Koan Michaelson holds a Painted Lady butterfly he helped place on a plant in the new community garden in front of the Park City Medical Center. Photo by
Koan Michaelson holds a Painted Lady butterfly he helped place on a plant in the new community garden in front of the Park City Medical Center. Photo by Alexandria Gonzalez/Park Record.
Intermountain Healthcare's Park City Medical Center invited its governing board, Summit County officials, staff, volunteers and donors to break ground on its new community garden Friday afternoon. Gardening gloves and hand-shovels were placed on each seat in a white tent behind the medical center to help attendees walk over to the garden and place its first plants in the ground.

Since the facility first opened its doors in September of 2009, it has experienced unprecedented growth, which Rob Allen, CEO of the medical center, attributed to attendees' and community members' generous donations, encouragement and confidence.

"When we opened the facility in 2009, we had 202 employees and 111 physicians on staff," Allen said. "Now we have 407 employees, upwards of 200 physicians and additional services, including an intensive care unit, full-time pain management services, a urologist, a sleep lab and an expansion of wellness services."

Before attendees walked over to the garden, Allen elaborated on the additional construction that will take place at the hospital. VCBO Architects out of Salt Lake City and ZGF Architects of Seattle, Washington teamed up to create the blueprints for the project and will work together to add 82,000 square feet to the facility.

Additional space will house an expansion of the Live Well Center, educational programs, physicians' offices and administrative space. moving the administration to the new part of the hospital, there will be more room for patient beds.

The community garden, situated in front of the hospital, is part of the mission to promote healthy living. Anything grown in the garden is available for community members to stop by and nurture and help grow or pick. Bricks placed around the garden can be purchased and engraved and will benefit five different organizations: the People's Health Clinic, Hope Alliance, Mountain Trails Foundation, Youth Sports Alliance and Park City Community Foundation.

Carlos Linan helps place a plant in the ground during the ground-breaking of the community garden. Photo by Alexandria Gonzalez/Park Record.
Carlos Linan helps place a plant in the ground during the ground-breaking of the community garden. Photo by Alexandria Gonzalez/Park Record.

As attendees entered the garden, they were each given a small, folded paper triangle which contained a Painted Lady butterfly from Cloverlawn Butterflies in Orlando, Florida to release after the plants were put into the ground.

Allen, chair of the medical center's governing board Barry Baker and inaugural board chair of the medical center Becky Kearns instructed participants to dig, take the plants out of the pots and place them in the garden.

When everyone was done planting, PCMC public relations director Amy Roberts, instructed them to release their butterflies, which will pollinate the garden and help it to grow. Children laughed as confused butterflies did their best to find their footing in a new place.

"We could not do what we do for our community without the confidence that has been placed in us. That said, we do not want to rest on our laurels," Allen said. "We want to continue to evolve, get better and enhance that confidence and prove worthy of the trust you have placed in us."