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Healing a Landscape
Burn Center Receives Needed Revitalization

By Jean Tracz, EPS Group, Inc.

Healing a Landscape

EPS Group, Inc. donated services to establish a landscape for the Phoenix-based office setting of the Arizona Burn Foundation, providing plantings that represent the calming effect of the organization.


The Arizona Burn Foundation is a nonprofit organization associated with Maricopa Integrated Health System's renowned Arizona Burn Center. In 2012, the Foundation purchased a strategically located piece of real estate in central Phoenix to house their administrative offices. They never before had a building of their own, so it was a dream come true to provide a dedicated headquarters for the staff and volunteers.

The entire design and construction team from EPS Group, a local landscape architecture and engineering firm, volunteered countless hours to this project, the renovation of a vacated 5,000 square foot former medical office building. It was their way of giving back to the community and helping so many that have been devastated by burn injuries. The original intent was to simply repair damaged areas to the existing building and update finishes to provide a contemporary environment. However, upon further assessment, the design team concluded that the existing floor plan could not meet the Foundation's needs. The solution was to preserve the floor slab and exterior block walls, and rebuild the structure to better organize the interior functions. The site was also upgraded with desert-adapted plants such as aloe, which has been traditionally used for treating burns. The aloe matches the building's metal panels painted a similar soothing green.



Healing a Landscape

Not only did EPS Group offer pro-bono services to design and install the landscape, but they also returned the following year to freely give of time and resources to maintain and beautify the area


One year after the project's completion, representatives from EPS Group returned to the site after learning much of the landscape had been destroyed through vandalism and foot traffic. Their landscape architecture department assessed the damage, and then worked with local companies to secure donated plants and decorative rock. Hearty native plants and cacti were selected, along with boulders, to restore and beautify the site. The firm also supplied the labor; their landscape designers donned boots and work gloves and spent a day planting ocotillo, yucca, agave and totem pole cactus - not to mention digging up dying plants, moving boulders and realigning irrigation hoses. It was, as it had been from the very start of the project, a continued labor of love.



As seen in LASN magazine, January 2019.



Filed Under: STEWARDSHIP, PRO-BONO, LASN, LASN
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June 16, 2019, 10:34 pm PDT

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