The Quad at Utah State University got an all-new look for this year’s Fourth of July.
On Thursday, USU Facilities employees cut and trimmed the university’s grassplot to resemble the stars and stripes of the American flag. Landscape Operations and Maintenance Manager Shane Richards said it was the first time they attempted to mow the Quad in such a way. Inspired by the Fourth of July holiday and residential lawn art, Richard said the recreation of the flag is also beneficial for his team at USU.
For Richards, the recreation of the flag — and similar projects — give Facilities workers a creative, enjoyable outlet that keeps them engaged. Richards said his team thrives on being able to use their skills in an inventive way.
“If we have an occasional project they can put a lot of pride in, it helps really build a good atmosphere here at USU,” Richards said. “My team gets pretty excited when we try to do something that’s out-of-the-box and a little bit original.”
Assistant Foreman Jess Daines said it’s also a way to give back to the community in the spirit of celebration.
“I think it’s one of the best holidays,” Daines said.
Richards said Facilities’ flag recreation is around 460 feet long and 240 feet wide, and includes 14-foot stars that workers measured and laid out by hand; workers used a template to cut around, making each star nearly identical.
Daines said the project was planned over the course of two and a half days and took nearly 8 hours to complete.
“My worst fear is that I mess up one star out of the 50,” Richards said with a laugh. “It’s grass — we can’t repaint it and we can’t fix it, because we’re mowing these in.”
“We did a lot of planning, a lot of measuring and calibrating and making sure it was going to be perfect,” Daines said. “We kind of knew what we were getting into, but at the same time, we were going to execute it perfectly.”
Richards said the reaction to the project has been positive and encouraging, with many passersby asking about it. The fruits of their labor, however, will be short lived.
“We mow it again on Monday,” Daines said. “We’re hoping that we might mow it mid-week next week — we’ll see what kind of growth we have.”