Rochester Magazine is a monthly publication covering local entertainment, style and culture in Rochester, Minnesota
How Mayo Clinic and Nick Queensland Get Their Grounds Ready for Winter
Rochester Magazine, December 2019
Back in 1997, when Nick Queensland was a 19-year-old college student looking for summer work on the Mayo Clinic grounds, he never expected to find his life’s calling.
But he quickly learned that the thoughtful, evolving landscape supported the Mayo Clinic’s healing mission in ways he’d never considered before. So he came on full time as a groundskeeper in 2001, ultimately working his way up to supervisor in 2016.
Now his team of eight (with the help of added seasonal staff at peak workload times) is responsible for designing and maintaining 200 acres of green space, flower and shrub beds, prairie, and woods in and around Rochester.
But things really get interesting in winter. Every time it snows, his team and outside snow removal contractors work together to clear more than 15 miles of sidewalk and 110 acres of parking lot and roadway. They shovel 800 steps and more than 250 doorways multiple times a day. It’s a massive undertaking, but Queensland and his team know just how important it is.
We thought we’d ask what winter is like for this critical segment of the care team at Mayo Clinic.
—Maggie Ginsberg is an award-winning freelance writer and monthly columnist in Madison, Wisconsin