There’s not a cloud in the sky today and we can expect temperatures to push into the 80s.

If I told you that, despite popular belief, the Schuylkill is actually quite clean, would you believe me? Well, we have the proof.

And have you ever wondered what it takes to get the Philadelphia Flower Show off the ground? Or how all those flowers are preserved? Our reporter Mike Newall delivers this look.

Finally, could scientists really be closer to finding a cure for most cancers? Let’s say it’s an “exciting time” in cancer research.

A promising way to start a Wednesday. Let’s get into it. 👇🏽

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

The Schuylkill isn’t that dirty. No, seriously

Recently, a group of nonprofits examined water quality on the main stem of the Schuylkill from Reading to Southwest Philadelphia and surveyed 300 people to understand how the river is perceived.

There’s a disconnect between what’s in the actual water and what we perceive is lying within. In fact, their study surmised that, on most days the Schuylkill is clean enough for boating, wading, and even swimming.

💧 How was the study conducted? The group installed four monitoring stations along the river to record water temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and conductivity from September 2020 to January 2022.

💧 What were some of the findings? Concentrations of E. coli were safe for swimming most days, but “extremely elevated” during and after storms at all locations. As for water temperature, a key indicator for the balance of aquatic life, temperatures increased going downstream into Philadelphia, overall they fit within a good range.

💧 But what about all the trash floating in the river? Volunteers counted trash within 100 feet of their assigned sites. Most locations upstream of Valley Forge were “optimal” on average, while most sites downstream of that were “sub-optimal” or “marginal.”

💧 What the experts are saying: “People have a perception that there’s a danger there,” said John Jackson, a senior research scientist in the project. “But that isn’t supported by what we know about the river.”

Our Frank Kummer has more on the findings and why we should consider retiring the term “Schuylkill Punch.”

What you should know today

Take this behind-the-scenes look at the Philadelphia Flower Show

The Flower Show’s move to FDR Park has brought a unique level of challenges. But what it has also done is highlight the work of hundreds of people who prim, trim, and hang the awe-inspiring floral displays that make the nine-day annual event.

Ahead of Saturday’s start, our reporter Mike Newall explored what getting this show off the ground and maintaining it is like as thousands flock from all over to stop and smell the roses.

“We’re almost like a small little city here — and we have to bring all the needs we have,” said Sam Lemheney, chief of shows and events, who for the last two years — after the show moved outside from the Convention Center over COVID-19 concerns — has needed to plan a show at FDR Park. “A city, even one mostly made of flowers, requires restrooms, electricity, and perhaps above all else – given the stars of the show – water. All of the [infrastructures] that’s literally built into the Convention Center has to be brought out here — that’s our biggest challenge.”

You can check out Mike’s inside look at the Flower Show here, in addition to:

🌺 Our videographer Astrid Rodrigues created this time lapse of this massive 50,000-flower installation.

🌺 And for those still planning on attending, check out our guide to all things Flower Show.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

Wawa has plans for expansion with the announcement of adding more stores outside the Philadelphia region. Today’s question: The Delco-based convenience chain, which already has stores in states beyond Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, just announced it is adding stores in which state? Take a guess and find the answer here.

a. Alabama

b. Michigan

c. Tennessee

d. Louisiana

What we’re…

🥦 Learning: The term “vegetarian” celebrates its 205th birthday in America this year.

👏🏾 Applauding: An induction into the National Hockey Hall of Fame for Philly media mainstay Al Morganti.

🎧 Listening: To this podcast all about the volunteer collective restoring the magic to the Philly Pride Festival and Parade.

🧩 Unscramble the Anagram 🧩

This neighborhood is a nice slice of West Philly.

DARP KRECA

Think you know? Send your guess our way at morningnewsletter@inquirer.com. We’ll give a shoutout to a reader at random who answers correctly. Today’s shoutout goes to Gwendolyn Hinton-Freeman, of Philadelphia, who correctly guessed HELEN GYM as Tuesday’s answer.

Photo of the day

That’s all I have for your Wednesday> Thanks for starting your morning with The Inquirer. ✌️