CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 31, 2015 — From the serenity of its Academic Terraces and tradition of Cardiac Hill to the majesty of the grounds surrounding its visual and performing arts school atop the mighty Mississippi, Southeast Missouri State University — including its main and River Campus — has been honored with the City of Cape Girardeau’s top landscape award.
The City of Cape Girardeau’s Keep Cape Beautiful Committee has honored Southeast with its Beautiful Property of the Month award for September. The award recognizes properties exemplifying cleanliness, attractiveness and aesthetic appeal.
“Southeast Missouri State University is in the heart of Cape Girardeau and is an incredibly visible institution in our city,” said Julia Thompson, Cape Girardeau director of Parks & Recreation and a member of the committee. “It is evident that the University staff has established a high standard of care, dedication and is very proud of their campus. From attractive gateway entrances and water features to colorful landscaping and well-kept facilities, Southeast Missouri State University exemplifies the ‘Keep Cape Beautiful’ mission.”
The main campus at Southeast encompasses 328 acres, while the River Campus covers an additional 15, according to Angela Meyer, director of Southeast’s Facilities Management. Southeast’s main campus is known for its rolling hills and terraces graced with stately trees, gateway entries and several water features. The River Campus is home to the Missouri state champion beech tree, an interlude fountain at its entrance and the Donald L. Dickerson River Campus Commons, a serene courtyard connecting the original seminary building and newly constructed facilities with a breathtaking view of the Mississippi River and the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge.
Grounds crew members are regularly visible diligently planting and caring for flowers, mowing grass, weed eating, tending to trees and plants, and clearing snow during the winter months at both campuses.
“Southeast’s Facilities Management grounds crew includes 11 men and women who start their day at 6:30 a.m. rain or shine by picking up trash across campus. Whether mowing the grass, weed eating, planting flowers, or pruning trees, the goal is to not only provide an aesthetically pleasing campus landscape but also to make sure the campus is safe as well,” Meyer said. “When preparing for special events or the beginning of a new academic year, the grounds crew will work extra hours to ensure the campus offers a welcoming appeal.
“Every year, we take pride in changing out the flowers at the Broadway/Henderson fountains, the dome flowers at the monumental sign at Henderson/Normal, in front of Academic and around Kent Library, just to name a few,” she said. “This not only provides opportunity for seasonal color but also keeps the landscape looking fresh. Over the past year, we also have replaced the landscaping around the Student Recreation Center and added new plantings at Dempster and Johnson Hall.”
Cape Girardeau’s Beautiful Property of the Month award has been given since 2012. Previous recipients have included: Capaha Bank, Chick-fil-A, Cox Accounting, Philanthropy, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, SoutheastHealth, Saint Francis Medical Center and more, Thompson said.
Members of the City of Cape Girardeau’s Keep Cape Beautiful Committee are Brian Langlois, owner/operator of Bellevue Bed and Breakfast; Kasie Essner, citizen; Pat Dahl, retired art professor; Laura Ritter, realtor; Becky Mocherman, citizen; Mike Tripp, Public Works; Brock Davis, parks manager; Loretta Schneider, Cape Girardeau City Council member; and Thompson.