Thursday, April 16, 2015

Earth Day Archives Display

In honor of Earth Day, April 22, this month’s display highlights the work of Mel Knapton, groundskeeper at St. Kate’s from 1967 - 1976. Known as “Mr. Green Thumbs,” Knapton was recognized for his efforts in making St. Kate’s one of the most beautiful urban campuses in the nation. In addition, he was a pioneer of ecological and sustainable practices in landscape gardening long before these were widely used.

Knapton was awarded the Blue Flame Ecology Salute from the Blue Flame Gas Association in recognition of his achievements in ecology and conservation in 1972. That year, Knapton released 10,000 ladybugs on campus in an effort to control other insect pests while avoiding the use of potentially harmful pesticides.

Knapton’s work was recognized on a national level when St. Kate’s was named one of the top five best kept campuses by the Professional Grounds Management Society in 1975. He attended the awards ceremony in Williamsburg, VA and noted that St. Kate’s was the only school not on either coast that was given an award. An article was written about this achievement in St. Paul's evening newspaper, The Dispatch.

This display will be on view during the month of April on the main level of the St. Paul Library, in the case in front of the video of the carrels. Stop by to learn more!

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