Green Star Awards Entry
The Patient’s View
St. Peter Hospital isn’t any different than any other hospital in that it is
encompassed by a parking lot for patient access and convenience…
however, our parking lot is carefully designed to limit the impact to native
Evidence support that patient access to nature improves the experience of
healing/ The following slide is the view from a patient’s room on the 4th floor
of our 11 story nursing tower.
The second slide (slide 5) is taken from the roof of the hospital. This slide
shows how we have successfully integrated our parking lot and hospital into
the native landscape. In order to insure the viability of this beautiful campus
experience for decades to come, we have planted over 400 new trees just in
the last two years alone. When we must remove a tree (due to disease or
storm damage, we plant at least 3 trees for every one that is removed.
This careful blending of nature and patient care is ideal in supporting a
holistic healing environment for generations to come.
Grounds Maintenance Program
Providence St. Peter Hospital is a 390 bed community hospital
located on 60 developed acres with an additional 96 surrounding
acres of undeveloped wet lands located in Olympia Washington.
St. Peter Hospital has contracted for its grounds management to
Bayview Landscape and Design since the mid 1990s. Bayview
is owned and actively managed by Gary Davis who provides a
team of committed workers and materials to the hospital on a
year – around basis.
The hospital prides itself in blending in with the natural
environment, not utilizing pesticides or herbicides through manual
hand - weeding, and utilizing indigenous plantings which are
hearty and require minimal irrigation.
We often receive feedback from visitors that there is not another
hospital setting as beautiful as the one at St. Peter Hospital.
There are four major gardens on the hospital campus:
Providence Way Garden
The Critical Care / Surgery Waiting Area Garden
The Healing Garden
The Emergency Room Garden
The following six slides are of the Providence Way Garden which is
centered on the front of the hospital.
This garden includes donated memorial pavers, park benches, and
tables surrounded by plants which flower at various times of the
year, four large boulders (similar to the one on the slide 11)
engraved with our core values, a pond with water pumped up
through a massive sliced boulder (slide 11) and native trees. This
garden was designed by a local landscape architect.
Providence Way Garden is partially funded by our Hospital’s
Foundation and is a wonderful place for visitors and staff to
experience it’s quiet and manicured beauty additionally it is the first
thing that our visitors see when approaching the main entrance.
Critical Area Garden
The following four slides are of the hospital’s Critical Care and
Surgery Waiting Area Garden.
The garden consists of artistic plantings that are expertly
maintained including items such as heather, one-hundred plus
year old alpine conifers, ledge stone rock walls, neatly trimmed
grass and “the rock cairns” (see slide 17) which is meant to
represent a family walking together up a hill.
This garden serves as a wonderful retreat for the families of our
most critical patients.
Emergency Room Garden
The following two slides are of our Emergency Room Garden.
This garden is not physically accessible to our visitors but it is paralleled
by a glass walled hallway adjacent to the Emergency Department. ( see
The garden contains various small plantings and trees, a few small
boulders, a statue of Mary and immaculately groomed mulch groundcover.
The following slide is of the hospital’s Healing Garden which is
located below the intensive care units on the back side of the
building, directly outside the Family Birth Center patient rooms and
within a short walking distance to the hospital’s physical
rehabilitation unit. The space covered by tangerine marble behind
the gazebo is often the space where groups can be seen benefiting
from exercise classes such as Tai Chi. A vegetable garden grows in
pots and serves as an area for patient rehabilitation through
The garden is made up of small plantings, expertly maintained lawn,
very large boulders, river rock, and alpine conifers skirting the
building all visible from Family Birthing, and the two ICU floors.
Much of the hospital campus is wet lands (see slide 25). We are landlocked by wetlands because they can not be developed and at the same
time we are charged with being their caretakers. The wetland serves as
a beautiful border to our already natural setting.
These wetlands present unique challenges for both storm water draining
and pollution control as well as mitigation of evasive weeds. The
campus has been designed to filter and store storm water in such a
manner that the water enters the wetlands just as it would without
development on the campus.
Our grounds maintenance team has been proactive about removing and
managing evasive weeds such as Tansy Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)
and Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius)
Pesticide & Herbicide Free
Given the nature of our hospital as a healing environment as well
as our proximity to a salmon rearing wetland, Providence St.
Peter Hospital is committed to minimizing any toxic products used
in our grounds maintenance program. As a result, weed killers
are not allowed for use on the campus.
This policy is for the benefit of patients, visitors and staff to the
campus but places a big burden for hand weeding on our grounds
Management of leafs, grass clippings, limbs and other vegetative
debris is a labor intensive and expensive task for a natural
campus. In 2013 we embarked on a debris compost program to
convert this waste product to a beneficial mulch for our campus.
The following slide is of the beginnings of our compost pile (60
cubic yards) which will serve as the source of our 2014 mulch for
We are very excited about the new program and the cost
effective, sustainable benefit it will bring to our campus.
A current challenge in our culture is fitness. Our hospital wants to
inspire our employees and visitors to be physically active. With this
goal in mind we have partnered with the local County Health
Department to create two fitness trails running through wooded areas
of our campus.
The following slide is an image of our walking trail (The Trillium Trail)
which is nestled in the woods between the front parking lot and the
street. The trail was created without the removal of any trees and it
includes a couple of nice signs and small gravel on the trail bed.
Campus Security and Safety
We have a responsibility to provide our patients, visitors and staff a
feeling of safety when walking through our heavily wooded parking
Our solution has been insure that lighting was appropriately placed
and to lift the limbs on our trees so that there were relatively clear
lines of sight at the lower levels.
Proactive management and trimming of tree limbs is very important to
limit the potential for injury or damage to vehicles. We have
addressed this with the assistance of an Arborist who advises us on
the health of the trees on our campus and a tree – trimming
subcontractor who regularly trims and removes trees as necessary to
keep the campus safe. As a result of this program, our incident rate
for tree limb damage has declined dramatically.
The next image is taken from the parking lot.
Grounds Maintenance Staffing
All of our campus landscaping is provided via a contract with local
company, Bayview Landscape and Design, of Olympia, Washington.
Bayview is responsible for providing staffing and materials to the
hospital six days a week.
The following six slides are of Bayview staff and owner / manager
Gary Davis. These are the folks that make it all happen.
Gary Davis, Owner Bayview Landscape and Design
evergreen tree to
add visibility to a
Providence St. Peter Hospital wishes to thank the Professional
Grounds Maintenance Society for sponsoring this award. We are very
proud of the hard work of our contractor and hospital management to
maintain a beautiful campus using environmentally sustainable
practices – all of which contribute to improving the healing
environment for patients and staff of our hospital.