Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 9, 2003 -- The Magill Courtyard at Southeast Missouri State University has a new look, thanks to the hard work of 15 students in the HO430 “Senior Landscape and Turf Grass Management” class.

The students have planted 25 new shrubs and more than 100 different perennials, and have installed a brick patio, benches, a rock planter/fountain, trellis and bird bath in the Magill Courtyard, said Dr. Derald Harp, assistant professor of agriculture, who teaches the course. The courtyard previously had only grass, three trees and two shrubs.

The horticulture students, all juniors and seniors, began the semester by dividing into two groups, with each group crafting a potential redesign of the courtyard. Later, the entire class agreed on one design, after which the students rolled up their sleeves and went to work.

First, the students cleaned and made adjustments in the courtyard. Next, they solicited donations from Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and Facilities Management to cover the cost of materials associated with the upgrades. Sam’s Club awarded the students a $500 environmental grant. Wal-Mart provided a $25 gift certificate. Lowe’s donated plants, compost and other materials valued at $600, and Facilities Management at the University provided additional compost and mulch.

The students removed the grass in the courtyard, replacing it with a garden of plants, shrubs and other amenities, Harp said. They also developed an 8 X 17 brick patio in the courtyard with bricks they acquired from a more than century-old home being torn down in Gordonville, Mo.

“They’ve done a terrific job with it,” Harp said. “They have been involved in all phases of this project – landscape, design and solicitation. It’s been a very good all around experience for them.”

The students have recently completed the project with some final planting and spreading of free mulch they acquired from the City of Cape Girardeau.

The first phase of the project is now complete, and a student seeking an experiential learning opportunity will be charged with maintaining it, he said.

Students taking the course in spring 2005 will complete the second phase, which calls for extending the courtyard’s handicap ramp, making the ramp surface harder and making the courtyard more accessible for anyone wanting to use it.

Harp says HO430 is offered every other spring at Southeast. Two years ago, the class prepared a 5,000-square foot bed at the site of the University’s planned new greenhouse complex behind the University’s new softball fields at Bertling and Sprigg.


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