Kansas City VA recently joined with Kansas City Water and Parks and Recreation to celebrate the completion of the Linwood Green Infrastructure Project.

This new Linwood Park in front of the Kansa City VA main campus was purposefully designed with multi-channel retention basins, bio-swale guiding stormwater, and drainage channel to control the flow of water coming down the hill from the hospital into the city drains.

Medical Center Director Jean Gurga

Medical Center Director Jean Gurga

This has significantly reduced water build up and excess water on the roads during and after severe weather. Various types of native plants can be seen at different levels of the retention basins.

KC Water Director Wes Minder opened the ceremony highlighting how this project benefits the city drain system. Kansas City Councilmember Melissa Robinson spoke to the project’s local impact. She said it signifies good use of tax dollars working for the community.

Veteran healing space

This new park features a wide walking path around the storm water structures, surrounded by native plants. This walking path has expanded VA employee and Veteran wellness program opportunities.

Medical Center Director Jean Gurga spoke about the holistic benefits of the new nature walking path.

“This is also a healing garden,” she said. “Our Veterans drive in every day seeing these beautiful flowers. They can come down from some of our treatment programs, walk through this beautiful native garden, and have a mindfulness experience to enhance their recovery.”

The walking path provides a calming sensory experience for Veterans in recovery services, patients at the main hospital, as well as the guests of the Kansas City Fisher House.

Good for the bees

The native plants have been beneficial to the bee colonies across the path that are part of medical center. Prominent plants featured in this structure include coreopsis, lemon beebalm, clovers, coneflower, prairie fleabane, milkweed, catnip, bindweed, and several other durable plant species. The plants help absorb water directed through the drainage system.

By Calista Brown is a marketing specialist and Navy Veteran. Photo by Vaughan Dill, a visual information specialist and Navy Veteran.

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Published on Jul. 24, 2022

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