UPMC Recognized for Keeping Crossroads Park Green

By: Martin Kinnunen

UPMC will receive the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s 2012 Community Greening award for the development of Crossroads Park, a parcel of “green space” near UPMC Montefiore where community members, staff, visitors, and patients can enjoy a break in a calming outdoor environment.
“I am extremely proud of our team for their work on this project,” says John Krolicki, vice president of Facilities and Support Services at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside. “Through their efforts and the contributions of others, our patients, their families, and our own associates have been able to enjoy a quiet green area in the heart of our Oakland campus.”
Crossroads Park was one of 89 sites nominated for the award, which will be presented at a Nov. 11 reception at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Located on a hillside at Darragh and Terrace streets, Crossroads Park opened in April 2010. Its development is rooted in the early 1980s, when the late Ron Forsythe, a UPMC vice president, pledged to neighborhood residents that the lot would not be developed.

Some facts about Crossroads Park:

  • The park consists of four stone-paved, terraced areas. Each seating level is outlined with a variety of plants that take into consideration their elevation and placement on the hillside. For example, on the topmost level, taller trees and shrubs line the eastern side of the seating area to provide maximum shade.
  • Call boxes to reach University of Pittsburgh police were installed to enhance safety.
  •  The park’s LED lighting poles (provided by Duquesne Light) are energy-efficient, create a higher level of safety at night, and blend into the landscape design.
  • Natural stormwater-retention principles, such as the use of water-absorbing ground cover and foliage and delayed-release receptors, were incorporated into the design.  
  • UPMC Grounds crew members attended workshops at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Information from the workshops was used to install sustainable planting and a natural irrigation system to reduce the need for watering.
  • The park boasts a large variety of plants and more than 10 species of trees.
  •  The rear entrance to the park is a wheelchair-accessible pathway that leads from student housing on the University Pittsburgh campus.
  • Daily maintenance and upkeep of the park is completed by UPMC.