The physical plant grounds crew has been working this past week to remove five trees near the Praying Hands Memorial, after it was deemed too risky to allow them to remain in place. The trees were dead or dying due to leakage from a major (and aging) underground steam line, according to longtime UP arborist Jim Wells. For the past 67 years, since the memorial was built through the efforts of UP students to commemorate classmates who served and died in World War II, the area around the Praying Hands has slowly filled in with evergreen and magnolia trees, plus shrubbery and perennial flowers, providing a quiet, sheltered spot to remember those members of the UP community who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces. Senior grounds manager Nathan Hale is working on a new landscape design; however, replanting plans have not been finalized, so for the time being the Praying Hands Memorial will revert to its open setting, much as it looked originally in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Nathan Hale has been hired to serve in the newly created position of senior grounds manager, according to Andre Hutchinson, physical plant. The care and maintenance of the campus grounds is of paramount importance as the physical appearance of campus often forms visitors’ first impressions. With the development of the River Campus, the grounds staff has been spread increasingly thin. Nathan is a registered landscape architect with more than 30 years of commercial landscaping experience and brings incredible design and leadership capability to the UP grounds team. Please welcome him as he takes on his new duties.