The University Environs and Beautification Committee have brought baskets of brightly colored flowers to campus this spring as part of its efforts to enhance UT’s appearance.A total of 30 locations have been identified on Main Campus, each to display two baskets that will integrate bright red calliope geraniums with purple fountain grass planted in the center and white scaevola flowers cascading down.
Dick Eastop, retired vice president of enrollment services and former chair of the Campus Beautification Committee, led the new initiative. The committee has long admired the flower basket program in Ottawa Hills and believed it would be a success to bring it to UT.
“We have been talking about this for a number of years, and I am delighted the committee decided to implement the project this spring,” Eastop said. “As a committee, we believe the beauty of the campus is our gift to the future.”
The pilot project was funded entirely by private donations through the Environs and Beautification Committee UT Foundation account.
“It is our hope that the University community and others will enjoy and embrace this project and that we can generate additional donations that can be used to perpetuate and hopefully expand the project to the other campuses,” said Dr. Steven LeBlanc, executive associate dean of academic affairs in the College of Engineering and chair of the Campus Beautification Committee.
Ralph Keefe, an area grower and a member of the Maumee Valley Growers Association, planted each basket and agreed to replant for future displays.
The UT Grounds Department will maintain the baskets, which will be used around the entrance areas of campus, said Doug Collins, director of facility maintenance and grounds.
“We all — students, faculty and staff alike — take tremendous pride in the beauty of the campus, and UT has been identified as having one of the most beautiful metropolitan campuses in the country,” Eastop said. “In order to maintain that reputation, we are continually looking for opportunities to enhance the campus beauty, not just for us who are here now, but for potential students as well.”
Student organizations and faculty offices are welcome to purchase a basket as a way to embrace the spirit of the initiative and grow together as a UT community. If interested, contact LeBlanc at 419.530.8264.