Last fall, Daemen University partnered with Elbers Landscape Service—a local landscaping company established in 1919—to service its Amherst, N.Y. campus.
As of Oct. 1, 2022, six of the company’s crew members have worked on campus, initially concentrating on main focal areas of the university, including its front entrance, the facade of the Research and Information Commons, and Rosary Hall.
“With their staffing, equipment, and expertise, they have elevated the curb appeal of the campus for those who study or will study, live, and work here,” said Robert Rood, vice president for Business Affairs and treasurer at Daemen University.
The crew oversees the planting of flowers and trees, weed control, large-scale decorating projects, lawn and athletic field maintenance, snow removal, among other aspects of landscaping.
“All of their services help showcase our beautiful campus and create a positive first-impression for prospective students and their families,” said Lori Zimpfer-Caccamise, director of facilities management and capital projects at Daemen.
Elbers Landscape Service’s Alec Olson, grounds superintendent, said working directly on campus has allowed him and his team to establish a routine.
“We have gained feedback from university officials and students to prioritize our goals and areas of importance on campus,” explained Olson. “By identifying key areas that require regular maintenance, we have more time and opportunity to critique and fine-tune minor details.”
The company also uses heavy equipment on campus, particularly for snow removal. This equipment was used during the blizzard last December, which caused damage to the Duns Scotus building on campus.
“If the Elbers crew was not here during the December storm, we would have had to wait for an off-site firm to haul and move snow for us,” said Zimpfer-Caccamise.
She added that her employees in the Facilities Department were able to concentrate their efforts and resources on dealing with building damage.
President of Elbers Landscape Services Jim Hornung Jr. said his team was able to prepare for the storm in advance.
“They had fuel and the right equipment to react fast to mitigate damage to the university,” said Hornung.
Overall, Hornung said, “Our goal is to blend in and be there in support of the university. We are constantly checking and maintaining the landscape and we are on hand to help with needs that may arise at a moment’s notice, which makes us feel a strong connection to the university. I look forward to building on what we have already established.”