Landscaper plans for spring thaw

  Wednesday, January 14, 2015 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

Landscaper plans for spring thaw

Although the ground underfoot may be frozen like tundra, Cate Breneman is already well along in her planning for the spring planting season.

Breneman, who plans and overseas the landscaping at Pittsburg State University, said numerous construction projects in addition to the regular seasonal work on the 450-acre campus keep her crews hopping all year long.

During the winter months, Breneman said, her crews do a lot of leaf removal, tree trimming and shrub maintenance, which pays benefits when warmer spring weather arrives. It won’t be too long, she said, until the first of the annual and tropical plants will begin arriving for potting in the greenhouse. After the danger of frost has passed, those will fill numerous beds across campus.

Big projects on the schedule for this spring include landscaping in front of the Plaster Center, which will open later this spring, and landscaping around the Overman Student Center, which is currently being expanded and renovated. That work is slated to be completed in time for the opening of the fall semester.

“It’s always a little harder to do the landscaping work in the summer, but we’ll make it happen,” Breneman said.

Breneman said she is also excited to see projects that were completed last fall, like the bio retention basin north of the Bicknell Center, begin to blossom.

The bio retention basin is unlike any other space on campus, Breneman said.

“The goal behind it is to capture and infiltrate the stream water (back into the soil) before it hits the city’s already burdened storm water sewer system,” Breneman said. “At the same time, I wanted it to be visually interesting and sustainable.”

The winding area includes stones and perennials that are all either native plants or cultivars of native plants.

Breneman said she’d rather be preparing for spring planting than engaged in one of her other tasks -- her crews are responsible for much of the snow and ice removal on campus.

“So far we’ve been pretty lucky,” Breneman said. “But there’s still plenty of time left for winter weather.”



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