Did you know Buncombe County’s ground crew maintains more than 800 acres of property? It’s no small task to keep our facilities looking top notch. The grounds crew is part of the County’s General Services Department and staying on top of lawn and associated maintenance is just one the many services they provide. In addition, the 15-member team maintains 14 emergency services transmitting tower sites, seven miles of gravel roads that access those sites, and much more.
With summer in full swing, we asked our grounds crew how they take care of County lawns, what kind of gear they use, and what tips they have on keeping your yard looking its best. Here’s what the County’s Grounds Maintenance Supervisor Steve Sams has to say.
How many acres of land are General Services responsible for maintaining?
Just over 800 acres of land countywide.
How often does each property need attention?
All parks, pools, libraries, County buildings are visited once a week.
Why is it important to keep properties looking nice?
We promote a high level of service to our citizens and each property should look its very best for first impressions.
What type of work goes into maintaining those properties?
Mowing, trimming, planting, sowing seeds, blowing trash, leaf and debris pick-up, snow removal, sidewalk salting, tree removal, and trimming.
What kind of equipment do you use?
Commercial Z mowers. They save time as they are more productive than conventional mowers. We also utilize: string trimmers, chainsaws, hedge trimmers, backhoe, dump truck, tractor, Bobcat, fork lifts, stump grinder, 24-foot trailers, heavy duty trucks with scrape blades for snow and ice removal. Salt trucks also for snow and ice removal. We also do heavy hauling requiring CDL CLASS A driver’s license.
What tips do you have for mowing?
Always mow your grass at a 3-inch setting. And the more lime you use the better your yard will look since we have so much red clay in the County that grass is growing on.
What’s the best thing about the work you do?
Working outside, coworkers, teamwork, nice equipment, working conditions, and the compliments we get on our work.