Q and A with Shannon Britton
- SU Grounds and Landscaping Manager
When Shannon Britton was considering a job opening at Seattle University as grounds and landscaping manager, she came to the campus on a Sunday in spring with a mission. She picked a less frenetic day so she could hear the birds, smell the blossoms, experience nature at SU.
"To engage with that in an intensely urban setting convinced me I'd found the right place," she says.
Britton explains just a few ways she invites community participation and links the neighborhood with the beauty of the campus landscape.
What about your job connects you best to the community?
Since I arrived last June, I've enjoyed exploring what we can do on the grounds of Seattle U to feed us in mind, body and spirit. We are pursuing improved landscape aesthetics on the James and Jefferson corridors with the community and sustainability in mind.
I love opportunities to get involved with the community. Sustainable living and landscaping is about that, both now and in the future with the global changes that are happening.
You're working to preserve bees in the urban environment. Can you describe the pollinator pathway project and how it connects university and community?
As we learn about bees, we're planting to increase their population for better food production.
The Squire Park Community Council is working on getting a grant to explore ways to create a stronger pollinator pathway in the neighborhood east of campus, something SU also has been investigating on campus. Squire Park wants us to be part of the project to strengthen its proposal. We're just beginning those conversations.
In what other ways do the grounds of SU link with the community?
The SU campus is an urban oasis of lush, iconic gardens. The open borders of campus invite the community to experience that.
People walk their dogs here a lot. I think it's great those in the community feel they can do that. It's great for those on campus, too.
Do you offer tours if community members want to know more about SU's grounds, plantings or compost tea operation?
We offer tours on request to anyone interested. Often they're school kids, garden clubs, senior citizens, youth at risk. Typically, a tour group might be five or more people.
We don't need much notice, maybe a few weeks to a month, and several of our gardeners are terrific tour guides. To arrange a tour, people can call grounds and landscaping at 296-6440 or call me directly at 296-6439.