Courtesy of UR Communications

The University Horticulture and Grounds Department received an Honor Award by the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS). The award recognizes the work done by the department at the Mt. Hope Campus and was given at the PGMS award dinner in Louisville, Ky.

The award was given during the PGMS Green Star Awards competition to bring national recognition to the excellent maintenance of grounds.

“There’s one horticulturist at the Mt. Hope properties who either gets student help or temporary help during the growing season,” supervisor Michael Miller said. “They’re responsible for tree work, bed work, planting the annuals, those types of tasks.”

The Mt. Hope campus covers a 20-acre area less than a mile north of the River Campus. The area includes the Patrick Barry House, former nursery offices, the packing house, and three former Barry households.

Many of the trees and shrubs on the grounds date back to the mid-1900s and have been maintained since along with the perennial and rose gardens.

“It’s important to the University that the grounds look good, and not only for students, faculty, and staff who are already here,” Miller said. “First appearances are important … and the emphasis is on attracting new students, new faculty, and new staff. There have been studies that suggest your impression of the University is made within the first 10 minutes. It has nothing to do with the curriculum; it’s just your overall gut reaction.”

The Horticulture and Grounds department works to enhance the aesthetics of our campus, and the results have been significant. The University was selected to join the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA program in 2011. The program handpicks universities that successfully maintain their trees and work to engage their students through learning opportunities. The campus was also recently named an arboretum.

“We do spend a lot of effort and time into making the campus as attractive as we can,” Miller said.

Smith is a member of the class of 2014.

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