After a dreary and cold spring, the blooming baskets and planters that line several streets in the LMA are a sight for sore eyes.
Black Eyed Susan's brighten the landscape on Blackfan Circle
“We’re really excited because more and more members have expressed interest in joining our efforts at sprucing up the community and creating a more inviting area,” explains MASCO Senior Planner Jan Henderson. “We believe that in the long run making the LMA a greener place helps not only to improve the environment, but may help patient and employee health as well.”
Program's Growth Includes Seating Areas
MASCO’s LMA Beautification program continues to grow, in conjunction with members’ improvements as new buildings are built and more place-making efforts result in common areas where employees and visitors can gather an enjoy the outdoors. The BWH Stoneman Park and Children’s new seating area are two recent notable examples.
“We have on-going beautification programs on Brookline Ave., Binney and Blackfan streets and just recently added hanging baskets on Longwood Avenue. We have a tree maintenance program on Huntington as well. Seasonal color ties the plantings together, unifying the streetscape and creating a sense of place. At this point we have a total of 52 planters and 164 hanging baskets” says Henderson.
Professionally Designed Displays Brighten the Community
The Blackfan Circle improvements also include 20 trees, 55 shrubs, 3,000 perennials and hundreds of bulbs in large perennial beds. Binney Street (installed spring 2016) boasts a refurbished pocket park that included planting of 4 trees, 21 shrubs, and 286 perennials and bulbs. These beds, along with the planters and hanging baskets, were designed by distinguished LMA Landscape Architect, John Kissida, and evolve over time.
Now, the LMA isn’t exactly a lush green landscape that produces these beautiful trees and plantings naturally, so where exactly is the money coming from to sustain and grow the beautification program?
Members Working Together
“We are very fortunate to have wonderful members and abutters, including Merck, BioMed, National Development (the landlord company of Longwood Center), MATEP and the Galleria Inn that are contributing funding to this effort. MASCO has always kept a budget item and shares in the expense. The larger members (by employment and sf) contribute evenly but pay proportionally more than the smaller entities “explains Henderson. The total program cost is approximately $150K.
The planters and hanging baskets are designed “to showcase the seasonal colors, including ‘thrillers, fillers and spillers’. Thrillers are the taller accent plantings, fillers fill in the middle of the pots, and spillers hang down around the planters and eventually engulf the hanging baskets” says Henderson. MASCO contracts with Emanouil Brothers to maintain all of the plantings including the seasonal planter changes.