RU’s grounds keepers work hard to make campus beautiful

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Ruthie Lamb

Have you ever walked along the clean campus sidewalks, sat on the freshly-trimmed quad, watched a game on the athletic fields or stopped to smell the flowers planted in the mulch? If so, then you have caught a glimpse of the hard work the Radford University groundskeepers do on a daily basis.

With 177 acres of campus grounds and four seasons of wild weather, RU requires a fair amount of maintenance and upkeep. The 13 well-trained employees of RU’s groundskeeping team complete many daily tasks consisting of waste removal, landscape maintenance and the annual flower/color program.

Along with these tasks, the groundskeepers also assist other areas of the facilities management groups on the RU campus, like helping with construction and renovation assignments. They also help with special events and activities on RU’s campus.

None of these things would be possible without employees such as Grounds Supervisor and Tech Trades employee Mark Deisher. Through the sun, rain and wind you will find him working on tasks.

“This is a career I chose early in life,” Deisher said, as he is going on his 33rd year with the university.

While currently living in the Radford area, Deisher spends the majority of his time outside, both at work and at home. “I just love working outside,” he said as he raked leaves.

Each day there Deisher and his coworkers must tackle and complete multiple assignments.

When he isn’t tending to the needs of the university’s campus, he fishes on the many lakes in Virginia and North Carolina or watches the latest NASCAR race. Although he doesn’t get to fish in North Carolina often, he does enjoy those rare trips to the fullest. Being outside or watching NASCAR is ideal for him.

Deisher and the rest of the RU groundskeeping team can be found on campus on a daily basis perfecting RU’s outdoor environment. The entire Grounds Department completes a variety of daily tasks that challenge each individual employee’s determination and strength.

The most important activity is the snow removal process. The Grounds Department is responsible for removing any amount of snow from both parking lots and sidewalks at any time, day or night, 24 hours a day until these areas are safe. Along with snow removal, the Grounds Department is proud of their ability to keep the campus clean through daily trash and debris pickup.  With all these daily tasks, the Grounds Department still grows many of the flowers planted on campus in the RU greenhouse.

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