Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  57 minutes
Date:  2006
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 7-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
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Edens Lost and Found: Philadelphia

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Faced with severe budget limitations, Philadelphia's rebirth is being brought about by a network of community-based volunteer organizations.

Edens Lost and Found: Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a historic city responding to many challenges, including suburban development, that threaten to decimate the core city. Faced with severe budget limitations (a universal reality), it created a vast network of community-based volunteer organizations who have brought about rebirth through volunteerism and community outreach. Some of those organizations include The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, The New Kensington Community Development Corporation and The Philadelphia Water Department.

City government hasn't been sitting still, either. Mayor John F. Street created the Neighborhood Transition Initiative (NTI) program as part of a coordinated plan to save the city from the impact of 'moving up and moving out.' NTI was assigned to come up with practicable and affordable solutions to remove blight, promote quality restoration, stimulate investment in new housing, and improve how the city delivers services to its businesses and residents. The challenge is to make neighborhoods more attractive so families will stay and become stakeholders.

Philadelphia has many tales to tell about how it is dealing with challenges being felt around the planet: creation of a sustainable society, economy, and ecosystem in a thriving urban environment.

'Wiland and Bell show us that some of the real solutions might just be on our doorstep, our roofs, and in our city halls.' Anna Lappe, Co-Founder of Small Planet Institute, Co-Author of Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen

'An inspiring look at how cities can be transformed and how parks and green space can heal the soul of a community.' Philadelphia Daily News

'Inspiring examples from Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Seattle show how people can rediscover the natural attributes that made their cities desirable to settle in the first place.' Sierra Magazine

'There's something positively redemptive about Edens Lost and Found, the new PBS series about the transformation of dismal urban spaces into gardens and parks, villages and murals that are green and welcoming.' Virginia A. Smith, Philadelphia Inquirer

'I used Edens Lost and Found to organize a course I taught this summer...What a great class we had! The series proved to be a valuable tool in focusing the student's attention. By highlighting a variety of topics, institutional arenas, and personalities involved with environmental sustainability in four cities, the series alerted my students to the opportunities and challenges available to policy makers. The fact that the series showed the struggle to incorporate environmental values in everyday life, in education, and in public policy agendas at the local level, and the fact that sometimes the best intentions did not work out, provided a realistic sense of the challenge...Several of the grad students had not been exposed to the environment in this way, and told me that the class was an eye opening experience. Two were inspired to do their graduate applied research project on environmental sustainability.

The Edens Lost and Found series is an important addition to material available to introduce students at all levels to environmental values. The presentation of some hard lessons regarding success and failure, and how much time and effort go into trying to change our neighborhoods and cities makes this series unique. I look forward to the next opportunity that I have to use the Edens Lost and Found series, and recommend it to educators at all levels.' Greg Andranovich, Professor of Political Science, California State University-Los Angeles

'These effective, professionally produced programs will inspire cities and towns all over the United States to use more green building materials, cultivate and employ native trees and plants for landscaping, find ways to practice conservation, and minimize disruptions to the natural environment. Recommended for all collections.' Susan C. Awe, University of New Mexico Library, Library Journal

'This movie is about how the historic town that had the first public park and the first botanic garden is being transformed and revived back to its original status of 'city within a park' through the efforts of local communities. Overall, this is a very inspirational documentary. It is highly recommended for school and public libraries.' Geetha Yapa, University of California, Riverside, Educational Media Reviews Online


Brownfields Conference Film Festival


Main credits

Morse, David (Host)
Wiland, Harry (Director)
Wiland, Harry (Producer)
Bell, Dale (Producer)
Baroff, Beverly (Screenwriter)
Baroff, Beverly (Producer)
Baroff, Beverly (Editor)

Other credits

Director of photography, Jonathan Bell; music, David Loeb & Gary Griffin.

Distributor credits

Harry Wiland, Dale Bell and Beverly Baroff

Harry Wiland, Dale Bell and Beverly Baroff
Harry Wiland
Written and Edited by Beverly Baroff
Hosted by David Morse
Content Consultant: Andy Lipkis, President, TreePeople
A Media and Policy Center Foundation production in association with Oregon Public Broadcasting

Docuseek2 subjects

Local Economies
Citizenship, Social Movements and Activism
Urban Studies
United States
Sustainable Architecture
American (U.S.) Studies

Distributor subjects

American Studies
At-risk Youth
Local Economies
Urban Studies
Urban and Regional Planning


Philadelphia; budget limitations, volunteers, community organizations, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, New Kensington Community Development Corporation, Philadelphia Water Department, Lily Yeh, city government. Mayor John Street, Neighborhood Transition Initiative, NTI, urban blight, new housing, city services,"Edens Lost and Found - Philadelphia",Bullfrog Films

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