The Longwood Gardens in Philadelphia was announced as America’s Best Public Restroom.
The popular annual contest isn’t just about voting for the prettiest restrooms. It also promotes the importance of public restroom hygiene and highlights businesses whose restrooms exhibit functional and design excellence. As the most visited public garden in America, Longwood Gardens is renowned for its grand horticulture displays. Now, the distinctive restrooms have become a national icon too. Along with the ‘green wall’ outside the restrooms, visitors find etched translucent glass inside that provides natural light, reduces electricity and minimizes the need for light fixtures.
Longwood’s Green Wall is a truly stunning sight to behold. Guests to Longwood aren’t the only ones who love the Green Wall. To insects and mite pests, this visual masterpiece is nothing more than a vertical buffet of juicy, delicious plants just waiting to be feasted upon. It’s not a matter of “if” the Green Wall will get pests; it’s a matter of “when.” The densely planted foliage provides lots of cover for mealy bugs to hide and many of the plant varieties are known hosts for spider mites. Longwood’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) staff battles these pests with a non-chemical approach called biological control. Biocontrol, as it’s known for short, has been part of Longwood’s IPM program since the mid-90s and is the use of one live organism to combat another. At 4,200 square feet in surface area, the Green Wall, the largest in North America, is the perfect place to use this method large-scale.