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December 5, 2012

Hospital donation helps Moross Greenway Project get growing

By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer

DETROIT — The Moross Greenway Project unofficially began after St. John Hospital and Medical Center at Mack and Moross added new landscaping and other elements to beautify adjacent traffic islands on Moross, so it seems fitting that the hospital is now supporting the wider project.

In mid-November, St. John Providence Health System pledged a $250,000 gift over five years toward the $600,000 project, which involves new landscaping for the seven islands along Moross between I-94 and the hospital.

“St. John Providence is proud to partner with the Moross Greenway Project on their vision to create a welcoming environment for residents and visitors,” said Dr. Patricia Maryland, president and CEO of St. John Providence Health System, in a prepared statement. “St. John Hospital and Medical Center is a longtime member of the community and takes pride in collaborating with our neighbors in beautification efforts.”

Sheila O’Hara, of Grosse Pointe Farms, president of the Moross Greenway Project, said they hope to reforest and re-landscape the Moross islands with more than 115 trees, 500 shrubs and 9,700 perennials, using native plants that can withstand an urban environment. The first phase of this effort took place in June 2011, when project supporters teamed with The Greening of Detroit to plant 191 trees along Moross Road.

“We are thrilled” with the hospital’s pledge, said Anne Burke of Grosse Pointe Farms, secretary of the Moross Greenway Project and a member of the nonprofit’s executive board. “This is just a great kick start. … It’s a nice partnership. We’re going to continue the work (the hospital) began.”

Burke said they’ve already raised almost half of the $600,000. More work will be done this spring, including irrigation, which involves boring into the Moross water main.

“It’s not a glamorous thing and it won’t be noticed off the bat, but it’s necessary to make sure that what we plant lives,” Burke said.

Additional phases of the project include installation of energy-efficient decorative streetlights between the sidewalk and street — possibly solar powered — and art displays by local artists.

“I’m obviously very excited about the prospects of beautifying really a gateway to the east side, off of (Interstate) 94,” said Grosse Pointe Farms City Manager Shane Reeside, a member of the Moross Greenway Board. “I think it is important that our residents and visitors … see a positive impression of the community when they exit (the freeway) and are entering the community.”

The project is vital not only to the Pointes, but also to the Detroit residents living along that corridor, Reeside said.

“This is really a nice partnership in trying to achieve a mutual benefit,” he said.

Project donations are tax deductible, and organizers still need additional contributions toward this effort. Donors can adopt an entire island or make smaller gifts. Checks can be sent to the Moross Greenway Charitable Foundation, 155 West Congress, Suite 200, Detroit, MI 48226. To donate or for more information, visit www.morossgreenway.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer K. Michelle Moran at kmoran@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1047.