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Vote Now for This Year’s Greening Awards!

Posted on: August 14th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

The Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District is rewarding sustainable design and attention to the environment again!

Click here to vote now for this year’s Annual Greening and Public Realm Awards. The recent redesign of the MCTC outdoor plaza created a lush backyard for the campus that allows Loring Park’s presence to be felt here at the College. MCTC received Greening awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Want to learn more about the plaza redesign, the sustainable design and the flora that are carefully tended? Come take a tour of the outdoor plaza on Opening Day, Wednesday, Aug. 19 at noon. All MCTC students, faculty, staff and members of the community are invited to learn more about the plaza redesign, campus and city sustainability efforts and plants at the tour. Questions are welcome! The tour will be rescheduled in the case of inclement weather.

Again, to vote in this year’s Annual Greening and Public Realm Awards, click here or visit http://www.minneapolisdid.com/greeningawards.

Sustainability Efforts to be Highlighted on MCTC Plaza Tour

Posted on: August 13th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

IMG_1925-smAnyone who visited the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) outdoor plaza more than three years ago might not recognize it today.

Following three years of extensive development and redesign aimed at upgrading facilities, mitigating stormwater runoff, beautifying the campus and connecting the College aesthetically to its Loring Park, Walker Art Center and Downtown Minneapolis neighbors, the MCTC plaza reopened in 2013 as a lush, inviting canvas of natural plants, grasses and flowers where once acres of concrete sprawled.

The redesign won accolades from the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, which has awarded Greening Awards to the college for the redesign and its sustainable rain gardens in 2012, 2013 and 2014. (Vote now for this year’s Greening Awards!)

“This redesign not only allowed for the completion of deferred maintenance on campus, it also helped us manage stormwater runoff and brought Loring Park up into campus,” said MCTC Director of Facilities Roger Broz. “The College is now gardening on a municipal level.”

In addition, the impeccable upkeep devoted to this lush landscape by MCTC Gardener and Grounskeeper Randy Rau caught the attention of local experts. Randy’s expertise was tapped by the Lynnhurst Garden Club for a tour of the native plants, and he led 16 active gardeners through the grounds this week, connecting the current flora with sustainability and aesthetic efforts behind the redesign.

Randy will repeat his tour of the MCTC outdoor plaza on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at noon. All MCTC students, faculty, staff and members of the community are invited to learn more about the plaza redesign, campus and city sustainability efforts and plants at the tour. Questions are welcome! The tour will be rescheduled in the case of inclement weather.

Randy Rau: Bringing a Green Thumb to Campus

Posted on: August 13th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Randy Rau, MCTC gardener and groundskeeperRandy Rau likes to get his hands dirty.

As the College’s official gardener and groundskeeper, Randy is the face behind MCTC’s lush, blooming outdoor plaza.

“I’m all self-taught,” he said. “I read a lot of books. I don’t have a degree in gardening—just a general interest and lots of work experience.” Before MCTC, Randy worked at Bachman’s floral headquarters in south Minneapolis, and before that at Gertens Greenhouses.

Continuing his hobby at home, Randy’s hard work won the attention of his like-minded peers in the local Lynnhurst Garden Club. Connecting the community to his work at the College, Randy led 16 gardeners on a tour of the recently remodeled outdoor plaza, its flora and rain gardens intended to mitigate stormwater runoff.

“There’s a big divide between how you garden at home and gardening on the level of this college,” said Randy. “Finding the right balance of upkeep and ensuring the diversity of plants winds up being trial and error.”

Gardening is not only Randy’s profession and hobby. It’s also his love.

“My wife and I met when we both worked at Bachmans,” he said. “So we definitely share that interest.”

Last fall, Randy’s expertise landed him a high-profile role: in honor of the College’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon military support initiative, Randy was asked to select and plant a tree in a prominent spot on the MCTC plaza. He planted a young red oak just above one of the rain gardens, and took part in the ceremony with honor. (See photos from the ceremony here.)

“As an Air Force and Navy reservist, I was proud to be recognized both as a veteran and a gardener,” he said. “Once as a Navy Reservist, I spent eight months in Kuwait. My wife took care of our garden at home while I was gone. I was never so glad to see green as I was when I came home.”

The impeccable upkeep Randy devotes to the College’s lush landscape caught the attention of some local experts. Randy’s expertise was tapped by the Lynnhurst Garden Club for a tour of the native plants, and he led 16 active gardeners through the grounds this summer, connecting the current flora with sustainability and aesthetic efforts behind the redesign.

Randy will repeat his tour of the MCTC outdoor plaza on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at noon. All MCTC students, faculty, staff and members of the community are invited to learn more about the plaza redesign, campus and city sustainability efforts and plants at the tour. The tour will be rescheduled in the case of inclement weather. Questions are welcome!

MCTC Receives Greening Award

Posted on: October 2nd, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments
MCTC rain gardenThe Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) has awarded MCTC a Greening Award for Best Open Space Green Infrastructure for environmental updates made to its outdoor plaza during recent workforce development renovations.“With the high caliber of projects recognized as nominees in your category, and the level of public participation in the nomination and voting process, this recognition is a strong statement about the quality of the work you have done to make your property and Downtown Minneapolis overall a greener and more welcoming place,” DID wrote in its award letter.

The Greening and Public Realm Awards recognize property owners, businesses and community groups who have created and maintained public green spaces that help to enhance downtown Minneapolis. MCTC also received Greening awards in 2013 for its Fine Arts plaza as well as for its Urban Farm Collective student club’s urban agriculture presence.

“We are proud to receive this award for green infrastructure,” said Roger Broz, MCTC facilities director.This project improves campus and neighborhood communities by providing a green corridor connection between Harmon and Loring Park. The design significantly reduces surface water runoff as well, and supports our campus climate commitments.”

In 2009 MCTC signed on to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Campus initiatives like the plaza renovation, urban garden and the Three-legged Frog environmental club support this initiative through on-campus events, activities and campaigns.

Photo: One of several new rain gardens on the MCTC campus.