Landscaping Completed at Eastern MI University Student Center

By Aram Kalousdian, Editor | September 28, 2010

Landscaping work at the Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Student Center in Ypsilanti, which was recently completed, was extensive. The landscaping project covered approximately 8-1/2 acres.

"There are a lot of trees and shrubs. There is a wildflower or natural area that we also did, along with the sodding and seeding on the project," Merrill Bumstead, project manager for Margolis Nursery, Inc., of Superior Township, said. Margolis Nursery was the landscaping contractor for the project.

Brick pavers were also part of the project, along with an extensive irrigation system. An automatic irrigation system was installed for the entire site. Michigan Automatic Sprinklers, of Commerce Township, was the irrigation subcontractor for the project. The landscaping work took approximately three months to complete.

"It was an extensive project, but it had all of the same elements of projects that we normally do on a smaller scale," Bumstead said.

The project included approximately 150 deciduous trees; 31 evergreen trees; 280 shrubs; 588 ornamental grasses; 1,500 perennials; 17,000 wintercreeper ground covers; 3-1/4 acres of meadow seed (wildflower); 900 cubic yards of compost in the meadow area; 5-1/4 acres of lawn seed; over 1,000 cubic yards of topsoil; and 350 cubic yards of shredded mulch for the shrubs.

The project also included adding 14,000 pounds of element sulfur to the topsoil in order to bring the pH factor down. The pH factor in the topsoil was over 7 percent, which is a very high acidic content. Grass needs to have a 5-1/2-percent to 6-1/2-percent pH factor in order to grow properly, so the pH factor had to be brought down, Bumstead said.

"If you don't bring the pH factor down, the grass has a yellowish-green look to it," Bumstead said. He explained how the materials were handled on the project.

"We stored almost all of the material on-site. We had direct shipments," Bumstead said. Bumstead explained that the entire site was turned over to Margolis at one time.

"As they would pour the sidewalks, for example, we would follow behind them. We weren't starting at one end of the project and continuing to the other end of the project. We would go to different areas when they were ready for us. That aspect of the project and getting the material to the site when we needed it took a lot of coordination between us, the general contractor, which was Turner Construction, of Detroit, and our suppliers," Bumstead said.

Equipment on the project included Bobcat skid steers, a Case 450 dozer and a Cat loader.


Project: Eastern Michigan University Student Center landscaping

Landscaping contractor: Margolis Nursery, Inc., of Superior Township