Blooming Birmingham: Planting 5000 flowers around Children’s of Alabama and Parkside District

Blooming Birmingham volunteers gather at Children’s of Alabama lobby on December 13, 2019. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Birmingham’s Parkside District, home to Children’s of Alabama, Ronald McDonald House, Railroad Park and Regions Field is “blooming” with over 5000 flowers today.

Thanks to Blooming Birmingham, more than 150 volunteers from Regions Bank, Protective Life, Landscape Workshop and Children’s of Alabama spent part of their day on Friday  preparing planting beds and planting flowers as part of a coordinated landscaping effort along the streets and avenues 10 city blocks from 5th Avenue South northward to Railroad Park between 16th and 17th streets.

Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Despite a chilly and damp morning, the volunteers completed the work planting annual and perennial flowers, specifically – 4000 red and yellow pansy mix, 450 red tulips and 600 yellow daffodils. Experts from the St. Clair County Master Gardeners selected the plantings led the volunteer groups.

Why planting 5000 flowers matters

Blooming Birmingham 2019. Photo courtesy of Children’s of Alabama

Before the volunteers began their work, Children’s of Alabama CEO Mike Warren reminded them why beautifying the neighborhood mattered.

“While you are standing here in the lobby, and working today, you might want to think about, in the next couple of hours, that as of 8:00am this morning 316 kids are in patient in this facility.

Mike Warren, Children’s of Alabama CEO, addressing Blooming Birmingham volunteers, December 13, 2019. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

You also might want to think that when you get cold and wet and wonder why in the world you are doing this – you might want to remember the 220 children who were treated in this emergency room in the last 24 hours. Our role at Children’s is to provide the very best care for the children of Alabama. Today, you are helping us celebrate that.  And frankly we can’t do our part here without terrific partners.”

Who are the partners?

In addition to providing volunteer labor, Landscape Workshop, Protective and Regions each  made a financial commitment to purchase the plants and materials. Regions Bank, Area President Bill Horton and Protective Life Executive Vice President and General Counsel Mark Drew also addressed the volunteers and joined them that morning.

Blooming Birmingham volunteers gather at Children’s of Alabama lobby on December 13, 2019. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Other partners who participated in the effort to “green” the Parkside District included the Birmingham Barons, Smile-A-Mile, Ronald McDonald House, The McKinney Foundation, Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, Home2 Suites By Hilton and the Railroad Park Foundation.

Checking out some photos from Blooming Birmingham.  Despite the rain, it was a glorious day!

Blooming Birmingham on December 13, 2019. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now
Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now
Blooming Birmingham 2019. Photo courtesy of Children’s of Alabama
Blooming Birmingham 2019. Photo courtesy of Children’s of Alabama


  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.