What Can Residents Expect from the Grounds Team?
Excerpt by Kathleen Truelove
Horticulturist and Grounds Manager Linnette Kanitz sees her job as that of facilitator between residents and the Broadmead administration in matters of grounds and gardens. She has a degree in horticulture from Michigan State University, with a concentration in landscape design/construction build. She says she puts her heart into making people feel comfortable where they live.
Linnette’s advice to new Garden Home residents is that they walk around the campus and look at the various gardens to get ideas and to see what sorts of landscaping is done. A complimentary landscape consultation is available to new residents. Linnette listens to what the resident wants and may make additional suggestions.
Linnette supports landscape enhancement, but for a resident who is not interested in maintaining a garden, she can install a low maintenance landscape that makes things easier both for the resident and for the grounds crew. If residents purchase perennials, shrubs, or trees, the grounds team will plant them. This is done by work order and is put in the queue with other projects, so some lead time is required.
Ongoing work done by the grounds team is fall and spring weeding and pruning, along with annual mulching. The emphasis is on the front areas; the back gardens are considered personal landscape spaces. Tom Staalesen [member of Broadmead’s grounds team] spends an hour a week in each cluster, weeding, trimming, and performing other needed tasks. The grounds crew also supports trail maintenance, prepares the boxes in the garden plots, blows leaves as needed, unclogs gutters, and clears carport areas of leaf debris and trash.
Broadmead’s landscape contractor mows and trims the grass, does leaf removal in late fall, and snow removal later in the season. They also maintain the stormwater management area. Maintenance of areas outside the Community Center and the parking lot islands is done jointly by the contractor and the Broadmead grounds crew. There are more than twenty acres of grass to be mowed and miles of trimming. One worker spends a whole day just trimming edges.
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