Keeping campus green

A crew of 11 groundskeepers takes care of the nearly 295-acre campus University of Oregon campus, mowing its lush green lawns, trimming its shrubs and bushes and collecting the blizzard of leaves that fall each autumn from its 4,000 trees.“I know campuses our size … that have three to four times times as many groundskeepers,” said Vince Babkirk, landscape maintenance coordinator.

Each groundskeeper is responsible for one of 11 zones on campus, mowing, pruning, irrigating and fertilizing.

“They work very, very hard,” he said. “The best compliment any of us ever get is when a student stops and tells them how wonderful it looks and thanks them for the job they’re doing.”

— Tim Christie