The Grounds Maintenance Staff at Indiana State is committed to keeping our campus healthy, safe and beautiful for all students, staff, faculty and visitors. This involves providing excellent circulation routes throughout campus and caring for a vast and diverse plant community between the buildings and pathways. The Grounds staff is committed to this 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
We have a staff of 19 persons in the field, supported by our Grounds Manager and Administrative Assistant. About 12 students are hired every summer to supplement the crews. The campus is divided into six areas. Each area has an appointed Gardener who plans the work flow and works alongside their crew each day.
Grounds personnel groom, plant, fertilize and clean up all the plants on campus. They keep pathways clear of debris, remove snow and ice in the colder months, and keep everything neat and tidy. They do minor tree trimming, perennial bed maintenance, annual bed flower planting and design, and turf maintenance tasks.
Our staff supports any special outdoor activities with assistance in planning and organizing, supplying materials, and clean up post event. We also perform a wide variety of other outdoor tasks impossible to list for Residential Life, Athletics, Academic departments, , and various other clients on campus.
ISU is certified as a Tree Campus USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the State Urban Forester’s Office. This certification is renewed yearly, and requires that we meet five standards. We must have a tree care plan, celebrate Arbor Day every spring, and dedicate funds specifically to tree care, organize a service project, and convene a Campus Tree Advisory Committee. If you are student or staff and interested in serving on the Advisory Board contact Grounds at 237-8716 or email Steph.Krull@indstate.edu.
We recently updated and modernized our Tree Inventory using a portable GPS device. We have over 3500 trees on university properties in town with over 2200 on the main campus. The inventory will allow us to more effectively increase diversity, monitor hazard trees, and validate the benefits provided by tree canopy.
About 60% of the campus is irrigated. Scheduling and application of irrigation water is controlled by a TUCOR software program. This takes into account the average rainfall and temperatures which historically occur during the growing season (April to October). Water is conserved wherever possible.
Our campus irrigation water supply is drawn from ground water throughout the campus through a system of eight(8) wells, and replenished on campus through a system of dry wells, drainage swales and retention areas. Most watering occurs at night, using recommended application rates. However, it is not always possible to water only at night. Watering of newly laid sod and construction installations sometimes occurs during the day.
Our sports fields and the turf surrounding the athletic facilities are maintained using industry common practices as promoted by modern turf science. Our gardeners are trained by the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation and certified by the State of Indiana. The remaining 75% of the campus is being systematically restored to a healthy soil base that supports a mixed turf lawn.
We use organic fertilizers and a combination of aeration, over-seeding and spot weed treatment to maintain a healthy green turf. This is a low impact method employed to save cost, reduce herbicide usage, and promote soil vigor. The turf in this 75% of campus will have a certain percentage of clover and other broadleaf plants.
Wherever possible, the preferred method is to use biological controls or natural substances for controlling pests, plant diseases, and weeds on campus, when natural diversity planning has failed. This allows us to limit the type and quantity of chemical and other less desirable controls.
If the use of chemicals is unavoidable, we use less potent chemicals whenever possible. Chemicals are applied according to safety regulations and guidelines. Application usually occurs during the early morning hours or on weekends to limit interaction within the campus community.
During the winter season, the Grounds Department is responsible for snow and ice removal from building entrances, ADA features, and pedestrian walkways. Our primary emphasis is to maintain as safe a walking surface as possible. We contract snow removal in the parking areas, but cannot plow close to parked vehicles for obvious reasons. (For this reason we recommend students keep a small snow shovel in their trunk in case they should need to leave their parking space shortly after the parking lot has been plowed.)
All possible efforts are made to remove snow and ice from campus walkways prior to the start of classes and to keep them clear the rest of the day. We prioritize the snow removal in parking lots according to the time of day and the campus calendar, considering the pending highest traffic areas after the snow. Remember, our resources are limited in that our personnel must work within their physical limits for safety reasons. We ask everyone to exercise caution and take personal responsibility for their own safety in inclement weather. If you encounter an area that is particularly hazardous please contact us immediately at 812 237-8716.