More Campus News
- Black Named Interim Dean of A&S
- Sen. Chris Murphy to Host Interactive Program on Federal Deficit
- Author Peter Janney to Discuss his Book About JFK Assassination -- TONIGHT
- Barney School Hosts T-Shirt Design Contest
University Greenhouse Enables Campus to Blossom
Members of the University grounds crew (l-r): Robert Husenita, Garfield Miller, Chris Nicotera, Juan Castillo, Bob Fronczek, Donald Tardif, Robert Deschenes, and David Foote.
By Nick Frogameni '12, '14
Did you know that more than half of the plants you see at the University are grown right here on campus?
A greenhouse located on the rooftop of Dana Hall operated by the University’s Grounds Department brings these plants to life every year. The Grounds Department began growing pansies inside this greenhouse about four years ago in preparation for the upcoming spring semester. “The thought was to provide color as soon as possible for students to enjoy after the winter,” explained grounds worker Bob Fronczek.
Since then, the department has increased the number of seedlings planted on campus per year from 500 to over 1,000. The variety of plants grown on campus also has increased to include snap dragons, petunias, marigolds, geraniums, and many more.
You can find these internally grown plants throughout the campus. From gardens in front of the Sports Center, to plots alongside the Dana Hall stairway, and hanging baskets across the new bridge and down President’s Drive, these plants are almost everywhere.
University students and organizations have even gotten in on the action, volunteering their time to help with the growing and planting processes. The growing procedures begin in January with the cleaning of plant pots, purchasing of materials and equipment, and doing repairs if needed. Next are the planting procedures such as seeding and plugging.
Fronczek explained how growing the plants on campus has instilled a tremendous sense of accomplishment felt by the entire Grounds Department. “Growing the plants on campus costs less, but the real value is the effort involved and the compliments our department receives from the campus community,” said Fronczek.
The department plans to further increase the number of plants grown on campus by redesigning the greenhouse into a vertical greenhouse to make room for more plants and also increase the amount of sunlight each plant receives.