Published: May 21, 2019

Spring FlowersEach year spring brings its annual cacophony of color to the CU Boulder campus.  Staff Council invites you to take a moment, adhere to the science that says communing with nature makes a more fruitful you, and admire the bounty of the current season with as many senses as you can.  The spring bloom on the CU Boulder campus evokes comparison to a well-rehearsed orchestra performing in perfect pitch. From the planning to the planting, it takes a concerted effort by a surprisingly wide array of campus stakeholders.

An array of grounds workers from Facilities Management, Housing and Dining Services, and Athletics burst forth each spring in a flurry of activity. Complete with determination and skill, they tend to the campus greenery with organic products and practices. Notable recent additions at the disposal of grounds crews include the use of organic Richlawn™ fertilizer and an organic compost tea developed and brewed on campus for more sustainable fertilizing, planting pollinator gardens to encourage the health of key species of butterflies and bees, and a hot steam weed removal system that uses no harmful chemicals.

Acquisition of permanent water rights by campus leadership nearly a century and a half ago allows CU Boulder to sustainably use 80 million gallons of Anderson and Smith-Goss ditch water per year. The system operates using a state-of-the-art Toro computer that mitigates the effects of excessive wind, temperature extremes, precipitation and humidity, while watering the 140 acres of campus turf, flower beds and trees.  Yellow spring flowersThis combination of foresight and efficiency  account for savings of $440,000 a year.

What you might notice most are the hard-working grounds crews getting down and dirty with their hands in the soil. Gardeners know that the rubber meets the road when there is dirt under their fingernails. So get out there. Hug a tree. And don’t forget to acknowledge the pride and dedication of all of the dedicated staff tending to the grounds and keeping the CU Boulder campus one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation.