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Behind the scenes with Notre Dame landscapers

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - ABC 57 is introducing you to the landscapers who keep Notre Dame’s campus game-day ready.

“To come here and look at this, it’s like coming to Disney World for a kid,” said Kameron Riddle, a groundskeeper.

“I’m a flower person. I love flowers. Most guys don’t, but I do,” said Matt Brazo, a horticulturist at Notre Dame.

It’s a good thing he does, because he has a lot he needs to monitor.

“We got 1500 individual plants in the geranium beds, and then we have the annual flatbed, which there’s 48 plants to a flat. We put in about 600 flats in specific beds, and we change those up every year,” said Brazo.

That’s a total of 28,800 plants they change out every year.

“It’s thousands, thousands of bushes that got to be trimmed,” said landscaping crew leader Terron Phillips.

“Trees are basically on a daily basis,” said landscape installer, Brian Anders.

He says some years, they’ve put in as many as one thousand.

With that much work, these pro-planters want to shed some light on their ‘magic formula.’

“They always wonder how you put a pattern in. There’s rollers on the back of your mower, so when you’re looking, you follow the light, so this is lighter than that side, so my next path will be down that way,” said Joe Keultjes, athletics fields groundskeeper.

“The machine that I’m pulling right now, the groomer is one of our main tools. It’s almost like you’re mowing plastic grass,” said stadium grounds crew, Chip Miltenberger.

“When I say dead-heading, you take a bud like this. It’s pretty much bloomed away, and you got to follow it down to the stem and just bust it off. What that does for you is it promotes blossoms to set on like this here, …so that’s one of our really ticklish parts,” said Brazo.

It tickles them pink to be a part of this team.

“We got a motto that we are the world’s greatest landscape crew,” said Phillips.

They certainly have the experience to boot.

Between the six of them, they have nearly a century’s—worth of experience.

“We all share a common goal, and that’s to make this place as beautiful as possible,” said Anders.

“A pristine field, a safe field and a pretty field. That’s what I’m looking for—safe and pretty,” said Joe.

“I’m proud of it. It’s something that I take pride in, knowing that I did that,” said Terron.

“It gives you the warm fuzzies inside knowing that …you know it’s beautiful…and you can go hey I did that,” said Kameron.

 “Being born and raised in South Bend, every kid’s dream is to be part of Notre Dame in some way , either being a player, student, and God-willing I got to be a part of this place,” said Chip.

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