Some people would look at vegetation covering a construction site as something to chop down and haul away. Not Jeff Hughes, grounds and sustainability manager at Seattle Children’s. When site preparation began for our Building Hope expansion, Hughes saw the property’s trees, shrubs and plants as something to rescue and replant elsewhere on the hospital campus.

Hughes and his team of groundskeepers couldn’t save everything, though.  A handsome black locust tree, estimated to be more than 60 years old, was among the greenery that had to be removed. But just because the 70-foot tree is gone doesn’t mean it will no longer make a contribution to the landscape. The tree’s hard and durable wood was salvaged to build two benches that will be placed at locations to be determined on the hospital grounds.

The benches are nearly complete but await one final finishing touch. Scanned versions of paper leaves – signed by 150 guests at last year’s site dedication – are being laser-etched into the wood. It’s a creative way to thank our supporters while giving second life to a longtime feature of our surroundings.