2009 Award Winners – University and College Grounds


Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Employees: 47
Budget: $1,801,849
Acres Maintained: 110
Located in an area of the country that receives 70+ inches of snow annually, keeping a landscape full of bloom and color can be quite a task. But it is one that Tim Holysz, director of landscape services, and his crew have mastered. The campus is full of landscape life including fountains, lush lawns, memorials and monuments and water features. Flower trees enhance concrete spaces by brightening an otherwise stark pallet and over 54,000 daffodils are scattered across campus. Natural plantings of grasses and wildflowers replace massive shrub beds in front of campus buildings and campus ponds and streams are protected by native plants within “no-mow” zones adjacent to shores. Using color and creativity has allowed the crew to take otherwise blank canvases and create landscape masterpieces.
Kutztown University
Kutztown, Pennsylvania
Employees: 12
Budget: $25,000
Acres Maintained: 220
Located just minutes from urban centers, this campus provides a serene and welcoming environment for over 10,000 students, staff, and surrounding community residents. The grounds staff, led by Assistant Director for Campus Services Will Meeker, supports a variety of garden areas as well as over 2,000 trees. KU is currently focused on developing a registered arboretum and strives to be the “prettiest little campus in the East.”
Creighton University
Omaha, Nebraska
Employees: 12
Budget: $1,194,488
Acres Maintained: 97
Omaha, Nebraska’s Creighton University is home to an urban campus that is a refreshing collection of display beds, green space, paved pedestrian areas and a collection of completed projects including the Michael G. Morrison, S.J. Stadium, home to the University’s men’s and women’s soccer teams. Serving as homage to the school, the Jesuit Gardens are a special retreat for members of the Creighton community. Here, Impatiens encircle four Horsechestnuts, planted shortly after the University’s establishment in 1878. The display beds and other gardens around campus, meticulously managed by Arborist and Horticulturist Jessica Heller and the grounds crew, incorporate a variety of plantings including Marigolds, Feather Reed Grass Linden and Spruce trees, Zinnias and Cannas among others.
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Employees: 21
Budget: $50,000
Acres Maintained: 153
Southern Methodist University is located on beautiful tree lined 170 acres within sight of downtown Dallas on the Trinity Blacklands of north Texas. By taking a stroll around campus visitors will find a plethora of plantings including yellow marigolds, pink azaleas, Texas sage, hibiscus and much more. Over 10 libraries on campus and an internally acclaimed Meadows Museum that houses one of the finest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain add a unique feature to the campus. Although the black clay that serves as soil can be a challenge for keeping the grounds beautiful, the grounds department, led by Kevin Dilliard, has overcome the obstacle to keep the campus well maintained.