The the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a Tree Campus Healthcare facility.

Taking care of green spaces is a priority for Coatesville VAMC. Trees contribute to the environment, promote physical activity and create calming spaces essential to stress recovery. These benefits are important to the health and rehabilitation efforts of Veterans in long-term care.

Tom Bucci, construction project manager, points out the tree maintenance considerations involved in the construction project currently in progress.

Tree care includes pruning.

The tree care project team pruned 75 trees, removed 45 trees and planted 152 trees.

Coatesville VAMC is one of 16 health institutions recognized by the foundation. The facility was honored for making a mission-aligned impact on community wellness through tree education, investment and community engagement.

Allocating funds and maintaining protection standards for the campus tree inventory are important aspects of the facilities’ tree care management plan. Mark Barnett, ground maintenance supervisor, oversees the plan. Tom Bucci, construction project manager, led the 2019 tree care project.

Community pitched in to help

Community projects were essential to Coatesville earning the recognition. Volunteers contributed 230 hours of labor. In addition, they often donated money or goods for the green spaces. Volunteer efforts included Eagle Scouts, who made raised beds. Boy Scout Troop 107 banded trees against the spotted lanternfly.

The Conestoga High School football team contributed to fall up-clean and mulching. The Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) planted flowers and mulched beds across the campus. And the Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital staff donated and planted a pollinator garden. The garden targets species including honeybees and butterflies, an important factor in pollination.

Visit the Arbor Day Foundation to see the other 15 facilities recognized for their contributions to this important initiative.

Mike Hamill is a public affairs officer for Community and Congressional Affairs at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

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