Green Star Awards


We’re searching for the country’s BEST MAINTAINED LANDSCAPES.

44th Annual Professional Grounds Management Awards

You are invited to enter the 44th annual maintenance awards program sponsored by the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS). The annual Professional Grounds Management Awards Program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence. The program complements other national landscape award programs that recognize outstanding landscape design and construction.

This program will salute the grounds superintendent responsible for maintaining a well-manicured landscape year round. Grand, Honor and Merit Awards are offered in 15 categories, covering all types of private, public commercial and industrial landscapes. To qualify for entry, a landscape must be at least two years old and under your continuous maintenance for at least two years.

The awards will be presented during the 2016 PGMS School of Grounds Management held in conjunction with the GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Ky. from October 20-23, 2016. Award winners will appear in the PGMS newsletter the Forum. The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. EST on July 31, 2016. All entries must be submitted online.


The goals of the Green Star Professional Grounds Management Awards program are:

  1. To bring national recognition to grounds manicured with a high degree of excellence.
  2. To recognize individual professional efforts leading to high maintenance standards and high quality appearance of the landscape.
  3. To challenge those responsible for maintenance of grounds throughout the country to achieve a higher level of excellence. In sponsoring this awards program, the Professional Grounds Management Society wish to extend its mission in promoting well-maintained landscapes throughout the country.


When we speak of challenges, are they significant challenges or challenges we face day to day (i.e. pests)?
It could be both. What we would like to see/know is what are the solutions that have been implemented to make that work.

I maintain an area around the golf course (lodging). Which category does this site fall under?
The golf course category can incorporate the landscape. If the site has nothing to do with golf course, categorize under (Hotel, Motel, Resort).

Am I able to change the borders around the pictures, as long as the pictures are not enhanced/altered?

Should the picture of staff just be the grounds manager or the entire staff who manages the site?
Five photos should show your crew at work. One photo of yourself as the person in charge is required.

When will I find out if I have won?
Applicants will find out results in mid-August.

Can the entry fee be paid using a credit card via phone?
We prefer that the credit card information is submitted with the submission but we will accept the credit card information via phone.

If I won a Grand Award two years ago but have multiple campuses and would like to enter a different campus this year, is this OK since it is a different campus?
Yes, as long as it is a different campus or a different aspect of the campus (ex. a historic home on the campus) you can submit it.

Is there a minimum entry requirement on budget amounts to enter?
No, there is not a minimum budget figure.

Many of the photos were taken in the raw format and were converted to jpeg to be usable in PowerPoint and other uses. The properties now indicate that they were altered with Photoshop. In these cases no altering of the photos took place but the conversion. Is this a permissible entry photo?
The rule stipulates that you can’t alter or enhance the picture in Photoshop and just converting the photo to another type of file in Photoshop does not violate that rule.

What are the judges looking for in the slide “Grounds Program Summary”?
The summary should focus on how the grounds department allocates resources to accomplish the goals established. It should somewhat mirror your budget summary allocations.

Contracts (pest control, tree, mowing, etc)
Holiday decorating (scope)
Sustainability (rain garden, bioswale, green roof maintenance)
Landscape enhancements (installation projects)
Seasonal plantings (fall bulbs, spring/summer annuals)
Equipment repair/maintenance (in-house?) – including vehicles?
Snow removal scope
Irrigation repair, maintenance and installation (in-house?)
Training (on-the-job)
Sports field support
Leaf removal – composting
Hardsurface repair and maintenance
Site amenities (benches, trash/recycle containers, lighting)
Fountain repair and maintenance

A short sentence or two for each major activity category is sufficient.

Example: The IPM inspection program is performed by one (1) dedicated certified pesticide applicator (groundskeeper) for our 75 acre campus. Recommendations from the groundskeeper are forwarded to the grounds manager to determine the appropriate follow up action. We estimate the IPM inspection program requires 500 hours per year to accomplish.