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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Campus Beautification

Students, staff and faculty plant flowers in annual campus tradition.

Amanda Dyslin, Mankato Free Press, 5-7-2014

(Photo at left: Joann Jaqua, from the Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation office, plants flowers Tuesday on campus during the annual campus beautification day. Mankato Free Press photo by Pat Christman.)

(Photo at right: Zach Fossum (front) and Gordie Wintersteen plant flowers on the Minnesota State Mankato mall Tuesday afternoon on Beautification Day. Mankato Free Press photo by Amanda Dyslin.)

Mankato, Minn. -- Zach Fossum and Gordie Wintersteen decided this was the year they were going to get their hands dirty to clean up their campus at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The Minnesota State Mankato senior and junior, respectively, had wanted to take part in the annual tradition of Campus Beautification Day last year, but finals and stuff got in the way.

This year? No excuses — just a beautiful 60-degree Tuesday afternoon, dozens of annuals and a few hours of giving back.

“It’s just a good chance to add to the experience here,” Fossum said.

A hot-dog luncheon kicked off the day before dozens of students, faculty and staff fanned out to clean up weeds and debris and plant flowers in the numerous pots, planters and planting beds around campus.

“A lot of folks on campus have been doing this for years,” said Ron Fields, assistant vice president for facilities management. “It’s part of their stewardship of campus. They take pride in it.”

Gary Urban, a staff member in finance and administration, and Carol Reedstrom, a staff member in the geography department, are two people who match that description; they volunteer every year to make their campus pretty. And there’s also the fun factor of walking by a planter every day and knowing the flowers were planted by their hands.

The entire version of this story can be read in a print copy of the Mankato Free Press. Call the Mankato Free Press at 625-4451 or (800) 657-4662 to find out how to purchase a print copy. The Free Press also prints select stories online at

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