From Flowers to Flurries

Winter 2015

Landscape crew shoveling sidewalksWith the pending winter season upon us, here is a taste of Landscape Services' snow removal operations. As any Kalamazoo resident would know, we get a lot of snow.  Snow removal at Western Michigan University is an enormous undertaking—last year Western received 117 inches of snow, which equates to 3.1 million cubic yards of the white stuff our landscape crew moved for the season. Our preparations begin in early October, including tasks such as:

Winterizing and servicing all snow removal equipment. This includes delivering and storing de-icing and anti-icing equipment, as well as confirming all snow melting systems are operational.

Updating our snow book, a detailed description of the protocol that landscape uses for snow removal. This includes:

Landscape employee snow-blowing

  • Distributing University-wide notifications asking for campus snow removal needs, special activities or weekend events.
  • Detailing and prioritizing routes for roads, lots, walks, steps and entrances.
  • Distributing University-wide notifications asking for campus snow removal needs, special activities or weekend events.
  • Revising special needs, weekend needs, emergency and resource contacts.

Landscape snow removal

Making sure all roads and walkways are safe for WMU students and employees.  Landscape installs plow markers and "steps closed" signs to provide better service with available resources.  Landscape also works closely with the Office of Disability Services to encourage students to contact Landscape Services with their specific snow removal needs.

Here are a few stunning facts that show the magnitude of our snow removal challenge:

  • 26.5 laneLandscape snow removal miles of roads.
  • 125 acres of surface lots.
  • 4 parking decks.
  • 39 miles of sidewalks.
  • 2,000,000 square feet of steps, entrances, access ramps and curb cuts.
  • 675+ building entrances.

Snow removal policy and procedures