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Green Spaces for Health
By Andrew Soto, LC/DBM


WakeMed Health and Hospitals of Wake County, N.C., partnered with Greenscape Inc. to manage all of the landscaping needs for its medical facilities in Raleigh and surrounding areas. This includes - during the growing season - weekly mowing, pruning a minimum of three times, annual flower plantings twice and mulching once. During the winter they remove the snow and ice. Photo: Brian Strickland

Greenscape Inc. began serving customers as a garden store in 1979, headquartered in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., outside of Raleigh. Michael Currin founded the company as a spin off of a garden store in Fayetteville. Three years later it became a separate company and full service landscape firm. Today it is headquartered in Holly Springs, N.C., and has over 100 employees.

The firm employs a wide range of green industry professionals including landscape architects, designers and horticulturists. With over 35 years in the business, the company's Green Team specializes in commercial and residential landscape design/build, commercial landscape management, and landscape specialty services including irrigation and landscape lighting.

The company owns Weed Man franchises in the Triangle area and in Wilmington, N.C. Under that brand, Greenscape provides a full range of lawn care services customized for each property including weed, insect and disease management, as well as aeration and seeding. With this they are well equipped to maintain a broad range of landscapes at a variety of facilities. One such system client is WakeMed Health & Hospitals. The 919-bed health system comprises a network of facilities, including three full-service hospitals, seven emergency departments and more than 50 physician practice locations.

"Greenscape began handling landscape management services for the WakeMed main campus in 2014," says Greg Smith, the landscape company's director of business development.

In 2016, Greenscape was selected to manage landscape services for more of WakeMed's Triangle area facilities, including its corporate headquarters. The extensive contract covers nearly all of the health system's sites, which includes more than 70 touch points throughout Wake County and adjacent areas. The agreement was for a three-year term.


Living Roofs, Inc. out of Asheville, N.C, installed the green roofs at WakeMed's Raleigh campus. Green roofs are not maintenance free. They require irrigation, weeding and trimming. Greenscape noted that maintaining them is one of the more challenging aspects of caring for the properties. The landscape crew, which uses an aerial lift to access the sedum mat roofs, trims excess growth and weeds them by hand, and occasionally uses a leaf rake to smooth the plant media out. They also fertilize, repair irrigation and add sedum cuttings as needed.

A project manager and two client relations managers are assigned to the sites along with a four-person landscaping crew. They perform the mowing and all associated services such as: pruning, mulching, trash pickup, snow and ice management, turf fertilization and weed control. The contract also covers shrub fertilization, annual flower plantings and maintenance, leaf removal, green roof maintenance, and irrigation maintenance.

The company provides WakeMed with additional landscape improvement services and design work including large tree pruning, additional flowerpots, shrub and tree planting, extra mulching, drainage, plant removal and irrigation repairs.

Maintaining various facilities spread across a wide area has its challenges. Chief among them are snow and ice management, which is so critical at an active hospital. And because there is much activity at all the sites, working around the many moving people is always a challenge.

Some of WakeMed's buildings have green roof technology, which broadens the scope of work for Greenscape. A sedum roof (green technology that utilizes a layer of living plant material in place of conventional roofing materials) in the southern climate of North Carolina requires a considerable amount of maintenance. This includes irrigation, weeding and trimming of the plant material.

"Greenscape recognizes that great landscaping is more than a necessity for organizations like WakeMed," says Smith. "It helps create a beautiful atmosphere for patient care. Patients, visitors, and employees see the attention to detail and really enjoy the properties."

As seen in LC/DBM magazine, February 2017.

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August 18, 2019, 12:55 am PDT

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