FMH to hold May 1 landscaping work party
FARMINGTON – Franklin Memorial Hospital is hosting a study group starting Saturday, May 1st at 9:00 am.
Volunteers are required to rake harvested areas and pick up stones and sticks before spraying those areas with grass. Gloves and rakes should be brought. Social distancing and masks are required.
The working group is part of a three-year plan to modernize the FMH campus, Garrick Hyde, CFO of the Franklin Community Health Network, said in a telephone interview on April 8th.
FMH treats people for physical ailments, he said. The healing garden is a beautiful place that patients and staff prefer in the summer, he noted.
“The underlying principle / goal of this project is that if we were to give thought to other areas it would have the opportunity to improve physical and emotional healing while we are here,” said Hyde. “There is a lot of stress when people drive in. When they see something peaceful, the calming begins when they pull in. We want the public to feel welcome and invited. “
In the 1940s, the site was a tree farm with red and white pine trees planted in different woods, Hyde said.
“The red pines were around the hospital buildings and just west of the Wilton-Farmington border,” he said. “There are still seven acres of white pine trees on the west side of the Comfort Inn. These will be harvested next January. “
All trees were in poor condition with disease or plague should have been harvested decades ago, Hyde said. Four pines fell in a storm a few weeks ago, he noted.
In January, the red pines were harvested from 19 acres: 3 acres around buildings and 16 acres in the wooded areas. Younger hardwood trees are already growing there.
All trees with logs larger than 42 inches went to Braunschweig, while shorter ones were cut into 12 and 16 foot logs, Hyde said.
“You go to Quebec, there isn’t a lot of market in the United States,” he said. “Canadians love them for decking.”
Some logs have been saved to build a pavilion that will be ready for use this fall.
“I stood outside in February at 10-sub-zero and thought how nice it would be to have some of the timber harvested, to commemorate the history of the tree farm and to pay homage to our past,” said Hyde.
The elements were selected from several structures viewed online to create a 30 by 30 foot design.
“It’s going to be wonderful,” said Hyde. “It will have a metal roof, an overhang to protect the wood,” he said. “The foundation will be poured this summer. Water and electricity will flow there from the mountain. Blue building for night meetings. “
Disabled parking spaces will be installed in front of the mountain this spring. Blue building that houses the primary care clinic.
The Farmington Conservation Commission helped with this project. It’s an ongoing effort, the Commission sees it as good urban forestry, Hyde said.
A commissioner, Robert Zundel, owner of Tree Line Landscape donated a design rendering showing a variety of shrubs and trees, both conifers and deciduous trees, that can withstand salt and provide color, Hyde said.
“He was so nice, I hired him to plant the trees,” said Hyde. “He’s such a gem. His creativity is amazing. He suggested planting edible things. 12 disease-resistant apple varieties and blueberries, which turn red in autumn, will be included. “
These will work well when the wardrobe is set up, he noted.
Some plantings will be done this spring, some this fall, and some next year.
A great solution for pouring has been derived, Hyde said.
“We don’t have an irrigation system now, but we have hydrants,” he said. “I contacted the water district to ask about the installation of irrigation systems. The hydrants and large hoses on the wheels provide easy access when needed. The hospital will pay for the water. “
After hydroseeding, the areas have to be watered daily for the first few weeks and then less frequently. In the most visible areas, more plants, shrubs and trees will be added this year and more next year.
“Red oaks are planted along the ring road,” said Hyde. “It will create a boardwalk when they get bigger. When you enter the main car park, the pavilion is on the left in front of the large auditorium. It will be an outdoor area for employees to have lunch, hold outdoor meetings and be available to the public. “
The plan is to use some large, well-established trees from special sources that cost around $ 500 each, Hyde said. People can “buy” a tree as a memorial, he said.
“Ideally, we would plant the trees first and people could run around and choose a tree to sponsor,” said Hyde.
For more information, contact Jill Gray, FCHN Community Relations Director at 207-779-2555.
In the third year things get really nice with the bushes and flowers, Hyde said. Zundel has suggested using ID badges like in an arboretum, he said.
“That was such a fun project,” said Hyde. “It was made thoughtful. Seeing what it will look like has lifted people’s spirits. Most people respond very positively. “