Mar. 14, 2016

Abbie Stillman
astillma@uccsedu

One appealing feature for potential students to complete their degree at UCCS can be the beautiful campus.

The grounds nursery team takes a lunch break. Austin Chasse | The Scribe
The grounds nursery team takes a lunch break.
Austin Chasse | The Scribe

As students walk to class, they may see other students and employees working on various grounds projects.

There are six full-time staff members that students work with in the grounds department under Facility Services to keep campus pristine.

These grounds crews have a variety of tasks as part of their everyday job, including tree pruning, turf maintenance and litter control.

Freshman electrical engineering major Justin Shaffer has worked the grounds at UCCS since September. Shaffer enjoys the setting of the job the most.

“I really love being outside and I grew up doing yard work so it doesn’t really feel like work to me,” he said. “Shoveling snow is my favorite thing ever, I don’t know. Everyone else hates it.”

Senior English major Julianne Baumgardner has been working grounds for almost two years. Baumgardner enjoys several different aspects of the job.

“Being able to go outside with my fellow employees is my favorite. They make the job a lot more fun,” she said.

Her least favorite part is snow removal.

Like all grounds employees, Baumgardner does different jobs throughout her shift.

Doug Cook, part of the grounds crew, operates a skid-steer. Ben Patzer | The Scribe
Doug Cook, part of the grounds crew, operates a skid-steer.
Ben Patzer | The Scribe
“It depends, because some days, I spend the whole day doing the trash, but if I’m working with the plant manager, then we can end up doing about three different jobs during the day,” she said.

Additional duties include cleaning up trash, cigarette butts, watering trees and shoveling.

According to Physical Plant executive director Dougherty, many of these jobs offer students good life skills such as changing the oil in a lawn mower and learning how to care for plants.

“A lot of students enjoy the physical labor work as it is a nice change of pace,” said Dougherty.