Campus plans to get blooming in spring

With warmer weather and spring just around the corner, the grounds and horticulture teams have big plans to make campus look welcoming.  A large variety of plants will start blooming as early as late February, according to Roger McCulley, horticulture supervisor for NKU.  One new installment is the “Votruba Garden.”

Named after former NKU President James C. Votruba and his wife Rachel M. Votruba, the garden, which can be found outside the Student Union, will display a collection of all yellow flowers this season. Rachel Votruba was invited to be part of the decision process of choosing flowers for this garden, according to the grounds team.

This is just one of many newer gardens sprouting up around campus, according to Bill Moulton, superintendent of grounds, horticulture and transportation on campus.  According to Moulton, it’s often hard to thank one individual for the horticultural feats accomplished each year; everyone works as a team and is supported from the top to bottom by Facilities Management.

“We have so many creative individuals and it’s nice to have an area for them to express themselves,” Moulton said.

They try to keep students in mind while choosing the pallet of plants and the colors are picked as “something interesting to look at for students,” according to Moulton.  The grounds team often uses bulbs with the most blooming capability possible for “continuous blooms” throughout the whole season.

Senior Marina Schneider is one of the students who “loves the plants” on campus.

“Anything that will add color to the campus is great,” Schneider said.

The grounds team also likes to support organizations like the “Go Green” program to help limit the carbon footprint on campus.

“We need to be on the cutting edge of sustainability,” said McCulley.

One way the grounds team plans to help the effort to go green is by becoming more aware of the products they use. Starting this spring, for example; the grounds team is using more environmentally friendly products such as Holganix.  According to McCulley, Holganix is an organic soil conditioner that allows for more nutrients to be available and the grounds team is “very optimistic“ about its use.

According to the Holganix official website, North Carolina State University, Pennsylvania State University and Purdue University have all tested the use of the product and all three saw improvement including control of weeds and substantially less nitrogen in the soil, making for a more environmentally friendly area.

The grounds and horticulture teams would also like to encourage students to be involved with Arbor Week, which will be included with Earth Week. Starting April 22, there will be environmentally friendly programs each day of the week for all students to get involved in, such as planting and maintaining trees and flowers on campus.