When you are the landscape manager for a major college campus, you face a variety of challenges and that’s why metal picnic tables are one solution that requires less maintenance and care.
Stephanie Krull is the Landscape and Grounds Manager for a leading college – Indiana State University in Terre Haute, with a student population of 13,000 students.
As you can imagine, with that many students, there is quite a bit of wear and tear on the grounds.
The campus covers 200 acres and is located in a fertile region with the Wabash River running nearby. The landscape is covered with a spectacular array of flowers, shrubs, grass, planters and trees. In fact, ISU is certified as a Tree Campus by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the State’s Urban Forester’s Office. There are more than 3,500 trees on all university properties and 2,200 on the main campus.
In addition, the crew of about 20 workers maintains 140 bulb beds, 769 tree farms and 8,730 shrubs. Total beds cover an astounding 361,309 square feet.
“We are known as a garden type campus,” said Stephanie. “People really enjoy the outdoors here. But students seem to prefer seating options to sitting on the grass.”
For that reason, the university purchased a number of metal picnic tables from The Park and Facilities Catalog. Those tables are positioned throughout the school near classrooms and dorms.
Metal picnic tables withstand harsh weather
Previously, Stephanie said the university purchased wooden picnic tables. But with the change in seasons, the tables had to endure everything from hot sun, pounding rain, wet snow and frigid cold.
That caused the wood to deteriorate, splinter and even get moldy at times.
The university then decided to replace those tables with picnic tables made with steel and coated with a thermoplastic finish. That finish is resistant to all types of weather, rust and UV rays. The tables are also made of perforated metal, so any liquids or debris falls right through them. In addition, because the surface is perforated, air flows through and the metal on the picnic tables is not hot to the touch in the summer. All of the problems they previously faced with the wooden tables went away.
In fact, these durable site furnishings require very little, if any maintenance.
“We don’t really have to clean these tables,” she noted.
Being a landscape manager for a college campus is sure to keep anybody busy. Just think of the foot traffic alone.
Stephanie said sometimes they encounter vandalism or a “lack of respect for the landscaping.”
Maintaining the grounds, planting flowers, continually trimming plants and plowing snow keeps her crew busy year round.
But with these metal picnic tables, maintenance, graffiti and wear are some of the things her busy crew doesn’t have to worry about.
“We are proud to do business with Indiana State University,” said Carrie Georgopoulos, a senior manager with The Park and Facilities Catalog. “We know the landscaping department is dedicated to making the university surroundings look lively and vibrant.”
Click for more photographs of the stunning ISU campus.