Hospital landscaping – Longmont Times-Call
Water protection is the focus of the hospital landscape
As a landscape architect and co-owner of BHA Design, I would like to share my thoughts on the beauty and importance of native landscapes and low-water landscapes, as well as our partnership with UCHealth. I have had the privilege of working with UCHealth at several of their facilities in northern Colorado, including the UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital campus in Longmont. Recently, one of my contacts at the hospital announced that they had heard several questions about the “wild looking” grasses along the hospital grounds. So I would like to take this opportunity to share the history and intent of the design.
In the Colorado Front Range we live in a semi-arid high plains climate. Saving water and responsible water management are central community needs for our city and region.
The UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital campus spans nearly 30 acres and is a significant footprint in our community. When designing the campus, the UCHealth executives made a conscious decision to develop a campus landscape strategy that not only supports health services but also incorporates responsible water management.
While more well-tended and irrigated landscapes are concentrated near the building and its outdoor areas, less-used peripheral areas on campus consist predominantly of native grasses that require little water and less frequent maintenance. This zoned approach adapts the irrigation needs to the planned outdoor applications of the hospital.
BHA Design has continued this zoned approach to the planned landscape for the UCHealth Longs Peak Medical Center, which is currently being built on the east side of the campus. We continue to keep water conservation at the forefront of our design efforts to help the St. Vrain Valley and beyond.