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Join Pittsburgh’s new network of creative minds working together to strengthen the bond between people and the natural world.

Biophilia: Pittsburgh February Meeting

The next Biophilia: Pittsburgh meeting will be held on Feb. 5, 2015 and feature Dr. Molly Mehling, assistant professor of ecology and sustainability at Chatham University's Falk School of Sustainability.

Dr. Mehling will share an ecologist’s view of Pittsburgh’s green infrastructure, expanding upon the principles of biophilia to unpack key differences between biological and ecological systems. Contemporary examples from ecological science will leave the audience with new perspectives on the richness, diversity and networks in communities that can encourage and evaluate citywide efforts to improve stormwater management, remold our urban landscapes, reduce our exposure to contaminants, and connect Pittsburgh’s residents with our nonhuman neighbors. With current and suggested options, Mehling will illustrate pathways for rebuilding our own eco-city by gradually nudging our urban habitat to become more livable for all. 

Meetings are free to attend; advance RSVP is required. To RSVP, please contact market@phipps.conservatory.org or sign up at the group’s Meetup page

Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a Biophilia Network dedicated to strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion and action. The group will meet monthly at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes classroom at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens where, over delicious small-plates and light refreshments, a discipline or behavior will be identified — often by an expert guest speaker — and discussed among the participants in the interest of sharing ideas and identifying opportunities.

Directions and Parking 

This meeting will take place in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) Classroom which is located on the facility’s first floor. The main Conservatory entrance will be closed, as this meeting takes place after normal hours; to access the CSL, follow Frew Street (located between the Oakland/Schenley Park bridge and the Christopher Columbus statue), which will take you around the Conservatory to the lower campus. Guest parking spaces are available on your left as you approach the CSL.
 
Our Goals 

• To welcome and inspire others with the concept and principles of biophilia
• To foster collaboration and learning between professionals from a wide variety of disciplines
• To communicate biophilic principles in action-oriented ways to a wider audience for exponential and regional impact

What Is Biophilia?

The term “biophilia,” which literally means “love of life,” was coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm and popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson, who defined it as “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms.” 

The implications of biophilia extend across a vast array of disciplines including design and engineering, nutrition, psychology, public health, education, biology and the humanities. Biophilia is expressed all over the world every day, through complex collaborations such as the design and construction of buildings and landscapes; and intimate, personal encounters including nature hikes and home gardening.



Other Featured Exhibits & Events

Two More Nights of Winter Lights
Friday, Jan. 23 and 30, 2015
5 – 11 p.m.
Take one more walk through the dazzling light displays in our Outdoor and Children’s Discovery Gardens while our indoor spaces transform for the Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show.
Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show
Jan. 17 – March 1, 2015
Chase away the winter blues with the spectacular sight of orchid specimens arranged in beds and baskets, and see unique selections from our permanent collection of tropical bonsai.
Tropical Sundays
Sundays, Feb 1, 8, 15 and 22, 2015
Wear a tropical shirt and receive 50 percent off admission to relax under the palm trees, sway to music of Matthew Mazza and Carmen Bruno of the Tropical Sands Steel Band, and taste tropical fruit.
Tropical Forest Congo
Opens Feb. 7, 2015
The beauty of the tropics flourishes as we unveil Tropical Forest Congo, a new exhibit featuring some of Africa’s lushest landscapes. See varieties of flora never before showcased at Phipps and discover how indigenous tribes use plants to sustain and enrich their lives.
Tropical Forest Congo Opening Festival
Feb. 7, 2015
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Be among the first to see our new Tropical Forest Congo exhibit as our guest at a special opening celebration. Family-friendly activities include a storytelling performance, African-inspired food sampling, cultural crafts and a pot-a-plant station — all free with Phipps admission.
Party in the Tropics
Select Fridays
Next Party Feb. 13, 2015
7 – 11 p.m.
Ages 21+
Gather your friends and get ready to dine, drink and dance the night away at Phipps! Make our paradise your own as you indulge in sweet and savory morsels, taste unique cocktails, and dance to the beats of a live DJ in our Tropical Forest Conservatory. Entry is free with Conservatory admission.
Hothouse Happy Hours
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015
6 – 8 p.m.
Join us on Feb. 19 as we partner with the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP) to kick off Hothouse Happy Hours, a series of events for young professionals, featuring specialty cocktails, beer and wine, inspired bites and dynamic special guests.
Seed, Perennial and Seedling Swap: 2015 Garden Season Opener
Feb. 28, 2015
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main
Join Phipps and Grow Pittsburgh at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland to swap seeds and plants, learn tips and get ready for a great season of gardening. Bring seeds you saved from last year and take home an exciting selection to grow in your garden this year. Admission is free to the public.
Garden Railroad
Closes March 1, 2015
A unique twist on the traditional Garden Railroad, this year's display takes you back in time to the California Gold Rush — complete with water features, interactive buttons for children to push, and miniature living plants.