The University of California-Davis has become the first campus to receive a 4-star Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation as awarded by the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS), it was announced by Walt Bonvell, a Certified Grounds Manager (CGM), past president of PGMS and senior grounds lead of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. The University of Delaware was the first campus to receive an accreditation through this new program and was awarded 2-stars. The College of Wooster in Ohio quickly followed suit and was also awarded a 2-star Accreditation. Pictured left to right are Tyson Mantor, grounds supervisor at University of California-Davis, Cary Avery, CGM and associate director, Campus Planning & Community Resources, Grounds & Landscape Services at University of California-Davis, Accreditation Facilitator Joe Jackson, CGM and Mike Loftus, CGM, associate director at the University of Delaware.
In the area of environmental stewardship, PGMS accreditation evaluators looking at the University of California-Davis determined the campus grounds operation was excellent in providing leadership and effective communication, and that in addition to valuing ecosystem services, it manages resources within natural limitations, utilizes existing natural resources to preserve and conserve, and establishes environmental policies and evaluation processes and implements environmentally sustainable initiatives. Evaluators also determined the University of California-Davis to be superior in the economic performance area based on the use of renewable and sustainable resources, the elimination or reduction of the use of resources that are difficult or impossible to renew, the improvement of grounds managements’ performance through policies and programs, the use of advanced and emerging technologies, and that the campus conducts life cycle assessment and costing and produces contingency plans that reflect budget reductions. Cary Avery, CGM and associate director, Campus Planning & Community Resources, Grounds & Landscape Services at the University of California, developed the accreditation submission and received the honor on behalf of the school.
The University of Delaware provided clear evidence of a Grounds Department that functions from a tradition of very sound grounds management practices. They possess a solid service driven foundation that was key to their success and achievement in the Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation program. Mike Loftus, CGM, associate director at the University of Delaware, developed the accreditation submission and received the honor on behalf of the school.
Beau Mastrine, CGM, director of grounds at the College of Wooster, developed the accreditation submission and received the honor on behalf of the school. The College of Wooster’s Grounds Department epitomized how best practices can be achievable and successful through effective collaborations. A demonstrative appreciation of good relationships and the necessary nurturing processes helped to advance them in the Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation program.
The PGMS Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation program is a dynamic evaluation tool designed to be used by facilities and organizations that have a landscape services or grounds component. Through peer expertise, the program evaluates strategic grounds management principles and practices that produce and guide the delivery of properties to an attractive, healthy, sustainable and high quality state, states PGMS. PGMS accreditation focuses on three categories: environmental stewardship, economic performance, and social responsibilities.
“PGMS’ Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation is a remarkable accomplishment for a campus to receive,” stressed Bonvell. “Besides the honor, the detailed evaluation report outlining the strengths and weaknesses of the school’s best practices as evaluated by professional peers is worth tens of thousands of dollars in providing feedback that will constructively allow a manager to better systems and possibly reduce costs while enhancing sustainability and social responsibilities.” For more information on the accreditation program please visit http://pgms.org/accreditation/.