Beautification Committee provides color on LRSC campus

Erin Wood, LRSC
Beautiful petunias in bloom accent a sidewalk flower bed, tended by Audrey Myklebust and Doreen Hoffman.

Group members give time, talents to keep the

campus lovely all season through

The Lake Region State College Campus Beautification Committee continues to provide a colorful exterior aesthetic through floral gardening.

It’s all in the details. Small things that people tend to take for granted add colorful elements and dramatic differences. For such a reason as this, members of the Campus Beautification Committee have been working diligently all summer long to keep Lake Region State College flourishing with color.

The Campus Beautification Committee has been a part of Lake Region State College’s Community College Foundation for more than 20 years. Initiated by the late Lois Jones, a devoted friend and advocate of LRSC, the committee became an official group when daughter Laurel Goulding, vice president of advancement, began working for the college.

“Each year, members will adopt a flower bed for the season,” said Goulding.

After meeting once in May for training, it is then up to the members to plan their own floral design by choosing plants from local nurseries or their own personal gardens. While working at their own pace members will plant, water, and weed their gardens throughout the summer.

“Members shop for the flowers, but it is the college that will cover the cost. The only expenses to our members are their time and talent,” said Goulding.

Goulding went on to add, the amount of time volunteered depends on several factors such as the weather.  A hot dry summer such as this year will require more time spent watering. Members can also form a team and adopt the same flower bed to share the responsibilities.

Ideally a large variety of plants allow for blooming color throughout the entire summer with an extra pop in the fall for when students return. Gardeners will also design their flower beds in such a way to include perennial and annual flowers.

Made up of 14 members, this year’s committee has taken on seven locations around campus to ensure a pleasing oasis for any one passing by. Flower beds can be seen anywhere from high trafficked areas of walkways and entrances to tucked away places like the president’s patio.

Audrey Myklebust, member of the Campus Beautification Committee, has adopted a flower bed for the past four years.

“I first got started with floral gardening on the farm about 14 years ago,” said Mykelbust.

“I would get flowers from friends, plant them on the farm and then move my favorites to Devils Lake. Gardening is a great therapy for me and I enjoy seeing the smiles it brings to others. It’s also fun to look at the flower beds tended by others, get ideas, and just appreciate the time they are spending to make the campus look great.”

Other members on the committee include: Doreen Hoffman, Dianne Gunderson, Cathy Olson, Julie Traynor, Valerie Bauske, Tammy Myer, Tammy Riggin, Celeste Ertelt, Christine Blanchfield, Don Jorgenson, Merideth Jorgenson, Dennis Kitsch, Cathy Jacobson, and Laurel Goulding.

Students, employees, and visitors are able to learn who the caretakers are by signs posted at each bed recognizing the gardener(s).

Goulding believes the success of this group is in part due to people’s passion to share their expertise, with gardening as a special type of contribution for them to make.

“We are just blessed at how committed people in the community are to the college in all aspects,” she said.

Goulding has big plans and aspirations for the landscaping around campus but will require the hands and talent of many who enjoy working outdoors. Individuals or groups within the community can volunteer to share their abilities of cultivating a beautiful landscape through gardening.

“If you have any interest in flowers, start by tag-teaming with someone else to see if this is something you would enjoy,” added Mykelbust. It is a one time commitment from May through fall, but for many, like Mykelbust, you just may find yourself coming back year after year.

It is never too early to express interest in tending a garden for next spring. For more information, call the Community College Foundation Office at 701-662-1520.