Landscape & Grounds Team Welcomes Spring – Mowers, Mulch, and Colorful Blooms

April 4, 2019

In springtime, the outside areas on campus begin to come alive, thanks to warm sunshine and our Landscape and Grounds Maintenance team. Snowplows and salt are replaced by lawn mowers and pansies, and the team begins to prepare Yale’s beautiful campus for warmer weather, commencement ceremonies, and picnics on Yale’s lush lawns.

While winter is busy with snow removal and spreading ice melt, come spring the Landscape and Grounds team starts nudging the outdoor areas awake by removing sticks, leaves, and other debris. They repair damage caused by ice, snow, and wind by cutting back broken tree limbs and pruning shrubbery. The groundskeepers are busy raking, aerating and seeding the lawns for the growing season; while the gardeners map planting schedules and order colorful flowers to grow in outdoor pots and building entrances.

(Pictured LtoR Master Gardener Eric Ciolino and Groundskeep Steve Ferriola.)

“You can always tell spring is here at Landscape/Grounds when 50 degrees is celebrated, fewer layers are worn and the plow equipment is moved to the back of the garage,” said Jim Reid, Grounds Supervisor Science Area. As people start to come outdoors, they will see a neat and clean campus ready to burst in color as thousands of bulbs come alive.

Keeping the campus clean and green requires hard work and lots of equipment. The mechanics have to stay one step ahead of the groundskeepers and use the end of winter to tune-up mowers, sharpen blades, and ready the lawn-care equipment.  During the spring months maintenance is performed on all the snow removal equipment and stored away until next winter. 

“Spring brings a sense of renewal and motivation and it is nice for all of us in Landscape/Grounds to see people get back outside and enjoy the wide variety of Yale’s outdoor spaces,” said Jim Reid.

All three campuses and the athletics fields require similar upkeep and are cared for by a team of over 40 groundkeepers, gardeners, mechanics, and truck drivers. They use all types of equipment including mowers, leaf blowers, electric trimmers, handsaws, clippers, litter picking equipment, sweeping machines, and trash trucks. There are almost 1,000 pieces of equipment used to maintain the campus lawns, trees, flowers, sidewalks and fields. Last year the team also invested in electric landscaping equipment as part of an effort to reduce fuel use and noise pollution on campus.

How beautiful it all looks when the tulips and daffodils bloom and the grass and trees start to green. Thank you to the entire Landscape and Grounds team for making Yale such a lovely place to study, work, and explore! Welcome spring with your warmer temperatures, budding trees, and chirping birds!