The University's cupids

14 February 2013

Early arrivals to the University of Sydney's historic Quadrangle on Thursday found that Cupid had been busy preparing for Valentine's Day.

Two love hearts had been mowed into the lawns, bringing a smile to the faces of University students, staff and visitors who walked through the Quadrangle, and hundreds more on social media. 

A team of groundkeepers led by John Greco lovingly tend to the Quadrangle lawns twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, to keep them at their sparkling best for important University occasions such as graduation ceremonies.

The team's Valentine's Day special sheds much-deserved attention on the work that goes into making the University of Sydney such a beautiful place to work or visit. Last year, Britain's Daily Telegraph ranked our campus among the top 10 most beautiful universities in the world. 

Greco and his team maintain the grounds from Parramatta Road to Manning Road on the Camperdown Campus. In total, 20 staff from Campus Infrastructure and Services work across four campuses to maintain 2000 trees and almost 96 hectares of grounds.

"There's a great deal of time and care which goes into maintaining our grounds," said Greco as he admired his team's work.

"There are a lot of hours that go into it - we work Saturdays, after hours and sometimes at night. But we're really proud of the reputation the University has earned for our grounds, and we love it when anyone says something good about the work we've done."

The groundkeeper specifically responsible for Thursday's heartfelt gesture, Clint Smith, mowed the hearts freehand in just 20 minutes. Clint learned his trade at perhaps the most famous patch of turf in the world: the grass courts at the All England Club at Wimbledon. But is he a hopeless romantic?

"Clint is a tough, old-fashioned fellow who loves his football. But he's a big softie on the inside," Greco says.

(L-R) Clint Smith, John Greco, Alex Younger and Dane Ballard, our campus Cupids.
(L-R) Clint Smith, John Greco, Alex Younger and Dane Ballard, our campus Cupids.


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