Big Orange Tractor
June 6, 2010
The landscape staff for the Boston region just acquired new equipment to help streamline tasks and save money for Historic New England. The Boston region landscape crew maintains the landscapes at the Lyman Estate, the Codman Estate, the Gropius House, and the Otis House, and helps manage several others in the area. With only two full-time staff and possibly one more seasonal employee, efficient time management is a must. With the recent purchase of a tractor and its various attachments the crew will now be better suited to perform tasks at the landscapes.
Examples of how the tractor will help Historic New England:
Road maintenance: Many of our long, long driveways are unpaved roads. Rain, winter plowing, and general use wear down the roads, creating potholes, which our landscape staff would fill as best they could by shoveling gravel out of the back of their pickup truck. Maintenance also includes keeping the proper shape, or grade, to the road to enhance water run-off. Previously, the grading work was contracted out at a cost of between $1,000 and $2,000 a year. The tractor will allow us to more efficiently fill the potholes and grade the roads on an ongoing basis.
Meadow maintenance: There are several fields at the Boston region properties that are interpreted as meadow or hay field. This means, for aesthetic purposes, we allow the grass to grow to perhaps waist-high and then we mow the lawn. Local farmers have not been interested in actually haying these fields so our landscape crew ends up mowing them two to three times per year. In the past we only had traditional lawn mowers to cut these fields. This meant that it could take up to a week to cut one field with the old equipment. The tractor will cut that mowing time down to one day. That represents a huge savings of fuel for the mowers and staff time, freeing them up to concentrate on other aspects of landscape maintenance.
Learn more about how we care for our landscapes by reading our white papers.