Posted by: Sarah Szurpicki | June 5, 2009

Faces of the Summit: Blaine Bonham

Blaine Bonham portrait lo resJ. Blaine Bonham Jr. serves as executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and founded its urban greening program, Philadelphia Green, in 1974.  And in two weeks, he’ll be serving on our Green Jobs in Infrastructure Panel, to talk about the ways in which cities can incorporate greening strategies into their infrastructure plans.

Under Blaine Bonham’s aegis, Philadelphia Green moved from a small, grassroots initiative to the forefront of urban greening in the nation and now serves as a model for programs in other cities. In addition, Bonham oversees PHS’s education, publications, membership, and development departments.

In 2003, Bonham helped Philadelphia Green create the Green City Strategy, which was adopted by the Mayor of Philadelphia as part of his Neighborhood Transformation Initiative. Through this initiative, Philadelphia Green developed and implemented a vacant land management program that has since converted millions of square feet of once derelict land to green space.

Most recently, Bonham collaborated with the producers of the acclaimed PBS documentary Edens Lost & Found, which prominently features PHS’s greening work in the Philadelphia episode, aired in May, 2006. This series chronicled the public- and private-sector efforts of four cities—Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Philadelphia—to reclaim and create sustainable urban environments. It was produced by the Academy Award-winning company Wiland-Bell of Los Angeles.

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