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John Reitman

By John Reitman

For UF turfgrass program, centennial celebration will come again next year


The University of Florida Plant Science Research and Education facility in Citra. File photo by John Reitman

How many times does one turn 100?

For the University of Florida turfgrass program, the answer is at least twice.

Big plans were in place throughout the year to celebrate the UF turfgrass program's centennial anniversary. That all changed in late September.

After Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida on Sept. 28, creating a trail of death and destruction in its wake, the university turf program 100-year anniversary that includes a golf tournament, research field day and reception will have to wait until next year - when the program turns 101.

"Everything north and west of Gainesville was untouched," said UF turf professor Bryan Unruh, Ph.D.

The rest of the state was hit hard. Very hard.

Ian made landfall Sept. 28 in Lee County in Southwest Florida on a northeasterly track before making landfall again in South Carolina on Sept. 30. Ian has been blamed for more than 100 deaths, and damage in the U.S.  could be as high as $70 billion, according to Forbes. 

"My sense is that it is postponed and we'll do it next year," Unruh said. "It didn't seem appropriate with so many people suffering."

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