Physical plant adds new trees, sprinkler system to campus grounds


If the campus is looking more green and lush this spring, it's no accident. Physical plant has been busy planting trees and supervising the installation of a sprinkler system on the central campus.

Len Van Hoffen, motor pool grounds co-ordinator, says that 20 new trees have been planted at various locations around the University. A variety of trees were selected, including elms, oaks, Kentucky coffee trees and mountain ash. He adds that fairly large, mature trees were purchased because they have a better chance of survival than smaller saplings.

The trees, which cost on average $600 including installation, will be tied to stakes for the first year until the roots become established. The only other requirement is making sure each has lots of water.

Van Hoffen comments that planting a variety of trees gives the campus the feel of an arboretum. In addition, it is always better to have different trees on a site to prevent the spread of disease.

The installation of a sprinkler system in front of the John Hodgins Engineering building is a continuation of a campus irrigation plan begun last fall. At that time, all the sports fields were done.

Van Hoffen says the main reason for installing an irrigation system is a healthy, more vigourous turf area which, in turn, results in fewer weeds and higher aesthetic appeal. “A lush, green campus that is beautifully maintained does indeed attract new students.”

The system, which will include the area in front of Mills Library, is being installed by Angus Inground Sprinkler of Dundas and is funded through the Physical Plant's grounds budget. Van Hoffen, who says the system will pay for itself in three to four years, would like to see it expanded to include the whole campus in the years to come.