What The Factors Are That Go Into University Grounds

by Noah Tang

My job this summer was rather unusual. Instead of going home, I worked full-time for the University Grounds Department, or Landscape Maintenance, at Cedarville University. My responsibilities primarily involved weed eating, with some gardening sprinkled in. 

As the weeks went by, the physical demands of the job began to get to me. But I remembered that I was engaging in an activity similar to that of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. When God created them, He tasked them with cultivating the Garden as an expression of their worship to Him. Although I live in different circumstances, I believe that the fundamental nature of the work remains the same. 

Gardening, or any other profession, can be a means by which one glorifies God. This realization helped give my work a deeper meaning and provided extra motivation for me to work for the Lord and not just for men.

Most of the routine landscaping occurs behind the scenes. Led by Steve Prether, University Grounds is responsible for maintaining all non-athletic land on campus. 

According to their webpage, Grounds oversees over 300 acres of land. Their work of keeping the campus grounds in good condition benefits current students, staff and visitors.

One of the most important jobs for Grounds is hardscaping, which includes rocks, dirt and similar materials. The workers need heavy machines to accomplish their projects. Evan Brown, also known as Brown, E, serves as supervisor over heavy equipment and projects involving hardscapes. He also has charge over the newest Grounds garage where the heavy vehicles are stored.

Brown, E and his team use the four heavy vehicles to transport the hardscape materials they work with. He said that the skid-steer has various attachments used for different purposes. The telehandler is a four-wheeled vehicle with a large arm. The backhoe has a scoop mounted on its arm. The roller is used to smooth out pavement, rocks or dirt.

Mowing is another important job. Oftentimes, students will see several grounds workers mowing different sections around campus, yet they don’t get a lot of attention for the work they put in.

Freshman Civil Engineering student Curtis Craig works two to four hours each weekday as a lawnmower. When Craig clocks in for work, he inspects the mower. Then he checks at the map to see where his boss, Brodie Rockenbaugh, has assigned him. When he finishes mowing, he blows the grass off the mower and marks where he mowed.

Craig has worked for Grounds for about two months now, and he enjoys his job. “They give me a good break from the rigor of my engineering classes,” he said. “I like my coworkers and get along with all of them very well, and it is a cool place to work.”

Having worked with the groundskeepers this past summer, I can testify that their diligent labor contributes to a positive atmosphere on campus. Although they need more workers, they tirelessly keep the landscape’s natural beauty with their existing resources.

Noah Tang is a super-senior Business Management major and a writer for Cedars. He likes to spend time with friends, study theology and watch movies.

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