Landscape Services staff work late nights, early mornings to prep campus

· 3 min read

Landscape Services staff work late nights, early mornings to prep campus

Kevin smiles for a photo while he holds a snow shovel across his shoulders
Kevin Rhodes pauses from clearing snow to smile for a photo on Feb. 17.

Some 230 tons of ice remover. 15 miles of streets. 37 miles of sidewalks. 90 acres of parking lots. All while most of Husker Nation sleeps.

Kevin Rhodes, an eight-year Landscape Services worker, and his team work after hours to clear snow and keep campus safe. University Communication and Marketing’s Katie Black sat down with him for a behind-the-scenes look at that work.

What originally drew you to this role?

I enjoy working outside in the landscape. Working for Landscape Services, I am not doing the same thing repetitively every day. My tasks and duties change and that is appealing to me.

Talk a bit about your role in Landscape Services.

I am an area leader for zone four. It covers the College of Nursing, Beadle, Knoll and University suites, Cather dining, Husker Courtyards, the 50/50, the University Police station, 17th and R parking garage and 18th and R garage. We also maintain a section of Antelope Valley Parkway from S to K and a portion of West and East O Street. I have worked for landscape services for eight years.

A Landscape Services worker uses a Bobcat tractor to shift snow on Feb. 17.
Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing
A Landscape Services worker uses a tractor to shift snow along R Street on Feb. 17.

Can you describe what goes into clearing snow on campus?

It depends on the track, forecast and timing of the snowstorm. We have to come in early to have campus safe enough for students and employees. Sometimes that is coming in at 2 a.m. or may mean staying past our normal leave time at the end of the work day.

What is the best part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is working outdoors with my crew making our area look good.

Is there anything about your job in particular or Landscape Services in general that people may not know or would find interesting?

People may not realize how much we do around campus. It may also surprise some that we have open student positions at Landscape Services.

Any favorite memories — or even particularly difficult storms/seasons — you want to share?

I have had a lot of good memories in the last eight years. This past year was challenging with how dry it was. A few years ago the winter was hard with how much snow we got and having to come in on multiple weekends for snow removal.

Aerial view of a snowy campus, looking south over the plaza from Mueller Tower to Love Library North on Feb. 17.
Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing

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