Watch out, tiger statues—there’s a new TU sign in town. The corner of Cross Campus and Osler is now adorned with bold “TU” letters flanked by a host of yellow pansies that combine to clearly mark the corner as belonging to Tiger Town.
The sign was installed this fall as part of a larger landscaping effort undertaken by TU’s Landscape Services with leadership from Director of Operations and Maintenance Kevin Petersen. Kevin led the landscaping department at Catholic University when the school earned a national award from the Professional Grounds Management Society, and he says TU’s grounds work is just as good.
“Our goal is to install TU-branded landscaping features at key focal points around campus to attract the eye to our grounds,” Kevin said. “Just like an artist works to bring the eye to their canvas with a variety of focal points, we want to draw attention to our beautiful campus.”
Last May Kevin worked with a local landscaping design consultant to identify locations ripe for high-impact landscaping features. Though several spots were flagged, the corner of Cross Campus and Osler was the clear frontrunner. With the prime location identified, the grounds crew set out to create the final design.
Kevin worked closely with Landscape Services Manager Paul Thomas and Landscape Technician Supervisor Bob Keenan to conceptualize the design, taking into account the size and slope of the area’s hillside. Once the design got approval from the administration, Bob took the lead on finalizing and installing it. It took a couple of efforts to get the letters angled at the right height and the plant material installed, but the landscape crew was determined to do the work in-house.
“It was a rush to get it up in time for the academic year, but Bob and Paul and the whole grounds department worked their tails off to make it come together,” Kevin said. “We made some initial mistakes but kept improving until we got it right. We take a lot of pride in doing this type of work in-house.”
That pride shows when you see the end result, an emblem of school spirit. Alongside the seasonal flowers and TU letters are large boulders perfect for sitting—a good thing, because it’s become a popular backdrop for impromptu student photo shoots. Stop by to check it out and have your snapshot taken too!