Tip-top Shape Landscape

Two to three weeks before commencement, the Physical Plant crew focuses on embellishing the campus.

Several of UCR’s Physical Plant crew poses for a photo on Monday, June 6, 2016. The team focuses on beautifying and fine-tuning the various landscapes around campus, just in time for commencement. Sandra Baltazar Martínez.

Flowers planted. Check.

Low hanging branches trimmed. Check.

Lawns in tip-top shape. Check.

Getting the campus to look its best is the key focus of the Physical Plant team, especially because commencement is around the corner. The 30-member crew focuses on 270 acres of landscape and sidewalks.

Having a physically welcoming campus is important because 35,000 to 40,000 people are expected over the course of the seven commencement ceremonies, said Raymond Bolles, landscape supervisor.

Raymond Bolles, landscape supervisor, stands in front of Hinderaker's corner garden. His crew is in charge of maintaining this garden. Sandra Baltazar Martínez

Raymond Bolles, landscape supervisor, stands in front of Hinderaker’s corner garden. His crew is in charge of maintaining this garden.
Sandra Baltazar Martínez

UCR’s main corridor includes the Hinderaker Hall building, which has a corner garden created by the vibrant colors – and scents – that the snapdragons, petunias, geraniums and daylilies provide.

Two to three weeks before graduation ceremonies, the Physical Plant grounds crew, which include grounds keepers, irrigation technicians, sanitation and refuse engineers, equipment operators, equipment mechanics and an arborist, focus on fine-tuning the landscape.

The day’s work begins at 6 a.m. for the team. For Bolles a recent morning involved meetings, verifying that enough flowers – about 50 rose shrubs – arrive on time to adorn the commencement stage. These flowers come from Parkview Nursery.

“We try to make a little bit of a difference on campus. This is for the students, it’s all for them and their friends and families,” Bolles said on a recent Wednesday while crews mowed lawns, clipped tree branches, pulled weeds and began preparations at the commencement lawn.

On a recent Monday morning José Alvarado helped clear out weeds near the Memorial Garden. He is a groundskeeper and is in charge of maintaining three general areas, including one off campus. But commencement is priority for the entire crew, he said.

José Alvarado, a UCR groundskeeper, works near the Memorial Garden on Monday, June 6, 2016. Sandra Baltazar Martínez

José Alvarado, a UCR groundskeeper, works near the Memorial Garden on Monday, June 6, 2016.
Sandra Baltazar Martínez

The Physical Plant crew is in charge of maintaining 270 acres of landscape and sidewalks around campus. Sandra Baltazar Martínez

The Physical Plant crew is in charge of maintaining 270 acres of landscape and sidewalks around campus.
Sandra Baltazar Martínez

Randy Robinson, one of the groundskeepers who maintains five buildings, said his job is “very rewarding” because he knows his work impacts students, staff and faculty alike.

His fellow coworker, Dan Brown, another groundskeeper who is in charge of maintaining seven buildings on campus, said he goes home every day knowing his job has a purpose. Picnic Hill, for example, is one of the most popular areas he oversees. He likes to maintain it because students use it like an outdoor classroom and he wants them to enjoy it.

“It’s an awesome experience to beautify the campus. It’s for everyone,” Brown said.

 

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-2653
E-mail: SandraB.Martinez@ucr.edu

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