FYI Philly celebrates Earth Day at the Bellwether District, Half Mad Honey and Ground Provisions

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Monday, April 15, 2024
FYI Philly celebrates Earth Day in Philly | April 13 show
Alicia Vitarelli and Alyana Gomez take a look at local eco-friendly businesses around Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Alicia Vitarelli and Alyana Gomez take a look at local eco-friendly businesses around Philadelphia.

Inside the Bellwether District's plans to transform South Philadelphia

For more than 150 years, 1,300 acres of prime Schuylkill Riverfront real estate was home to the PES Oil Refinery and off-limits to most Philadelphians.

Now it has a new owner, a new name, The Bellwether District, and a transformational plan to create an urban setting for innovation.

The plan includes weaving the property into the city grid, connecting Pennovation in University City to the Navy Yard, and Center City to the airport, all without getting on the highway.

The Bellwether District is owned by a company called Hilco Redevelopment Partners or HRP.

It was founded 10 years ago with the mission of buying obsolete industrial sites and turning them into green spaces that help the community, the environment and the economy.

The plan includes 8 miles of new roads that will be designed with bike lanes and EV charging stations.

The project promises 28,000 construction jobs and 19,000 permanent jobs, spread across the site's two campuses.

The south side, near the port and airport, will be home to light manufacturing facilities.

The north side, near Penn and Drexel, will be a hub for life sciences and research.

HRP bought the refinery in 20-20, after a series of explosions in the early morning hours of June 2019. Just by buying the property, HRP CEO Roberto Perez says, 16% of the air emissions were permanently eliminated.

The company decommissioned the refinery, dismantling 300 tanks and 950 miles of pipeline. Crews are now elevating the land to raise it out of the 100-year floodplain, with all buildings above the 500-year floodplain.

The company is investing millions in workforce development and education, including paid internships for local middle and high schoolers.

HRP hopes the new Bellwether District's first permanent employees will be on the job next year.

The Bellwether District | Instagram

Half Mad Honey offers free mindful hive tours

The Navy Yard-Half Mad Honey's apiary sits in an empty field in The Navy Yard, under the shadow of the I-95 bridge.

Sign up for a tour and you'll get fully suited up in protective gear then enter the apiary to become one with the bees.

The experience starts with a meditation exercise because bees can pick up on agitation and anxiety.

By keeping yourself calm, you keep the bees calm.

Half Mad Honey Co-Owner Amelia Mraz stumbled into beekeeping in 2016, while an undergrad at Temple University.

She says she was struggling with her mental health and found beekeeping to be a really therapeutic practice.

She got her degree in public health, started beekeeping in her apartment and met Chef Tasha Pham on a dating app (not Bumble).

The couple started Half Mad Honey in 2021 to share with others the mental health benefits of being around bees.

Tours end with a tasting and a chance to buy their products.

From their 11 hives, they make honey, beeswax salve, lip balm and candles.

They also host events like bee yoga and bees with Alchemy X studio.

Half Mad Honey |Facebook | Instagram

The Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pa. 19112


Alchemy X Yoga & Bees | Book

April 27 and May 11 at 11:30 a.m.

Ground Provisions brings vegan eats to West Chester

Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby have brought their award-winning vegan recipes to West Chester.

Ground Provisions is the latest creation from the couple, joining Philadelphia Center City staple Vedge.

Landau started his vegetable voyage 30 years ago when he opened Horizons in Willow Grove. Three decades later he is still working to find creative and delectable ways to serve vegetables.

Ground Provisions is a multicourse tasting menu served at the inside dining room.

There is a more casual first-come-first-serve menu on the outside porch and market serving the couple's favorite plant-based items, natural wines and local beers.

Ground Provisions | Facebook | Instagram

1388 Old Wilmington Pike, West Chester, PA 19382

Old items become new clothes via Ashani Scales' The Visionaries

Ashani Scales is a fashion designer and owner of the brand The Visionaries.

Scales started sewing when she was 11 after being gifted a sewing machine from a neighbor.

After losing interest in sewing in high school and college, she picked up the craft during the pandemic.

Since then Scales has created garments from unconventional items like blankets and deadstock fabrics and has worked with Philly Fashion Week for the last three years.

When she's not creating clothing for her brand, she teaches students how to sew at the community center, The Village Arts and Humanities.

For inquiries, you can email

Instagram |Website

Mystical Blossoms provides all-natural wellness remedies

Mystical Blossoms was created by sisters Jody and Michaline Koveloski.

After leaving stressful corporate jobs, the sisters started creating their own all-natural remedies.

They opened their Medford apothecary in 2019 and have expanded the shop to include walls of concoctions from soaps and salves to teas and crystals.

Dried flowers hang throughout the space and there are soothing smells as you walk in the door.

The sisters make many of the items they sell and are expanding their business with a move to Marlton this summer.

Mystical Blossoms | Facebook | Instagram

35 South Main Street, Medford, NJ 08055

Andalusia transports you to a calm country estate

Our local historic gardens are great places to celebrate Earth Day, any day you go.

Andalusia Historic House, Gardens & Arboretum is a national historic landmark built more than two centuries ago as the summer retreat for Philadelphia merchant John Craig and his wife Margaret.

Their daughter Jane married Nicholas Biddle, and the property stayed with the same family until the 1970s.

Today, the site is open to the public and offers visitors a country escape just outside Northeast Philadelphia -- complete with mansion tours, lush gardens, and unmatched views of the Delaware River.

Andalusia Historic House, Gardens & Arboretum | Facebook | Instagram

1237 State Road, Bensalem, PA 19020


open Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, select Saturdays, through November

admission $15, house tour $15

Cambridge Pavers has a plan for your patio paradise

Since the pandemic, outdoor space at home has become more of a must-have than a maybe.

Cambridge Pavers can help you create a backyard retreat for all four seasons that you'll enjoy for a lifetime.

Cambridge Pavers | Facebook | Instagram

The Fabric Workshop and Museum hosts Risa Puno: Group Hug

Interactive Installation Artist Risa Puno offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience in her first solo museum show.

"Group Hug is an immersive installation," says Puno. "The entire exhibition is about care and the work that goes into caring for people."

It features games, transforming The Fabric Workshop and Museum into a space for connection.

"It's like a multiplayer version of whack-a-mole," says Puno.

"You'll definitely smile," says DJ Hellerman, Chief Curator for The Fabric Workshop and Museum. "We've never had something like this before."

Players choose their own path. You can either 'care for' someone or be 'cared for.'

Choose 'care for' and you're playing a whack-a-mole-type game.

"It's anxiety-inducing because there's this urgency to it, right? You can't plan for it," says Puno.

As you play and work to meet needs, you're helping the 'cared for' relax.

There is a banana leaf-covered chair that reclines you into the inside of a coconut pod.

Puno says the inspiration came from her feelings of being unprepared to care for her father's health issues.

"Games are such a great way to express emotions," says Puno. "You can talk about real things like risk and real challenges."

And the project fits the museum's mission.

"The Fabric Workshop is dedicated to helping artists explore and experiment," says Hellerman. "We have a studio team that works with artists to develop projects that they never thought were possible."

"I'm especially proud to be here as a FilipinX artist," says Puno.

Nods to her Filipino culture are infused throughout the exhibition.

"In the middle there is sort of oversized die that people can roll that has questions about care," says Puno. "And this helps them have a discussion about it."

She says that's really the "spirit of this exhibition."

"It's many people coming together in care," says Puno.

Risa Puno: Group Hug is scheduled to run through July 21 at The Fabric Workshop and Museum.

Risa Puno: Group Hug | Tickets
The Fabric Workshop and Museum

1214 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

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