TRENTON — For the 10th consecutive year, the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) is participating in the acclaimed Philadelphia International Flower Show, the world’s longest running and largest indoor event of its kind.
This year’s flower show, opened at the Philadelphia Convention Center on March 2 and runs through this coming Sunday, March 10. JJC students have submitted an entry in the show’s competitive category of “Containers” as well as in the “Horticourt” category.
The JJC students’ displays are being judged by some of the nation’s most distinguished horticulturalists.
Entitled, “Flower Power,” this year’s show celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock, and the importance of flowers in everyday life, as well as the healing properties of flowers and plants.
Under the supervision of their horticulture teacher Keith Faust, students from JJC’s residential community home, Costello Preparatory Academy, competed this week in the “Containers” category. Students from Costello Preparatory and Vineland Preparatory Academy, under the direction of horticulture teachers Brian Rohrer and George McCarty, competed in the “Horticourt” category.
The students at Costello Prep paid homage to Woodstock in a sunny, colorful, psychedelic garden dedicated to the memory of Jimi Hendrix, featuring the color purple and appropriately named “Purple Haze.” Costello Prep received a 3rd Place showing for their entry, which competed with colleges, other educational institutions and garden clubs. The students from Costello Preparatory Academy and Vineland Preparatory Academy submitted entries in the flowering and foliage categories and received one 1st Place award, a pair of 2nd Place awards, three Third Place awards, as well as one Honorable Mention.
Under the supervision of their horticulture teachers, JJC residents spent hours in the classroom conducting research on plants, and weeks nurturing their specimens in preparation for the week-long flower show.
Many flowers used in JJC’s entries were grown by the students in greenhouses as part of their ongoing horticulture curriculum. Students designed and assembled several possible entries, carefully nurturing each to see which would be selected as the eventual entry. Students also have had the opportunity to visit the Convention Center to maintain their entry.
In years past, JJC students have also performed well at the Philadelphia Flower Show, winning many awards for individual plant entries and continually placing well in the window box, lamppost, and container categories.
JJC is the state agency responsible for leading the reform of New Jersey’s juvenile justice system. Established in 1995, it serves to coordinate programs and policies affecting delinquent youth throughout the state, and offers juvenile rehabilitation and parole services.
In addition to the core educational curriculum, the JJC provides extensive career and technical education to students, including horticultural instruction. The JJC greenhouses produce thousands of plants each year. The plants are used in community service projects and are made available for sale to the public.