2012 Green Star Award Winner Descriptions

Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich. received an Honor Award in the Hospital or Institution category. Blodgett Hospital is situated on a total of ten acres of property surrounded by upscale residential homes and adjacent to a private lake. The grounds at Blodgett Hospital consist of three outdoor healing gardens with water features, 3.2 acres of manicured lawn area, numerous landscape planting beds with ground cover and flowering annual plantings. A total of 561 trees and 193 ornamental shrubs are planted on site. Outside the hospital lobby, water cascades from rocks into the Koi pond. Courtyard plantings and healing gardens provide the signature hallmark of the landscape and respite for patients and visitors at Blodgett Hospital.  The East Healing Garden fish pond heightens the spirits of garden visitors.  A vegetative roof without an irrigation system creates a watering challenge during a season of drought. The front lawn and landscape beds at Blodgett Hospital provide the foreground of a world class health care organization.

University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y. received an Honor Award in the Hospital or Institution category. The University of Rochester Medical Center is a dynamic institution including Strong Memorial Hospital, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the School of Nursing, the Wilmot Cancer Center, and a LEEDS Certified Center for Translational Sciences. With over 10,000 employees and an equal number of patients and visitors, the Medical Center requires constant attention to detail for litter and debris in the warm months, and around the clock snow removal in the winter season. The main entrance to Strong Memorial Hospital welcomes staff, patients and visitors with curvilinear planting beds, a dry stream bed and annual/perennial flower installations throughout the entry median. Borders of color surround visitors as they enter the School of Nursing from Crittenden Blvd. The east corner of Helen Wood Hall provides a calming respite with flowering trees and shrubs, picnic tables and benches amid a bustling Medical Center and cityscape. The first bio-detention pond (rain garden) installation on the Medical Center campus sits at the edge of a porous pavement parking lot and LEEDS Gold Saunders Research Building.

Sherwood Oaks in Cranberry, Pa. received an Honor Award in the Hospital or Institution category. Sherwood Oaks is an 84 acre retirement community. The grounds include: 24 acres of mowable turf, a four acre lake, two miles of trails, 10 acres of woods, over three acres of  landscape beds, 98 buildings and four and a half miles of sidewalks which  need constant maintenance during the winter months to keep residents, guests and employees safe. A 100 plant mapped arboretum, a bentgrass croquet court and nine hole putting green, and a rooftop garden provide Sherwood Oaks residence with plenty of outdoor activities . During this past year the landscape crew constructed raised vegetable gardens and leveled an unplayable section of the croquet court.


UNC-TV Bryan Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C. received a Merit Award in the Government Building or Complex category.






Red Diamond, Inc. Headquarters in Moody, Ala. received a Grand Award in the Industrial, Commercial Site, or Office Park category. Waves of color welcome employees and visitors to the 65 acre campus.  Bermudagrass turf areas were aerified with solid tines and rolled weekly during the initial establishment period to help smooth the grade lines. over 30 native dogwoods are found on the property.  Routine monitoring and consultation with local arborists is performed in an effort to improve their health long term and protect them from anthracnose and decline. The attractive, white 4-rail fence is cleaned monthly, helping to portray the unique southern charm that the property possesses. The Zorro zoysia turf island is the pride and joy of the Grounds Department, providing lush, green color for close to 10 months out of the year.   The 4,000 square feet of Asiatic Jasmine beds are pruned and edged weekly. The entire property was designed with a long term focus and maintenance goal of quality.

Duke Center For Living Campus in Durham, N.C. received an Honor Award in the Industrial, Commercial Site or Office Park category. The twenty six acre Duke Center for Living Campus is a full service health and wellness facility located adjacent to Duke University in Durham, N.C. Visitors are greeted at both campus entrances with an array of vibrant color and greenery. Sun loving, drought tolerant plants are chosen to reduce watering requirements. This is especially important for the non-irrigated flower beds. The Wallace Clinic was the first building on the campus. This area contains small turf areas, ornamental plantings, flower beds and Liriope borders. The landscape includes open turf areas, walking paths and courtyards surrounded with perennials. Meeting the clients’ needs for service, while minimalizing the disturbances to patrons, presents a challenge. Maintenance services must be scheduled around outdoor eating, class and seminar times. The outdoor track and surrounding area is non-irrigated common Bermudagrass. Mowing must be scheduled around outdoor classes and activities.

Biltmore Estate – Antler Hill Village & Winery in Asheville, N.C. received a Grand Award in the Park, Recreation Area, or Playground category. The Biltmore Estate welcomes over one million visitors each year making the Winery the most visited Winery in the United States.  The planting beds at the Winery are typically  Cottage Garden design utilizing lots of perennials with pockets of annuals.  Shrubs and small trees provide the evergreen winter interest. The 300 foot arbor is lined with wine grapes, table grapes and perennials with pockets of annuals. Many guests extend their stay and enjoy a nice afternoon stroll through Antler Hill Village. The Cottage Garden designed landscape features two large green spaces for evening events and over 300 different types of perennials with pockets of annuals.  Silva Cells were installed during construction for trees planted in the walks to help with root growth. The Estate’s Kitchen Garden was originally part of Biltmore’s Field to Table program providing fruits and vegetables to the Estate’s Restaurants.  The Kitchen Garden now serves as a show garden for guests. The Winery landscape was installed with no irrigation.  All the annuals and perennials, shrubs, and trees are hand watered based on needs.  During dry spells this can take all week to get through. In the Kitchen Garden beds are continually maintained for color, production, or weed control.  Each bed also has a cover crop installed in it over the winter to reduce herbicide application and provide nutrients back to the soil.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland in St. Mary’s City, Md. received a Grand Award in the University and College Grounds category. The college leaves a lasting impression on visitors because of the sustainable approach to caring for the campus landscape and the breathtaking views of waterfront along the St. Mary’s river. The grounds superintendent instills an  environmental stewardship philosophy as part of St. Mary’s overall professional grounds management program. Sports fields are maintained using insect and disease resistant varieties of Bermuda, organic fertilization, compost topdressing, and environmental friendly mowing practices. Drought tolerant annuals are selected to conserve water. Naturalized areas are developed to reduce pesticide and fertilizer usage, reduce mowing emissions, and save on labor cost. Bioretention areas or rain gardens are established to slow and capture rain water run off and provide a natural habitat for wildlife. Storm water run off from roof systems is utilized in water features, restroom and green roof irrigation. St. Mary’s College of Maryland was the first college in Maryland to become Audubon International certified. This green space utilized Vamont Bermuda grass that would otherwise have been killed off with herbicide during a sports field renovation project. Reuse at its’ best!

Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa received an Honor Award in the University and College Grounds category. This 144 acre campus is comprised of 55 acres of campus turf, 12 acres of athletic turf, four acres of landscape beds,18 miles of sidewalks and 23 acres of parking lots. The remaining acreage is dedicated to natural habitat. Ten full time staff  and three seasonal employees maintain the campus. The campus boasts many perennial landscape beds. Beautiful landscaping also surrounds the reflecting pond in the heart of campus. The bronze statue “Joy of Music” sits within the landscape bed outside of the Fine Arts Center Music Hall.



Baylor University in Waco, Texas received an Honor Award the University and College Grounds category. Baylor University is home to nearly 15,000 students on over 800 acres, 350 of which is maintained regularly. There are two primary seasonal color change-outs annually with an additional installation in the fall for chrysanthemums in preparation for Homecoming. Twenty six staff focus on the details of the day-today maintenance operations on this well maintained campus.




Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. received an Honor Award in the University and College Grounds category. The campus is situated on 376 acres and is full of beautiful landscaped areas.  Some areas include brick paver meditation gardens where students can study. Lewis University has a large number of different varieties of trees which has led to their Tree Campus USA awards.  Lewis University also has numerous water features, bioswales and a scenic nature trail, all which make for a beautiful campus for all to enjoy




University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. received a Merit Award in the University and College Grounds category.






Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. received a Merit Award in the University and College Grounds category.









Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C. received a Merit Award in the University and College Grounds category.







University of NC Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C. received a Grand Award in the Urban University Grounds category. The Facilities Grounds Department team maintains 220 acres including 50 acres of sports fields and a practice golf course. Students comment regularly that one of the top reasons they selected UNCG is the beauty of the grounds. Spring Garden Street Apartments’ Roof Garden is planted over a parking garage.  The university is committed to sustainable low maintenance practices.  A blend of southeast native wildflowers has been planted on an acre of existing turf.  This sustainable effort has reduced labor and equipment to maintain a previously turf area.  The Secretary’s Garden, renovated in 2009, was designed as a cottage garden with lavender, rosemary, gardenia and Gumpo azalea.  Taylor Garden Pond features Zoysia (Zen) which survives high temperatures generated from the slate patio.  Roses provide continuous summer blooming without pest problems in this view from the Administration Building. Foust Park is well known for a diverse variety of over 34 species of trees with great fall color.  This park is utilized annually for Earth Day celebrations as well as other University events.

The University of Tampa in Tampa, Fla. received an Honor Award in the Urban University Grounds category. This urban campus is located along the beautiful Hillsborough River across from downtown Tampa, Florida. The 120 year old Plant Hall serves as the focal point of the University.   With large majestic oak trees throughout campus, the 6,700 students enjoy the 100 acre lushly landscaped grounds. A perspective of plantings at Plant Hall. A meandering walkway leading to the Science Annex, taken in Spring with Tabibuias blooming. Main entrance to College of Business. Sykes Chapel meditation garden, with serene waterfall and landscape to provide privacy. The tropical Florida climate allows for plenty of opportunity to practice professional pruning techniques. In this photo a team member is pruning pygmy date palms. This Grand Oak was relocated on The University of Tampa campus to make room for construction. The transplanting operation presents a huge challenge in monitoring the health of the tree.

Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas received an Honor Award in the Urban University Grounds category. A total of 232 acres are maintained at Southern Methodist University including four LEED landscapes which are irrigated with reclaimed water. Xeric pots also help to conserve water and provide a great accent in one of the courtyards of a LEED building on campus. Red Yuccas and Seafoam Earthkind Roses are featured in this LEED landscape. Ornamental grasses such as Regal Mist Muhly and dwarf Pampas grass are selected for being drought tolerant and add a fall interest. Snapdragons together with a color accent of spring Tulips welcome students, faculty, staff and visitors to the Southern Methodist University campus. Over 3,000 bulbs and tubers are planted each year. Bermuda grass is the predominant turf in summer and then overseeded in the fall to keep the turf green year round. The Southern Methodist University school color of red and white are highlighted in this picture of red Drift and Knockout Roses and then repeated around this pedestrian mall.

Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga. received a Merit Award in the Urban University Grounds category.