Employees parking in the Tower garage or the Trinity lot have
more than likely noticed the landscaping taking shape around
the new Parkland hospital.
Trees now outline the walkways along Medical District Drive and Tex
Oak Drive leading to the new hospital; the landscaping and irrigation
systems have been installed at the new physician and valet parking lots;
and work on the Wellness Park, one of the hospital’s key design features,
is well under way.
“One of our best landscaping features is the use of plants that
are drought tolerant,” said Lou Saksen, Senior Vice President of New
Parkland Hospital Construction. “We are using native plants that require
less water and are capable of withstanding this Texas heat.”
Aerial photos of the construction site also show fresh dirt for what
will be the Wellness Park, a two-acre island of trees, plants and fountains
that can be accessed by patients, staff and visitors. Within the Wellness
Park is a meditation garden
directly connected with sculpture gates, stone veneer columns and
limestone benches that lead to large doors opening into the
The Wellness Park and generous use of trees around the campus is
part of a calculated effort to put the “park” back in Parkland. In fact,
Parkland’s name comes from the 17-acre tract of land on which the
original hospital was built in 1894, originally purchased by the city
as a park.
In addition, a second WISH Promenade Park, designed to link the
perimeter parking lots and entrances to the main hospital, will feature
extensive and direct views of nature.
“Research has shown that access to nature can aid in the healing
process,” said Kathy Harper, RN, Vice President of Clinical Coordination
for the new Parkland hospital. “Even if you are unable to physically walk
in the garden, having a view of nature can calm you and potentially
decrease your need for pain medication.”
However, the health of the environment is also an important factor. In
addition to drought-tolerant plants, some site drainage will be collected
through roof drains and parking lot bioswales to remove silt and
pollution from surface runoff water.
The new Parkland hospital is scheduled to be completed in summer of
2014, and open in 2015. It is the largest new hospital construction project
in the country with a campus covering 2.5 million square feet.
For regular construction updates, visit the new Parkland website at