The Professional Grounds Management Society, Forest Hill, Maryland, recognized educational facilities and grounds management provider SSC Services for Education, Knoxville, Tennessee, for grounds and landscape design at four locations. It was honored with a Grand Green Star Award for the work done at Simpson College. It received Honor Green Star Awards for Lake-Sumter State College, the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township and Murray State University.
It was presented with the acknowledgment during the PGMS School of Grounds Management Annual Conference held Oct. 20-22 in Louisville, Ky. in conjunction with the GIE+EXPO.
“Enhancing curb appeal may seem like a minor task in the grand scheme of things, but campus grounds play a large role in creating a welcoming environment,“ says Colton Metzger, grounds manager for SSC Services for Education at Simpson College. “Our team strives to continually improve and enhance campus grounds everyday to provide the best possible experience for Simpson College students and faculty.”
Simpson College, nestled on 85-acres in the middle of Iowa, is home to just over 1,200 undergraduate students. Given its Midwest location, one of the biggest challenges the SSC team faces is inclement weather that can cause damage to the grounds during the changing seasons. From aerating and applying gypsum to seeding the turf to maintaining the diverse vegetation, the SSC team has implemented measures to ensure the grounds stay in pristine condition year round.
In addition to providing care for the vegetation across campus, the SSC team at Simpson College has also implemented sustainable measures across the grounds, which include numerous athletic facilities. These practices include utilizing organic based fertilizers, spot spraying weeds, installing moisture sensors and opting for native plants whenever possible.
The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with excellence, complimenting other national landscape award programs that recognize outstanding landscape design and construction. Grand, Honor and Merit Awards are offered in 15 categories. The judging criteria are overall aesthetics, staff professionalism, response to grounds related challenges, sustainable practices and safety.