Grounds Maintenance Worker (Episode 29)


From pest control to water management, there’s a lot more to grounds keeping
than you might think. Hi. Adrien? Yes. I’m Viviana. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you, too. My name is Adrien Van Dyk. I’m assistant superintendent of Tobiano Golf
Course, Turf Care Department. This looks cool. Are we working on this, today? Yeah, we’re going to take
this out on the course. And you can grab a cart
and follow me out, if you like. The landscaping and grounds maintenance world
includes a lot of different aspects. You can basically look after
anything that grows. Grass, trees, plants. Grounds maintenance can cover, um,
a vast array of things, as well. Road upkeep, trail maintenance, stone work, a lot of leveling of ground, spraying fertilizers, spraying pesticides, maintaining a bunker, so raking sand. A typical day for me, uh, arrive at 5:30. Usually myself and the other managers will have a brief meeting to discuss what we’re going to do for the day. And we head out on course about six o’clock. The bunker. Okay, this is the bunker, so this is where you get to start
on your first day, here. Uh-huh. It’s a practice we do, uh, on a daily basis. Two people normally take four and a half hours
to do 95 bunkers, so— Wow. —very fast pace. Basically, you rake all the edges and the bottom, smooth it out so the golfer,
if he hits his ball in here, he can hit it out easily onto the green. Basically forward and reverse. Drive it all in, and I’ll explain the rest. Whoo! First thing, normally, that you start with
is raking bunkers, And once you master that, then you can move
on to different machines. As your skills get better and better, then you get to operate
more expensive machinery. For example, if you’re shaping a lawn, someone’s residential lawn,
that you’re gonna grow grass on, you need to be able to really use your tools to make it a perfectly smooth surface. You use special instruments like lasers and levels to make sure that you have a, you know, exact elevations and exact grades. So, it’s a, you know, there’s rough work with machinery, but you also have to do fine-tune work, extremely detail-oriented. I would say that’s probably one of the most
important things in my job. So, how did I do? You did really well. What was my time? It only took you five minutes. That’s not bad! Not bad, at all and I hardly helped. [Viviana laughs.] So, do I have a job? You’re hired. [Viviana laughs.] I started out as a grounds keeper, labourer,
doing the smallest jobs. And I would say, it was during that period that I basically decided this is what I want to do. Eventually went to university. I did a four-year degree in horticulture, which covered, um, a lot of different topics. Trees, plants, landscape design,
turf grass management. If you’re not sure you want to make
the commitment for a four-year program, you can take a two-week short course
or a semester online. So you don’t have to go take
a four-year degree in horticulture, just to find out whether you want
to be in the industry or not. A good thing about this industry is that,
um, you can enter it as a labourer and as long as you do that and do a good job,
you can continually move up. For my case, an assistant superintendent. And then I can go to superintendent. And then it might be, um,
a director of grounds position. And, which could turn into
a general manager position. Depending on how far you want to go with it, the sky’s the limit for opportunities in this industry. A lot of people think it’s just
cutting grass for, for us. It’s, it’s a really broad spectrum of sciences, um, an ecologist and a biologist,
and everything rolled into one. Just the fact that I get to spend
all day outside. I get to see the sun come up every day. That’s an extremely rewarding
part of this job. I’ve been doing this for about ten years,
and just absolutely love it. And for anyone who loves the outdoors, anyone who loves working with their hands, loves being very active, um, you know, this is an industry for them. Adrien, thank you so much. I had a great time. You’re passionate about your job and it shows. Once again, this is Career Trek and I’m Viviana, reminding you that this career could be yours. We’ll see you next time.

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