UNM’s Fall Frenzy began about 10 years ago to kick off Homecoming Week by preparing the campus grounds for the week’s festivities.   Each fall since, ASUNM Community Experience collaborates with the Physical Plant Department (PPD) Grounds and Landscaping division to work on these campus beautification projects.

Approximately 275 students grabbed shovels and rakes, walked wheelbarrows, cleaned, and planted foliage at eight different campus locations.  Some of the projects included improving the walking paths in Tight Grove at University and Central, the planting of more than 38 shrubs by the entrance of the Cornell Parking Structure, and supporting UNM sustainability efforts by bailing cardboard and cleaning for UNM Recycling.  All in all, more than 100 flowering shrubs were planted around campus by student volunteers wearing bright blue Fall Frenzy t-shirts designed by Bianca Martinez, communications director for Community Experience. 

Jillian Martinez, a UNM senior and the executive director for Community Experience, worked closely with Willie West, manager of PPD Grounds and Landscaping, to organize the locations and landscaping projects.  “I have been involved in this event for several years, and I love to give back.  It feels good to do something for the campus and to see the finished product every day when I walk by,” Martinez said.

Southwestern landscape artist Dan Stouffer donated 275 irises for a planting on the west side of Johnson Center for this year’s Fall Frenzy. Stouffer began his decades-long relationship with the university when he worked at the UNM Press from 1972-1979.  His foreman in the binding plant gave him his first iris to plant in his home garden.  Now he has thousands of irises which he donates every year to the ABQ BioPark Zoo, Botanic Garden, and UNM. 

“I’ve always felt a connection with irises and their relationship with me and UNM has come full circle,” Stouffer said.  This is the third year that Stouffer has donated his irises to UNM for Fall Frenzy. 

This event was sponsored by ASUNM, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Physical Plant Department.