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Newsmaker: Pitt Grounds Crew

Pitt Grounds Crew

Location: The University of Pittsburgh campus, Oakland

Members: The Pitt Grounds Crew is made up of 24 men and two women, led by crew manager Kathryn Trent (pictured), 59, of Emsworth. Crew members hail from all over Western Pennsylvania, including Apollo, Washington, Houston, Pitcairn, North Hills and several city neighborhoods.

Job: The crew is responsible for maintaining the campus grounds, including buildings, parking lots, walkways, gardens and other natural vegetation. They mow lawns, manage the garbage, remove snow, keep walkways clear and in the fall remove fallen leaves. Projects teams plant trees, plants and bulbs.

Newsworthy: The Professional Grounds Management Society honored the Pitt Grounds Crew with a Merit Award in the Society’s 2010 Green Star Awards competition for exceptional grounds maintenance. Judges consider the overall beauty of a campus, special challenges (in Pitt’s case, hillside mowing and snow removal), and sustainability. Pitt “does a great job” in keeping the campus beautiful, said Molly Baldwin, spokeswoman for the society.

Quote: “It’s wonderful when somebody recognizes the good job we do,” Trent said. “We’re kind of invisible to students — as we should be, because they’re here for a purpose and shouldn’t notice the employees. But we enjoy our work. We’re responsible for giving people their first impression of the campus, and I think we do a good job. I mean, we’re in the middle of a city, and it doesn’t look like we’re in the middle of a city.”


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