UNICOI COUNTY HOSPITAL
The Unicoi County Hospital Project is one of the newer projects approved by the Northeast Tennessee Master Gardener Association. We were very excited to have a master gardener project in Unicoi County.
The Unicoi County Hospital has been part of the community of Erwin and Unicoi County since 1953. Following decades of service to the people of Unicoi County and commitment to the community, a new Unicoi County Hospital constructed by Ballad Health in 2018. This new facility was built with locally sourced materials and decorated with works from the local community to honor the region’s rich heritage. The Unicoi County Hospital building was created with a holistic view of healing. The hospital is located in a rolling valley with the beautiful Cherokee National Forest as a back drop.
The project has the vision to complement and enhance the natural surroundings of both the building and the setting. The gardeners have decided to work at the project in phases in order to expand landscaping while not disrupting the existing landscape items at the site. The vision of the beautification is to showcase native plants and flowers of Northeast Tennessee. To bring those things familiar to patients and employees would provide both comfort and reassurance.
The pandemic of 2020 has been somewhat disruptive in the start of the Unicoi County Hospital Project. With those challenges, the committed gardeners of NETMGA were able to meet with staff from the hospital as well as the local high school agriculture teacher to discuss the plan and the vision of the hospital grounds. With that in mind, the gardeners were able to work in the day to day weeding and upkeep of the landscaping surrounding the hospital while planning for the vision of the project.
The gardeners of the project were thrilled to have been awarded the project grant for 2020. With this grant, we were able to purchase lovely planters that were placed in the outdoor courtyard area of the hospital. This area is used by employees, patients and visitors of the hospital as a lovely respite from their day.
Other phases of the hospital project will be to expand on the courtyard beautification to incorporate the walkway that leads to the main entrance. The gardeners would like to continue to build on this project in order to make it a beautiful addition to the hospital and community.
We are honored to be working at the Unicoi County Hospital Project and to proudly represent the NETMGA. Any gardeners who are interested in being part of this new and exciting project are more than welcome to join us!