University of Minnesota
UofM: University Services

Beautiful U Day.

Beautiful U Day 1997

President Yudof, a strong advocate of preservation and appropriate development of the natural and historic beauty of our campus, is seeking the involvement of faculty, staff and students in a campaign to clean up and beautify the University campuses.


What needs to be done and how can you help?

  • Flower Gardens
    • Plant maroon and gold mums @ 6-8 key entrances
    • Flowering tree plantings along rim of East Bank bluff
    • Implementing landscape teaching/research projects
    • Assessing garden "adoption" opportunities
    • Assessing indoor garden opportunities
    • Expanded winter "light gardens"
  • Grounds includes graffiti hotline 4-3351
    • Removal of all existing graffiti by early October
    • Reinstitute the graffiti hotline - (612) 624-3351
    • Prioritize street and sidwalk maintenance; i.e., replacement of light bulbs/lenses on outdoor light fixtures
    • Street/sidewalk sweeping and cleanup
    • Street, sidewalk, bike lane restoration plans
  • Outdoor Recycling Containers/Cigarette Urns
    • Improve recycling container appearance and visibility
    • Increased maintenance of cigarette urns
    • Solicit suggestions for placement of additional exterior recycling containers and solutions to cigarette problems
  • Indoor Recycling includes Recycling Extravaganza schedule
  • It's Official! 213,851 lbs/or, 106 tons
  • Building Painting and Critical Needs
    • Publish public area painting schedules
    • Identify building/room cleanout scope
    • Look to Building Captains for ideas
    • Feedback on day-to-day issues should be directed to FM Zone Offices
  • Bulletin Boards
    • Cleanup/repair/painting of all outdoor bulletin boards
    • 8-12 West Bank locations already completed
    • Arranging for "adoption" thereafter
    • Input from Building Captains on needs within buildings
    • Posting policy guidelines for interior bulletin boards
  • University Signage
  • Identification of Critical Needs (includes Washington Ave. Bridge facelift)
    • Washington Avenue bridge facelift
    • Repaint Wilkins Hall pedestrian suspension bridge
    • Repair Washington Avenue median fencing
    • Student partnership on design/implementation of "Donhowe Park"
    • Explore West Bank green space opportunities
    • Prioritize other projects as identified



Hear what others are saying...

"The west side of Wilson Library has always been a windy, icy, nasty place in the winter. We always had a little relief there because of the evergreens that were part of the old landscaping. Those trees and shrubs disappeared as the site was prepared for the Carlson construction."

"I always wanted to put a bird feeder in the shelter of the evergreens, myself, and never quite had the nerve to impose what I wanted on the official plans--never knew whom to ask, either. Perhaps you can figure out how to get those evergreens back, and how to get a birdfeeder in."

"First of all, if you can pass the word along, the campus is finally beginning to shape up. I have been in the process of visiting other colleges and universities looking for a school for my son and U of MN looks pretty shabby in comparison to so many other places. The improvements are much needed and appreciated."

"The "sore spot" for me are the number of cigarette butts and garbage that accumulate in the courtyard between the health sciences area. It is particularly embarrassing when patients are brought to the courtyard to sit among the discards of the many cigarette smokers. By the same token, the newly planted area
between Diehl Hall and Phillips-Wangensteen area is beautiful from outside and inside views from office. Thanks a lot."

"It is gratifying to hear of the effort to make the campus a more welcoming place. Every time I visit another campus I am always struck by what an incredibly inhospitable physical environment exists at the U of M. The physical environment for us on the West Bank fosters a commuter and isolation mentality that is the exact opposite of what the university experience should be. One can't help but wonder if there has been a conscious design to get people to spend as little time on the campus as possible. There is no place for students/faculty/staff to comfortably relax for a bagged lunch or coffee, forcing everyone to retreat into their offices instead of congregating for conversations. At a minimum, I would hope that the Take Pride in U campaign target as highest priorities the following in an attempt to foster a sense of community:
1) more greenspace on the West Bank to replace the concrete horror. At a minimum, more comfortable benches would be a first step.
2) inside the West Bank complex, there is a desperate need for somewhere to relax in between classes, for lunch, etc."

"Congratulations to all involved in this project. One major sore spot is the vending area in basement commons area between Architecture, Civil Engineering and Shepherd Labs, on the Mpls. Campus. The concrete triangle [was it meant to be a planter once??] acts as a giant ashtray. Really disgusting!"

"That whole area on the west side of the bridge needs environmental engineering. It's a wide open space that mixes pedestrians and bike traffic and the only attempt at accident prevention is a bunch of ugly bike lanes painted on the concrete (which, by the way, monopolize the space -- It's walkers beware!!). Maybe some of those big concrete planters we have here on Church street could be utilized to direct traffic, control biker speed, and protect walkers. Well, that's my two cents worth!!"

"The windows on the buildings on the mall are disgusting. Have the windows washed!! We cannot even see outside most offices."

"It would be wonderful to have clean windows!!!!! Nolte Center is indeed a very old building with years of gunk built up on the windows."

"The walls in the men's first and second floor bathrooms in Smith Hall are a nightmare of depravity. It makes me sick to use them and I have been trying to get them cleaned up for years. The same is true of the first floor rest room in the Union."

"I'd like to praise the St. Paul Campus in general, a hidden gem in its own right, particularly the landscaping and flowers that are so thoughtfully and pridefully planted. I'd also like to put in a plug for the grassy mall area behind Bell Museum and Nolte Center. They are redoing the sidewalks back there soon. It is a relaxing, quiet place to sit and it is unknown to many people. It would be nice to plant some flowers or a few trees in that area, since it is now only a flat grassy area with sidewalks on the perimeter and one walkway crossing diagonally through it."

"Regarding your request for suggestions to improve the appearance of the U, I would like to suggest that bare lightbulbs in Walter library be replaced with a more attractive clear bulb. This would be especially valuable in the entrance and hallway areas."

"I would like to see more benches on campus. There are concrete benches outside many of the buildings on the mall, but a noted absence in other spaces on campus. I work in Fraser Hall, it's a high traffic building and I think it would be an appreciated addition to have "park" type benches outside in front of the building on both sides of the main entrance. I think benches should be added in park type settings, creating little restful spots all around campus, even on the Washington Ave. Bridge. Just think how pleasant it could be to sit on the bridge and watch the river flow by. By adding a few grouping of benches and maybe some large plant containers on the bridge it would soften the hard concrete and metal edges. Well, you asked for suggestions. Thanks for your consideration."

"Sore spots to clean up:
1. Abandoned bicycles locked to bike racks.
2. Broken and bent bike racks, e.g. north of McNeal Hall on St. Paul Campus"

"During the construction on the new medical building next to Coffman, a chain link fence was constructed near the student dorm on the west side of Coffman (down the steps). The chain link fence was finally pulled down, but the posts still stand. Some have these have been bent by either wandering cars or flexing students. Not only are they an eyesore, they're dangerous in the dark. Moreover, two stop signs were posted at the end of the fence for students and parkers to cross without bloodying someone's car bumper. Recently, one stop sign was removed while the other stayed. It would make more sense to me to either take them both down or put them both up."

"The new look of the Pleasant Street side of Folwell is terrific. But there still are not enough spaces to lock bikes. This often means that bikes are locked to railings or signs, which is both unsightly and dangerous. Please consider more bike racks near Folwell. The space between Williamson and Folwell would be perfect. Thanks."

"Can anything be done about the ugly median strip and chain-link fence on Washington Avenue that runs from the Washington Avenue bridge and ends at the intersection of Church Street and Washington Avenue. It is rusted, bent, damaged, and ugly! Its purpose is valid; it is to prevent people from jaywalking across Washington Avenue, which would indeed be dangerous to pedestrians and drivers. But could the fence be given some kind of decorative overlay? (Washington Avenue is also a Minneapolis Street and a U.S. Highway, so perhaps several governmental units will need to be involved.) Dressing it up would certainly improve the South Mall area. Moreover, it is only a few yards away from where the spot President Yudof kicked off the current beautification campaign. Please pass this on to the steering committee. Thank you."

"Here are a few that we would like to have considered for Akerman Hall:
1) To put an outside sign that actually says that this is Akerman Hall. Currently there is very small sign that says Aeronautical Engineering which does not reflect the current department name or correct building name.
2) Painting and new tiles for room 7 in Akerman Hall so it is more usable space. We have just finished removing junk from this room.
3) Many of the classrooms in Akerman Hall could use new blinds; the current ones do not function properly or are falling apart. A few of these classrooms could use some painting as well."

"These are other items that could be done, but I'm not sure if they are part of your scope...
1) Wash windows.
2) Wash the lower part of hallway walls.
3) In our shop area, it could be painted and one section needs new flooring or a possible cement floor.
4) Some outside landscaping particularly on the Union Street side would be nice.
5) Make the downstairs men's bathroom into a real women's bathroom; currently, we just changed the signs on the door."

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