"Change is inevitable. Ugliness is not." That's the motto of Scenic America, a non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding America's national beauty and community character. Remarkable change has come to The Queen's Medical Center campus over the past several years, and the transformation from parking lot to rolling green has been noticed. Scenic Hawai’i has just named The Queen's Medical Center as the Betty Crocker Landscape and Garden Award winner in its professional division for its sweeping new landscaping.
The awards are named after the late Betty Crocker, not of cookbook fame, but a real Hawai’i resident who was dedicated to keeping Hawai’i green. The Queen's Medical Center lies within the Capitol Corridor, which encompasses the view plane to the Hawai’i State Capitol. By law, the designation requires Queen's to keep 40 percent of its property green. The challenge was to be in harmony with the landscaping of nearby properties, create a healing environment and reflect a Hawaiian sense of place. A berm surrounds the campus like a flowing lei.
Queen Emma, one of Queen's founders, and Dr. William Hillebrand, the hospital's first physician and renowned botanist, took great pains in the 1850s to transform the then dusty, barren plot of land into a healing oasis. D.Mark Gwinner, manager of Landscape Design & Development at Queen's, sees Emma as a visionary. "Her perspective on health care-that people need a nurturing environment to heal-is so enduring," he says.
Many trees on the grounds of The Queen's Medical Center are designated as Exceptional Trees (those with historic or cultural value). Some are as old as the hospital itself, planted with seeds Dr. Hillebrand collected in India or other places across the globe. Many trees on the grounds of The Queen's Medical Center are designated as Exceptional Trees (those with historic or cultural value). Some are as old as the hospital itself, planted with seeds Dr. Hillebrand collected in India or other places across the globe.
"I drive by Queen's everyday," says Mike Leidemann of Scenic Hawai’i. "We're very thrilled with the property. Scenic Hawai’i is happy to have developed a small way to reward and recognize [exceptional landscaping]."