From Kevin’s Desk: The big melt! (02/23/18)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

One thing I don’t look forward to when Michigan weather finally warms up: the big melt! Ever wonder what happens to all the snow when it disappears? I hadn’t really thought about it until I read the last installment of our snow series. Ultimately, melted snow becomes part of our waterways – groundwater, local streams and the Huron River. To protect our natural environment from contaminants that can accumulate in snow (such as deicing salt and sediment), our teams in Facilities and Operations (F&O) work together to ensure we have the right precautions in place before the first snowflake hits the ground.

When planning a construction project, our colleagues in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) make sure the site is designed with things like wide sidewalks and proper drainage so our snow removal teams can do their work. Logistics, Transportation, and Parking; Grounds Services; Environment, Health, & Safety; and AEC work together to select suitable off-site locations where snow can be transported and stored. And, when the snow melts, F&O staff clean up litter, inspect for damage to vegetation and restore the site as needed. It’s an amazing, collaborative undertaking that happens behind the scenes and without much fanfare. But it is absolutely essential to keeping this university open for business, progressing towards our sustainability goals, and protecting our community’s natural resources and environment.

Please join me in thanking the entire F&O team for all that they do to manage the impact of snow on our campus – you guys ROCK!! You can find all three articles in our snow series on our B&F website.

With much appreciation and gratitude,