Outdoor Services Crew

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Looking back

A good thing to do once in a while is to take a breath and look back at what has been accomplished. It is very easy to get bogged down always thinking about the current list of challenges and start to feel like you are not making progress. During my recent work on the Turf Taskforce I dug through a bunch of old photos and did some comparisons on where we were, to where we are today. There are too many to show in a single post but wanted to share a few.
A good practice to get in the habit of especially in the landscape field is picture documentation. It is easy to try to remember how things look but to be able to pull up pictures from years ago helps to jog your memory. During the spring of 2002 I spent some time going around campus taking a lot of pictures of the existing conditions. Those pictures have come in handy to help realize that the work we have done is making a difference.

The look of campus in the early years of the turf program was rather dismal. After a lot of hard work by the Turf Management Team we have made great strides. As with any change, there are so many factors that play a role such as funding, understanding, but most of all patience. Mother nature has been known to take her time with certain things and growing a healthy ecosystem is not a quick turn around. We are almost 10 years into the program and we still have a long ways to go. Honestly, we may never reach the end, change happens very frequently here on campus and along with that change comes landscape impacts.

A challenge we have is preventing frustration from grounds staff. After seeing an area get turned around and brought up to a level where we are very proud there tends to be some type of construction that makes an impact to that area. This must be looked at as a challenge and a chance to make improvements. It is a chance to prove our skills and more importantly learn new ways to deal with these impacts. There is no class in Turfgrass School to deal with some of the things we are faced with and it is very interesting to think of new ways to deal with impacts.

We tend to laugh sometimes at how bored we would be if we went to a place where everything stays the same for years on end:-)