Saturday, August 4, 2007

The flowers of summer

When the Central New York leaders planned Community General Hospital in 1957, they sought a location away from downtown in a place of “therapeutic green.” That concept sounds remarkably contemporary.

The planners suggested three “green” sites as possible locations for the hospital: Tecumseh Golf Course, Sunnycrest Park, and the Onondaga Hill site of the County Sanitarium (now, the Van Duyn Home and Hospital). The Onondaga Hill site included 42 acres of land that had been reforested in the 1930s under the Civilian Conservation Corps. (The CCC put to work young men from unemployed families during the Great Depression of the 1930’s.)

As we know, Onondaga Hill was selected and CGH opened here on January 1, 1963. The hospital has been known for this distinctive green and wooded campus ever since, thanks to the community planners. A circle of trees is the hospital’s logo.

If the campus is characterized by its trees, it is also known for its summer flowers.

And for this beauty we owe thanks, not to the community planners, but to Community General’s volunteers.

We are fortunate to have more than 300 women and men who volunteer their time and talent, helping in many ways to make us “more than medicine.” Among their helpful activities are the flower beds volunteers maintain in the park outside the hospital’s several entrances.

Vince and June Lawrence have been a big part of this beautification project for years. The photo of Vince and June, with their flowers, was taken yesterday. When not working in the gardens (as they did on a very hot Wednesday this week), you can find them helping elsewhere (such as assisting patients and visitors at the main desk on Friday). Other members of the flower team include Dottie DeSimone, Caroline Newell, Julie Newell, John Ronan, Bill Thorp and Carolyn Topalian.

Thanks to all who help make Community General Hospital, not only a place of therapeutic green, but a place of beauty.

1 comment:

Tom Quinn said...

On August 06, 2007, P sent me the following e-mail:

I was very inspired by the tribute to the Lawrence’s and to all the Volunteers at CGH who are so devoted to their jobs.
I was first employed in the Volunteer Office and that was one of the best years I spent at CGH because I was able to meet and make friends and see first hand how really lucky we are to have everyone of them. They give unselfishly of their time and talents and could never be replaced because we would be unable to pay them for the endless time they give so graciously. I am thankful to know many of them by name and I am proud to say that I worked with them. They must be counted as one of our most valuable assets.