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April 13, 2020
A team of volunteers from our Kansas City office brought their construction savvy together with their passion for community service on a day-long pergola build in the community garden at Children’s Mercy Hospital – one effort in an ongoing partnership that has also included the construction of raised beds, planting fruit trees, installation of an irrigation system, and general garden maintenance.
“I’ve worked at Children’s Mercy for the last two and a half years and some of my most meaningful and satisfying days on site have been our volunteer days in the garden,” said Michael Kopper, a senior project manager with our Special Projects Division who has overseen renovations to the hospital’s pediatric and neonatal intensive care units, burn unit, and rooftop, as well as accessibility upgrades. “It feels really good to engage in a direct and personal way with the end users of our buildings. It also shows our clients we value their interests beyond the build.”
The pergola provides both shade and shelter from the rain, creating a serene and comfortable place to pause and reflect for patients, doctors, hospital staff, and visitors alike, as well as the volunteers who take care of the garden year-round and use it as a hands-on teaching and learning space.
“Next up we’re adding some ramps and other accessibility-oriented improvements to the garden’s infrastructure,” added Michael, emphasizing the importance of accessibility in inclusion. “When we say ‘community’ garden, we want that to mean everyone in the community.”