By William Rodriguez, Staff Writer

The students of the University of Maine Farmington (UMF) may have noticed some changes this year, particularly with the Mantor Green being fenced off after the installation of Geo-thermal wells during the summer vacation.

“Just about a week before classes started we were able to put down new grass or sod. It requires a couple weeks to take root and we need to take really good care of it because we want it to live,” said Brian Gadbury, a UMF student who worked with facilities over the summe.

   The new grass and lack of trees may come as a surprise to many students, especially those who are returning from last semester.  For many the Mantor Green was a nice place to relax in the shade of the trees while doing homework or socializing with other students. “Unfortunately the whole green (grass and trees included) was dug up at different points and times in order to install the wells,” said Gadberry. Although this may be upsetting to students of Farmington, Gadberry assured that for every tree cut down “two more were planted in other locations.”

   Despite being fenced off, the new Mantor Green will offer up some changes to campus life once the fences go down. “Outside of just the trees missing the Green has been flattened,” said Gadberry. The installation of the wells resulted in the hilly areas of the Green being trimmed down making it flat almost all the way to Ricker addition. “While we have lost the trees we have gained a lot of room,” said Gadberry. Clubs and other organizations could easily utilize this extra room for all sorts of events.

   Gadberry was a  part of many other students who helped alongside Facilities to clean up and “refresh” the campus. Toward the tail end of summer they helped the contracted workers in the installation and placement of the new sod. “We helped by pulling the sod pieces together to eliminate gaps, we helped make it even,” said Gadberry.

   While helping with the sod was the most notable task, it is far from the only thing the students, alongside Facilities and the custodians, did throughout the vacation. Gadberry, along with many other students, helped to keep the campus looking like new by mowing and weed whacking, provided  when the weather was cooperative. Other tasks included planting flowers, watering those already there, and cleaning out resident halls for new and returning students alike. “Most of the work was maintaining the campus, a lot of it may not be extremely noticeable but it definitely helped to refresh the campus and make it look nicer,” said Gadberry.

   If students feel like taking part in this kind of work over the summer to help maintain the look of the UMF campus, they should contact Benjamin Pratt, Head of Facilities, at benjamin.pratt@maine.edu during the spring term before summer vacation starts.