Landscape work this winter will pay off in light and color next spring throughout University Research Park. University City-based Ecoscape Solutions Group is freshening up URP entrances, pruning hundreds of street trees and planting 5,000 daffodil bulbs. “Stay tuned and watch it bloom next spring,” says Darlene Heater, executive director of University City Partners.
On Monday, Ecoscape workers laid down turf at the David Taylor Drive entrance along Mallard Creek Church Road. Flower beds are going in at entrances and major intersections within the park.
“That will be a nice pop of color in the spring,” said Scott Wildrick, Ecoscape’s Charlotte branch manager. “Everyone will be tired of winter at that point and excited about all of the daffodils.”
University City Partners helping with project
The landscaping project is a joint effort by University Research Park Inc., the URP’s nonprofit management arm that oversees such matters as street lights and public areas, and University City Partners.
This past summer, URP and UCP found a consultant to look over the park, assess its landscaping needs and suggest which improvements would yield the biggest benefits. The consultant also put together specs, sought bids and helped the two groups winnow the seven bids down to two finalists. URP Business Property Managers interviewed the two finalists and helped pick Ecoscape to do the daily landscape maintenance work and the new investments.
Founded here 26 years ago, Ecoscape also has offices in Raleigh and Charleston, SC. The company concentrated on residential installations for two decades before moving into commercial maintenance several years ago.
“This is a big opportunity for us,” Wildrick said. “We are eager to bring our attention-to detail focus to the grounds and infrastructure to make a good presentation for this Park and the great companies that are in it.”
For instance, at the Claude Freeman Drive entrance on Mallard Creek Church Road, all of the old and declining cherry trees will be replaced with new trees and shrubs in February. Ecoscape also repaired several entrance irrigation systems, which has helped get the new grass growing. Workers also have cleaned up entrance medians and planted new flowers.
Research Park visitors already noticing
“Some people have stopped by to tell us how good it looks,” Wildrick said. Investment plans are also in development for the WT Harris and Mallard Creek area of the Research Park.
Perhaps the biggest task will take place in February and March, as street trees and forest trees get trimmed up and back by crews from Ecoscape and Schneider Tree Care.
“We look forward to working with tenants and owners in University Research Park to continue to make improvements in the park that benefit the businesses that are there,” Heater said.