Horticulture and Grounds

To request service for any Grounds related issue, please call the Facilities Customer Service Center at 3-4567

Annual Winter Contest

Winter 2016 Safety Campaign

Grounds Department Annual Report

Grounds Department Awards

Gardening Information and Professional Associations

Rochester Weather: Get the latest weather forecast

Horticulture and Grounds: Arboretum

To reinforce and maintain an environment that preserves the beauty of the campus through a progressive program of grounds management, while supporting the study of native plant materials and developing new plant collections. The Arboretum will create an opportunity for continuing education about the University and regional horticulture, celebrating their history while promoting interest and support for the University and the Arboretum.

River Campus Arboretum Video Tour

Horticultural History

The University of Rochester River Campus, located along the Genesee River in upstate New York, has a long tradition of using trees to enhance the beauty of this unique setting. Throughout the history of the University, founded in 1850, trees have been planted, maintained, and preserved. As further support of these efforts, in 1999, the president's planning group approved portions of the campus to be established as the University of Rochester Arboretum.

The tradition is an extension of the arboricultural legacy of the Rochester area. Portions of the city and Mt. Hope Campus of the University still harbor remnants of the Ellwanger and Barry Nursery. The nursery trade that flourished in the late 1800s and early 1900s in Rochester was once the largest of its type in the country and has left a lasting impression on the city and campus.

The River Campus occupies the original setting of the Oak Hill Country Club. The University purchased the Oak Hill grounds in 1923 and initially raised 10 million dollars for the establishment of the college on this site. Ground was broken for Lattimore Hall in 1927, the first University building to be constructed, located in the northwest corner of the Eastman Quadrangle. The integrity of the landscape was insured when Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. was retained as designer and consultant to the architects. The Olmstead international fame stems from his father's design of such well-known areas as Central Park, the Arnold Arboretum, and Yosemite National Park. The University endorsed the River Campus in 1930 as the primary site of their men's college.

Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. was responsible for the design of a "River Walk" of oak trees along the Genesee River. This portion of the campus was recently sold to the City of Rochester, with contributions from Bausch & Lomb, to establish more public parkland along the river corridor. Included along a three-quarter-mile stretch are 197 oak trees with more than 15 different species identified between Elmwood Avenue and Intercampus Drive.

Although not located on the River Campus, the University of Rochester also harbors a former champion Ponderosa Pine tree, which is among the largest known examples of this species in the State of New York. This giant, along with the canopy of cover from trees on the rest of the campus, add tremendously to the aesthetic appeal of the grounds while complementing and softening the existing architecture. The visual impact that trees have on the University grounds as they add fall color, winter texture, and spring flowers is invaluable.

Campus Trees

Additional Info


Horticulture and Grounds: Snow Removal


Check the Weather Forecast


Sign Up for Weather Related Notifications

University Facilities sends notifications by email to those members of the University who wish to receive them. For directions to join this Listserve to receive email notifications, visit our notifications page.


Winter Walking Safety

Winter walking falls often result in bruises, sprains, and broken bones. The University employs more than 20,000 staff, most of whom walk some distance to the building in which they work. The departments of Environmental Health & Safety and Horticulture & Grounds have joined forces to provide tips on winter walking safety and posters you can print and post in your work area.


The Snow Removal Process

Any snowfall that is less than 6 inches is considered a routine occurrence. The weather forecast is carefully monitored and when any snowfall is predicted, staffing for snow removal is determined and early start-times are scheduled the day before. Grounds regularly monitors the National Weather Service and local radar.

The Medical Center Grounds Crew is staffed from 2:00 a.m.to midnight each day, Monday through Friday, from December 1 to April 1. The contractor servicing the River Campus Grounds moves to a 24-hour-a-day coverage when the weather dictates.

The roadways to provide emergency access and Handicapped Areas are serviced first.

Parking and Grounds Staff are available to assist Handicapped individuals with special snow removal needs. Handicapped individuals should email Dave Nelson or call him at 585-273-5815 to inform him of work schedules so he can be sure that these areas are accessible.

Sidewalks and roadways are plowed concurrently with the Parking Lots.

The normal River Campus plowing cycle is 6 hours. That is, it takes 6 hours to make a pass through each roadway and parking lot at least once. The Medical Center is plowed continuously during snows and the cycle will vary depending on the rate of snowfall.

The immediate University properties--including the River Campus, the Medical Center, and the South Campus through Whipple Park, but not including the parking garage or satellite properties—comprise well over 6 million square feet of roadways, parking lots, and sidewalks.

One inch of snow over the mentioned areas would fill the football-field area of Fauver Stadium with a solid cube 11.26 feet tall, or fill 10-cubic-yard dump trucks parked bumper to bumper stretching 9.25 miles.

Eight inches of snow between midnight and 8 a.m. would correspond to a football-field-size cube 90-plus feet tall, or fill 10-cubic-yard dump trucks parked bumper to bumper stretching 74 miles.

For additional information about snow removal at the University, check out this Currents article.

TO REPORT SNOW STORM RELATED CONCERNS, CALL THE FACILITIES SNOW REMOVAL HOTLINE AT EXTENSION 5-0000


Winter Wonderland Image Library