Earlier this winter, Board Member Brian McMillan contacted St. Luke’s administrator in charge of the hospice project just south of 35th on Southwest Trfy, Carol Quiring, to get a better understanding of their plans for the landscaping on the west hillside facing Roanoke Park. According to Quiring and the hospice project manager:
“We attempted to save as much of the native trees and vegetation as possible on the property. The detention basin and surrounding area will be re-seeded with native seed to blend with the existing natural environment and utilize water-efficient landscaping complying with our obligations of LEED. The seeding will continue up the hillside on the northwest side of the house. Along the base of the dam for the detention basin there will be oak trees planted along Karnes Blvd. The north hillside will have a combination of pines and river birch trees planted along the north border. Smaller plantings and trees will also be planted around the north and west sides of the house to enhance the view and experience year-round. The natural looking stone wall was intended to compliment the exposed rock outcroppings already present on the site and add a natural look to the retaining wall that was needed to allow this site to be developed.
“The site is challenging at best … The City has been presented with the details of our landscaping from all views. We’ve made considerable financial commitment to support the Sycamore tree and hope it will continue to thrive along with the multiple new plantings that will be placed on the site. We are equally interested in the view from our home for our patients and families.
“I think spring may be just around the corner. It will be a great time to see the new growth on all sides of our lot.”
The construction area has caused some neighbors to worry about the impact on the area’s overall aesthetic as well as to the flora and fauna. Many neighbors were very upset at the loss of some old growth trees and were quite shocked to see the barren hillside. Even with the promise of new plantings, trees and shrubs do not mature overnight, so it may be several years before the hillside blends more naturally into the rest of the park.
Although Brian visited the City Planning office and could not find plans that directly reflected the landscaping described in the email from Quiring, we hope that our shared interest in the appearance of the hillside eventually results in a landscape we can all enjoy. After years of neglect and vacancy, it is great to see the property being put to good use, even if the construction process hasn’t gone quite as neighbors had hoped. We will continue to follow this project and do our best to keep neighbors informed. You can follow construction updates directly from St. Luke’s here.