Above, the Rose Garden on GCC's Batavia Campus.
Submitted photos and press release:
It is finally finished! This past summer the multiyear parking lot project at Genesee Community College's Batavia Campus was completed, which established a new, expanded and safer configuration of the 12-acre parking lot.
Perhaps most significantly, the project introduced a new pedestrian walkway that connects the west and east sides of campus giving those who walk to the new Richard C. Call Arena from the new Student Success Center or main building the opportunity to enjoy an 18,000-square-foot garden space that is approximately 720 feet long.
Under the leadership of Senior Groundskeeper Dennis Pietrzykowski, the GCC grounds crew took full advantage of the planting season and their in-house expertise to fill five themed garden areas that flank each side of the walkway. Each with a unique theme, the five gardens incorporate plants chosen specifically to create a medley of color, shape and texture for every season.
As visitors walk west from the College's main building to the Call Arena, they will enjoy:
- Island One -- The Buffering Boxwoods creating a formal garden bed complete with the boxwood hedges and in the spring a bed of crocuses and daffodils will pop up to shake off winter.
- Island Two -- The Restful Retreat features locust trees and a quiet cozy area of lawn to invite visitors to slow down and maybe stop to relax and sit upon the provided park benches.
- Island Three -- The Woodland Garden features eight new trees including the red oaks and American sycamore to provide plenty of opportunity for bird life and shade in the summer.
- Island Four -- The Butterfly Garden is filled with a wide variety of flowering plants, from spireas to azaleas, hydrangeas to day lilies and dwarf lilacs -- all designed to attract butterflies and other insects throughout the warmer seasons.
- Island Five -- The Rose Garden at the western end offers bright colors and fragrant blooms in season, and greets incoming traffic and guests as they approach campus from College Road West. Six different kinds of roses are featured, as well as 20 other flowering species.
- Finally, back at the most easterly edge of GCC's new Garden Walkway are 10 huge planters, each sponsored by a different student club with a variety of plants selected and planted by the students and their advisors.
"In total, the new gardens added 50 large trees in more than a dozen varieties and more than 2,500 plants to the Batavia Campus," Pietrzykowski said. "But my personal favorite is called Harry Lauder's Walking Stick -- it has curly branches and looks its best in the winter months. Everyone should visit campus to find it. Here's a hint, it's in one of the more formal gardens."
The team introduced more than 130 tons of new top soil to accommodate all of the trees, shrubs, bulbs plants and other materials. In addition, the College was proud to work with all local businesses, contractors and suppliers to complete the project.
"We purchased everything locally," Pietrzykowski said. "I had all the suppliers on speed-dial and they were great."
Below, resealing the parking lots at GCC was another important component of the project.
Below, the GCC Grounds Crew this summer standing near the Rose Garden. From left, Dennis Pietrzykowski, Mikala Bush, Jeff Engle, Kennedy Lampart, Ben Bakos, Ricky Bezon and John Kingdollar.