Growing Cities
Growing Cities

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
March 17
7—9 p.m.

Phipps is not just for plants and flowers. The eco-minded conservatory and botanical gardens has launched a new Environmental Film and Discussion Series to raise awareness about critical issues impacting our humans, cities and our planet.

Pairing informative documentary films with visiting producers, scientists and environmental advocates, the monthly series runs the third Friday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. in Phipps’ Botany Hall Auditorium.

From one man’s quest to construct America’s first hemp house to a cross-country tour of urban farms— the program uses film as a platform for sparking dialogue, education and positive change.

Kicking off the Environmental Film Series on January 20th will be a screening of Merchants of Doubt, which investigates the science behind some of the planet’s most pressing environmental issues. Directed by Robert Kenner, the documentary is inspired by the acclaimed non-fiction book by science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. Satirical and illuminating, the film reveals the secretive, public relations spin tactics used by “pundits-for-hire” who spread confusion and doubt about climate change, the tobacco industry, greenhouse gas emissions, toxic products, and more. The film will be followed by a conversation led by the City of Pittsburgh’s Senior Resilience Coordinator Rebecca Kiernan.

Bringing It Home

On February 17th, the series will feature the documentary, Bringing It Home, which tells the story of hemp’s past, present and future as a global industry. Find out what happens when a father’s search to find the healthiest building materials to construct a safe environment for his daughter—who has chemical sensitivities—leads him to build the country’s first hemp house. Along the way, he discovers non-toxic, carbon neutral, recyclable hempcrete that cuts energy bills in half, while also confronting current federal policy that does not distinguish hemp from marijuana. Afterward, join a panel discussion with Walnut Hill Farms Proprietor Michael Kovach, who will share firsthand knowledge about the benefits of chemical-free farming.

On March 17th, Phipps will screen Dan Susman and Andrew Monbouquette’s documentary, Growing Cities, which examines the transformative power of urban farming—from revitalizing cities to changing the way people eat. Meet the inspiring men and women across the country who are challenging the way food is grown and distributed—one vacant lot, rooftop garden, and backyard chicken coop at a time. Stick around for a panel discussion with Lauren Delorenze, who oversees Phipps’ Homegrown Edible Gardening Program and Gabe Tilove, who runs Phipps’ Master Gardener program.

Courtesy Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

The series is free with admission, but tickets are required and must be picked up in Phipps’ Welcome Center.

Looking for more events? Check out our Top 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in JanuaryTop 9 family events in Pittsburgh this January and our 17 can’t-miss Pittsburgh concerts in 2017 feature stories.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...