One of the many unique aspects of Meredith College is the lore that surrounds it. This not only includes all of the annual traditions and events but also the myths and legends. Many Meredith students have heard at least one myth over the course of their college experience. For the first part in this series, the myth that will be focused on is that the groundskeeping staff paints the foliage green to keep campus beautiful.
Patty Blackwell has worked at Meredith College as a customer service clerk for nearly 25 years, overseeing Facilities Services. She quickly labeled this myth as false, instead attributing the beautiful campus greenery to the hard work and dedication of the Grounds staff. “The campus looks beautiful year-round because we have had an excellent Grounds staff working on campus for many years,” Blackwell said. “They have been understaffed and overworked the majority of the time I have been here, but they still make the campus grounds thrive.”
Although Blackwell had never heard about this myth regarding the foliage being painted green, she mentioned that there was one instance that grass was “painted” for an event. Aaron Schettler, Meredith’s Grounds Manager, elaborated on this point by detailing the landscaping treatment that takes place.
“Our approach to managing the grounds is based on a foundation of long term sustainable practices with a central focus on building soil health and landscape resilience. There was an occasion where we were asked to use a natural colorant while completing a fall turf renovation project,” Schettler said. “Otherwise, our efforts have consistently been to create a campus landscape that is naturally diverse with an abundance of both evergreen and deciduous plants that are well adapted to our climate.”
Overall, the Grounds staff works to keep Meredith natural and organic. Blackwell explains that the landscaping team would only respond with modifications to the campus greenery if the products they used did not hurt the environment and were a temporary measure.
Additionally, Blackwell recognized the work that the Grounds staff does daily to keep Meredith a vibrant place for students and faculty to live, work and learn. “I have never seen a smaller crew of groundskeepers maintain an area the size of Meredith College to the degree this crew does. They should be commended,” Blackwell said. “The campus is beautiful, with one of the largest collections of magnolias in the Southeast, as well as a very diverse collection of other flowering trees, bushes and groundcovers. They have created an edible landscape as well…they maintain an irrigation system throughout campus to keep the grounds alive, and they also keep areas mulched and pests controlled.”
We’re calling this Meredith myth: busted. Have you heard any myths or legends regarding Meredith College that you want busted? Email The Meredith Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org) or DM The Herald on Instagram (@meredith_herald).
By Hannah Porter, Opinion Editor