With warm temperatures on the horizon and spring graduation coming up, students at BYU are ready for springtime even if the Provo weather isn’t.
This means the grounds crew has a lot to do to get campus looking lush and green again.
“Right now is actually a very busy time for us in preparation for graduation,” gardening foreman Tyson Ricks said. “It’s a month away and that may seem like a long time, but it takes a lot of work to make the transition from fall and winter into the spring beauty that everyone expects.”
Ricks manages a crew of about 10 students in charge of about 40 acres of campus.
“We manage from the conference center down to the Creamery on Ninth including all of Heritage and the buildings in between,” he said.
His crew, which includes Adam Lang, a senior from San Diego, is busy doing everything from replacing damaged sprinkler heads to reseeding the lawns on campus.
“We mow the lawns, weed everything, lay down mulch and so on,” Lang said. “Sometimes crews work together to help if one crew has too much going on.”
Crews coming together to tackle demanding projects is a common occurrence with the BYU grounds crew.
“Yesterday several crews, including ours, got together to help the foreman over at the Hinckley Building fix up an entire hillside,” Ricks said. “It was a fantastic feat.”
On top of all the preparation for graduation, the crew has to keep up with its regular duties, which means keeping up with the weather forecast.
“We’re always looking at the weather to see if we have to come in early to get rid of snow in the morning or if it’s going to be a week without any water so we have to water the plants ourselves instead of waiting for the rain to do it for us,” Lang said.
This hard work does not go unappreciated. Alex Ackerman, an athletic training major from Filer, Idaho, loves the way campus looks in spring.
“It’s one of the things I look forward to when the weather starts to warm up,” Ackerman said. “I love how green the lawn gets and how the flowers look. Everything just seems brighter, especially coming out of winter.”
This environment of beauty is one of the aims of the BYU Grounds mission statement.
The mission statement says, “The mission of the BYU Physical Plant Grounds Section is to provide an atmosphere of excellence and serenity, to assist individuals in their quest for perfection in eternal life by providing outdoor facilities, indoor plantings and services that are neat, clean and beautiful, hence creating an optimum atmosphere for learning and inspiration.”
“That’s really our goal here,” Ricks said. “The reason we work so hard for our grounds to be exceptional is because we want to provide an atmosphere for inspiration.”