Over the summer, we have received comments and questions regarding the landscaping and lawns throughout the campus. Numerous factors led to the current state of the campus grounds, which are detailed below.
As part of our response to the budget challenge during FY 17/18, we made a number of across-the-board reductions, including a reduction in the cost of the spring lawn treatments. We focused funds and efforts on the Great Lawn and areas that had a greater impact on Commencement activities. The reduction in lawn treatments plus more frequent rainfalls led to a greater-than-normal growth of weeds across the campus. Further complicating matters, in April, lawn mower failures left the campus with only one working lawn mower until after Sunday, July 1. We were able to rent lawn mowers at the end of May for one week in order to prepare targeted areas for Commencement purposes.
In addition to the problems described above, some of the irrigation systems on campus were damaged during the roadway project. The Great Lawn irrigation system was among those that were damaged. We are currently working with the roadway contractor to make the needed repairs; however, in the interim, the Great Lawn and other affected areas will need to be watered manually by our Laborers.
The good news is that we have already purchased and received two new lawn mowers and we have ordered parts for two older mowers, which our auto mechanics are currently working to rehabilitate. We also received approval to procure new landscaping equipment, which was awarded to the College through a State and Municipal (SAM) grant. The lawn treatments throughout campus will resume the first week of August. TruGreen has been contracted for treatment of the weeds and fertilization of the campus lawn. A new watering trailer has been purchased and is expected for delivery by the end of July, which will allow the Laborers to water seeded areas and other areas that have non-functioning irrigation systems.
It is our objective to provide a welcoming campus for new and returning students for the upcoming academic year. We want to thank you for your patience and concern during this challenging time. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact Campus Planning and Facilities Management at 718.982.3214.