Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital Employees Volunteer for Beautification Project

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In honor of Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital’s multi-phase renovation, employees will volunteer their time to give back to the community on Saturday, March 4, from 7 a.m. to noon.

They will be helping to restore a natural habitat at Papago Park in Tempe that supports lizards, snakes, quail, doves, roadrunners, jack rabbits, cottontails, falcons, coyotes, and a tremendous variety of birds.

More than 300 volunteers of all ages will roll up their sleeves to help organize, clean and work on landscaping projects at Papago Park. This will include removing tree limbs, assisting with trail maintenance, painting and more.

This community enrichment and beautification project was organized by Tempe Cares, a Tempe Leadership program. Founded in 1991, Tempe Cares was the inspiration of former Tempe City Councilwoman Carol E. Smith, who wanted to see the community come together to help the greater good.

 The spirit of giving back is strong at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital. The once 10-bed hospital is now an 87-bed facility offering a wide range of health care services – from emergency and intensive care support to ophthalmology, orthopaedics and bariatrics. Through this growth, the hospital team has never lost sight of giving back to the community it serves.

The hospital is currently in the middle of a multi-phase renovation, as it continues to evolve to serve the growing needs of the community. The hospital’s Obstetrics/Women’s Health Department and Emergency Room are under renovation right now. Most recently, the hospital renovated its main corridor, café and physician lounge, and opened a newly-remodeled medical/surgical floor with 27 private beds.


Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital is an 87-bed full-service hospital and a campus of St. Luke’s Medical Center. Located in the heart of Tempe, near Arizona State University, the hospital offers a broad range of medical services to care for a diverse and dynamic community. From its busy emergency department to its critical care unit to specialty programs like wound care and pain management, the Tempe St. Luke’s team is committed to providing high-quality care in a warm, friendly hospital environment. Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital is an Official Healthcare Partner of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury.  For more, visit tempestlukeshospital.com.

Founded in 1991, Tempe Cares was the inspiration of former Tempe City Councilwoman Carol E. Smith who wanted to see the community come together to help the greater good. The mission of Tempe Cares is to organize citizen volunteers to reduce blight and improve the appearance of Tempe’s neighborhoods and community spaces. Tempe Cares has grown annually to include several hundred individuals, groups and businesses. Each year these volunteers come together to invest their combined resources of skilled and unskilled physical labor, tools and building materials to help improve quality of life in Tempe. For more, visit tempeleadership.org/about-tempe-leadership/tempe-cares/.

LoPiano Mesquite Bosque at Papago Park was once part of the Salt River floodplain. Plants grew here and were washed out whenever the river overflowed. The Hohokam may have used this area for gathering plants for baskets or other household uses. Homes once lined the canal in this area in the 1930s through 1960s. Many of these homes flooded and eventually fell into disrepair. In 1992, the Salt River was channelized, protecting this land from the floods. This enabled ADOT to build a freeway on the land. The parcel of land on the north side of the freeway, cut off from Papago Park by the canal and separated from Tempe Town Lake by the freeway, became an isolated area that has been set aside for habitat restoration.

Volunteers from 26 schools constructed the 13-acre LoPiano Bosque habitat in 1993. It stretches along the north side of Loop 202, between College and Mill Avenues, just south of the Indian Bend Pump Ditch and Papago Park. The bosque is named after former Tempe Mayor Dr. William LoPiano, who was on the first council that approved the early concepts of Tempe Town Lake, known as Rio Salado.

The bosque has developed into a habitat that supports lizards, snakes, quail, doves, roadrunners, jack rabbits, cottontails, falcons and coyotes as well as a tremendous variety of birds. The bosque provides viewing of the following common Sonoran Desert trees: Velvet Mesquite (Prosopis velutina), Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) and Screwbean Mequite, (Prosopis pubescens), Catclaw Acaia (Acacia greggii), Sweet Acacia (Acacia smallii), White Thorn Acacia (Acacia constricta), Palo Brea (Cercidium praecox), Blue Palo Verde (Cercidium Floridum), Foothill Palo Verde (Cercidium microphyllum), Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis), Freemond Cottonwood (Populus fremontii), Arizona Ash (Fraxinus velutina), Gooding Willow (Salix goodingii) and Ironwood (Olneya tesota).

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