TreeVitalize beautifies hospital campus
Anyone visiting or driving past UPMC McKeesport will notice more trees and flowers on the campus.
In an effort to beautify the grounds, the hospital has joined forces with Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the city of McKeesport to embark on the TreeVitalize project.
“This was a catalyst of the Frew Courtyard,” hospital president Cynthia Dorundo said. “Employees say that area looks so beautiful so we wanted to expand on that to make this a pleasant place to be and help the healing mission of the hospital.”
Merle Taylor, UPMC McKeesport vice president of operations, said he was introduced to the conservancy with the courtyard project.
“It really changed how the area looked. The board and medical staff requested we look into the beautification of the whole campus,” he said.
Art DeMeo, director of Community Greenspace Services, is working with the hospital on the project, which involves the planting of 57 trees, and the addition of hanging baskets and planters. After visiting the campus and looking at its green infrastructure, he came up with a plan he presented to hospital officials.
That plan includes a variety of trees such as hedge maple, redbud, flowering crabapple, weeping cypress, cherry and arborvitae. Spring trees have been planted along Evans Street and along one of the hospital's parking lots, with the remainder of the trees scheduled to be planted in the fall.
“In the next two to three weeks, we will place hanging baskets along Evans,” DeMeo said, noting permission was granted from Duquesne Light to hang the baskets on their poles.
Long concrete planters will be placed at the loading dock and the YMCA parking lot and will have seasonal plantings twice a year.
“In areas where there are tree-lined streets, studies show there is a significant increase in the amount of money spent in the businesses,” DeMeo said. “There are also health benefits from the shade, as well as a reduction in crime, pollution and vandalism.”
To accommodate the planting of trees along Evans, the hospital joined a partnership with the city to make cuts in the sidewalk.
“The city donated all the work time,” Dorundo said, noting the hospital's cost for the trees and two-year maintenance is $80,000. “That amount includes the spring and fall planting of the trees, the trees themselves, maintenance of the trees, and watering the hanging baskets.”
Routine care of the trees will be the responsibility of tree tenders, members of the hospital's maintenance staff who will be trained through the conservancy's Tree Tender program.
“An arborist will come here and train them on their own trees so they will know specifically what they need to do,” DeMeo said.
In the fall, the Mon River Fleet Leos Club, through a grant from the McKeesport Hospital Foundation, will help with tree planting. They also will be trained in the care and maintenance of the trees.
“We want to see this make a tremendous impact,” Dorundo said. “We will study other areas on the campus as part of the beautification.”
Taylor hopes the hospital's initiative will spark interest in other city businesses.
“It would be nice if Fifth Avenue could be tree-lined the whole way to the municipal building,” he said.
Carol Waterloo Frazier is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1916, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Suspect in multiple Mon Valley armed robberies arrested
- Forward Township couple, Florida man arrested in drug sting
- Winter weather likely to shorten summer vacation, delay commencement in East Allegheny
- Report identifies Mon-Yough residents who are at risk in train disasters
- Wilmerding has big plans for borough’s 125th anniversary
- Mon Valley officials optimistic salt supplies will last
- Day of prayer at McKeesport church shines light on HIV, AIDS
- Water pipe fixed, Penn State Greater Allegheny classes to resume
- Public comment policy varies in Mon Valley school districts
- Clairton City School District seeks savings in food service management
- Munhall resident pleads guilty but mentally ill for killing his mother