self-sustaining modular classroom that was also built to meet the Living Building Challenge, is well underway.

But as we gladly bid adieu to the snowswept scenery of winter, we must also sadly say farewell to one of our most devoted science educators here at Phipps, Melissa Harding. Melissa, as many of you may or may not know, was a Science Education Specialist here at Phipps as well as the Science Education and Research department’s Online Outreach Coordinator. She not only created and taught school field trip programs, seasonal camps, and various other programs in the Science Education and Research department, but she also wrote and edited this very blog. Melissa was an extremely valuable asset to the conservatory and helped pave the way for science education as well as research here at Phipps. While we hate to say goodbye to one of our Phipps family members, we want to wish Melissa the very best as she begins her next chapter and with all of her future endeavors. Thank you again Melissa for all of your hard work and for all that you’ve done for the department and for Phipps over the past four years!

Photos taken by Science Education staff.

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