Supervisors, Teams Maintain Key Landscape, Hardscape Items

By Chris Matt, Managing Editor - Print & E-Media  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Landscape Services Department Acts as On-Campus ContractorPt. 2: Building Construction or Renovations Include Landscape PlanPt. 3: Facility, Grounds Managers Join Forces for Renovation ProjectPt. 4: Consider Climate, Disease Resistance When Specifying Plants Pt. 5: This Page

When trying to envision the structure of Michigan State University's Landscape Services department, imagine a flower with eight petals.

Each petal represents a group within the department, including: site crew; irrigation; arborists; hard surface/mechanics; gardeners; athletics; nursery; and golf course. This structure was in place when Gerry Dobbs, the university's landscape services manager, arrived in 2007. Now it is more formalized.

"Each of those petals is now supervised by just one supervisor," Dobbs says. "What we're trying to do is make sure the lines of communications are very clear in terms of who's in charge of which group. There's still collaboration among each of the petals, so to speak, but we're each accomplishing a goal to go ahead and get the work done on this campus."

Here are the eight groups and their responsibilities:

  • Arborists. This six-person team is responsible for the maintenance and preservation of campus trees, including root pruning, insect and disease control, and fertilization.
  • Athletics. Crews maintain turf fields for varsity and intramural sports and set up indoor athletic events.
  • Gardeners. Three group leaders and 18 full-time gardeners maintain roughly 7 million square feet of turf, as well as install and maintain flower and shrub beds.
  • Golf course. Crews maintain tee areas, fairways, collars and approaches, roughs, sand bunkers, practice areas, and cart paths on two 18-hole courses.
  • Hard surface/mechanics. Crews install and repair signs and maintain motorized equipment, parking lots and ramps, and roads.
  • Irrigation. The crew maintains drip lines, piping systems, and campus fountains, and it monitors the computerized central-control system.
  • Nursery. The Beaumont Nursery provides care for trees, shrubs, perennials, and ground-cover plants.
  • Site crew. Crews install landscapes around new construction projects, renovate landscapes, and remove snow and ice from sidewalks, roads, and parking lots.

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  posted on 11/9/2009   Article Use Policy

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