( From the Physical Plant Division of the University of Florida UNIVERSITY of
www.ppd ufL edu UF FLORIDA
We create and maintain facilities for the university community.
PPD Grounds Uses Native Plants To
Design Sustainable Landscaping
Physical Plant's Grounds Department is con-
stantly searching for ways to reduce the amount of
water necessary to irrigate the thousands of plants
on campus. To that end, Grounds employs a strategy
called xeriscaping to help cut down on water usage.
Xeriscaping is a landscaping philosophy that
emphasizes using native and drought-resistant plants
which do not require supplemental irrigation.
Xeriscaped areas also require little maintenance and
soil preparation to survive.
PPD Landscaping/Groundskeeping Superinten-
dent Marty Werts said, "We're very committed to
reducing our water usage in landscape design at
Grounds. I would estimate that 80% of the landscape _
projects we implement are xeriscaped, and more than This retention pond at 34th Street and Hull Road is land-
half of those designs incorporate primarily native escaped with many native plants, including swamp dogwood,
plants." red maple trees, and blue flag iris.
Native plants offer unique advantages, accord-
ing to Werts. "We can greatly reduce the labor time involved in caring for landscaped areas using natives," he explains. "They're
much more hardy because they're used to the cli-
mate and the soil we don't have to amend the soil
prior to planting. Also, they're very efficient when it
comes to watering most native plants can get by
withjust rainwater and don't have to be irrigated con-
However, not every design can incorporate na-
tive plants. Werts says that Grounds occasionally uses
non-natives in some applications in order to promote
plant diversity on campus. Care also has to be taken
to match native plants to the right area for planting.
"For example, the blue flag iris is a native plant,
but it grows primarily in wetland areas," said Werts.
"That's not a plant that we want to put out in the
middle of the Reitz Union lawn. It's important that
we pay attention to a native plant's natural habitat
Live oak trees, a cabbage palm and Walter's viburnum adorndesigning uses for them.
the side entrance to Rhines Hall. These native plants are PPD Grounds Assistant Director Fred Gratto
extremely drought-resistant, and require external irrigation said, "I read recently that 1000 people move to
less than once per year. See NATIVE Cont. On Page 4
VOLUME XXII, No. 1
Fleet Management Services Offers
Transportation Options To UF Employees
On July 12, 2006, Vice President of Finance and Administration Ed Poppell released a memo announcing the creation of a
comprehensive Fleet Management Initiative at the University of Florida. Mr. Poppell wrote that the program's intent was to
further UF's sustainability initiative through reduction of the number of university vehicles on campus, resulting in optimal
utilization of vehicles and fuel efficiency. As a result of this memo, campus Fleet Management Services was created, under the
management of Physical Plant.
However, Physical Plant's administration and employees were already very familiar with the concept and application of fleet
management, having implemented its own program nearly a year earlier. Under that program, PPD's fleet of administrative-use
vehicles was reduced from 35 vehicles to 23. Older, non-essential vehicles were surplused and sold at auction, and the remaining
vehicles were put into a pool system to be used on an as-needed basis between departments. At the same time, PPD introduced a
free taxi service for employees, called Campus Cab, which works on an appointment basis to carry staff members to and from
various campus destinations.
"The implementation (of our own FM program) at PPD was a
great help, and we learned a lot of lessons about administrating such a
o i ". _ program," said PPD Management Analysis Coordinator Allan Preston.
- "The vehicle pool system has worked out very well for us, and we
have worked to export that model to anyone on campus who will lis-
Preston is currently coordinating the Fleet Management Initia-
tive, and has made presentations on the program to various campus
departments and groups, including the UF Faculty Senate, and the APA
Lunch Forum, both of which were very well-received. However, to
date he says that the general reaction of the campus population has
S"Vehicle reduction is a part of fleet management, and we've been
successful at reducing some vehicles from campus," he explained. "But
we have received a negative reaction on those reduction efforts, be-
cause we're forcing a change in the way we do business. We have
received a much more positive reaction from employees regarding our
alternatives, Campus Cab and FlexCar, and we're working to promote
Motor Vehicle Operator KJ Green is the main and educate people's awareness of those alternatives. Transportation
driver for PPD's Campus Cab taxi service, and Parking has worked with our program by increasing the number of
car pool parking spaces on campus, and by making it easier to obtain a
car pool sticker. T&P also supports Campus Cab with the Gator Lift service for special needs employees."
PPD Motor Vehicle Operator KJ Green serves as the main driver for the Campus Cab service. He said, "We've seen a
tremendous increase over the last few months in the amount of people using the service. We will pick up and transport passengers
anywhere on the main campus, to selected IFAS facilities in Alachua County, and to the Gainesville Airport. We do require a
minimum 60-minute lead time on transport reservations."
Campus Cab hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7:45 AM-4:45 PM. The service is free to UF faculty and staff
(excepting auxiliary staff), and is for official business only. To make a reservation, call PPD Work Management at 392-1121.
The FlexCar program offers another alternative for transportation. UF joins several other higher education institutions
nationwide that have partnered with FlexCar, which rents vehicles on a per-hour basis to FlexCar members. Members make
reservations online, selecting from FlexCar vehicles parked in strategic locations across campus at a cost of $5.50 per hour (the
cost includes fuel and insurance).
Preston says he is very excited about the possibilities the FlexCar program offers, and that the service may be expanded to
support demand as needed. "These vehicles are available 24/7, and can be used for official business or personal use," he said.
"The profits generated by the vehicles offset our costs to start up the program. We have also seen a significant demand for this
type of service from parents of students living on campus, and FlexCars are available to anyone 18 and older, which most rental
services will not do."
Part of the Fleet Management Initiative is aimed at reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and to that end, the PPD Motor Pool
now offers ethanol at its gas pumps. PPD also uses biodiesel in several compatible vehicles, and has tested various types of
electric-powered work trucks over the past two years.
For more information on UF Fleet Management Services, please visit Physical Plant's website at www.ppd.ufl.edu.
9 Assistant Vice President: Dave O 'Brien
Ficke Garden Project Provides Community
Greenspace For Rest, Relaxation
When George Baughman first saw Thorncrown Chapel, in Eureka
Springs, Arkansas, he immediately decided that the University of Florida
needed a similar building on its campus a place of private meditation
and public celebration, open to the community. To that end, Baughman
donated funds in order to make his vision a reality, and the Baughman
Center was built on the shores of Lake Alice.
But along with the building itself, George Baughman also had a
vision of an outdoor garden and ceremonial pathway to complement
the chapel. Initially, funds for this portion of Dr. Baughman's vision
were unavailable. However, Baughman's longtime friends, Architect
Stanhope Blunt Ficke, and his wife, Jane J. Ficke, provided the be-
quest, which, after Mrs. Ficke's passing, served as the basis for the
funding of the garden project.
PPD Associate Director Harold Barrand and Project Manager Chan-
dler Rozear first became involved with the project while serving on the
Selection Committee for the design consultant in the fall of 2004. There,
they learned that the Ficke Garden was one part of a long time dream on
the part of IFAS's Department of Ornamental Horticulture, and its Chair-
man, Dr. Terril Nell, to develop landscape, garden and recreational fa-
cilities all around Lake Alice. This project was for the construction of a
large garden area, to be built just south of the Baughman Center, along
Museum Road. The internationally acclaimed landscape firm, EDSA,
was selected to serve as the garden's designer, and the Brentwood Com-
pany, one of the Construction Management Firms on an annual contract View of Ficke Garden path facing north
with PPD, was selected to do the actual construction. Design issues, towards the Baughman Center.
archaeological concerns and funding problems delayed the project for
many months. Some project donors stepped away from the plate, but others stepped up to offer their assistance. The Rinker
Corporation donated nearly all of the concrete used in the Garden. "Panama Jack" Katz donated 30 Washingtonian Palm trees,
which had spent an evening as part of the decorations for the 100 Years of Gator Football Gala held in the O'Connell Center. Rain
Bird provided a sprinkler design, and all of the valves, controllers and sprinkler heads for the garden. The Florida Museum of
Natural History's Archaeologists watched over every shovelful of dirt that was dug from the ground, as the area around Lake
Alice has been documented to have been used by Native American groups in the long distant past. With the cooperation and help
of all concerned, the numerous issues found appropriate resolutions, and the work will soon be ending. The Substantial Comple-
tion Inspection was held March 8, 2007.
The Ficke Garden project contains several dif-
ferent design features, including a large Event
Lawn for outdoor functions, a concrete Arrival
Court, landscaped serpentine sidewalks, and low-
impact parking areas. Dozens of plant and tree
species, including maples, birch, dogwood, date
palms, cypress, loblollies, junipers, daylilies, and
azaleas provide variety and color to the garden.
Meanwhile, Rozear added his own design touch
.to the concrete pathways winding throughout the
project, by imprinting various leaves from plants
found in the garden into the wet cement.
"One of the desires of the designers is that
Ficke Garden event lawn. volunteer groups and organizations will feel a sense
of ownership in the garden and help maintain it,"
said Rozear. "Groups such as the Gainesville Garden Club and the UF Environmental Horticulture Student Club will be encour-
aged to help cultivate and maintain the plants. Coupled with the support pledged by IFAS and PPD at the very inception of the
project, this will help ensure that the Ficke Garden will remain a true community resource not just for the University, but for
everyone who comes to enjoy our garden."
Editor: Jeremiah Aclnnis
U F |UNIVERSITY of
Physical Plant Division
Human Resources Department
PO Box 117700
Gainesville, FL 32611-7700
NATIVE Continued From Page 1
Florida every day. In that same article, I learned that
450 acres of land in our state are cleared for devel-
opment, every day. The impact on the environment
is staggering. For example, consider the water level
in the many lakes around nearby Melrose and Key-
stone Heights. Some of these once vibrant lakes are
now not much more thanbig puddles. We know about
the stresses on land and water resources, therefore it
is important for us to use native plants so that we
can do our part to help the environment."
Marty Werts echoes Gratto's sentiments to
both, using xeriscape strategies and native plants in
landscape design is a necessity, as well as a philoso-
phy. "Our landscape standards here at Grounds re-
quire that we use xeriscaping as much as possible,"
Werts said. "But even if they didn't, I'd still want to
do it, because I just feel that it's the right thing to do.
Conservation and sustainability are goals that we all
should be working towards, and xeriscape designs Th
incorporating native plants are an excellent way to wil
meet those goals." ph
is area behind Williamson Hall was recently re-landscaped
th native plants. It contains Walter's viburnum, flatwoods
im trees, sparkleberry bushes, and a large needle palm.
After UF's expansion of the "no-
smoking zone" to 50 feet around all
campus buildings, dozens of
concrete, metal and plastic ashtrays
were collected by PPD Grounds
employees from the areas affected
by the new rule.
Nearly all of the receptacles will be
crushed and recycled. Annually,
Physical Plant recycles over 5700
tons of debris.