The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) recognized Texas A&M University’s SSC Grounds Department with a Grand Award in the Society's 2017 Green Star Awards® competition. The award was given in the University and College Grounds (Large) category for exceptional grounds maintenance. Winners were honored during the Society’s 2017 Awards Dinner held Oct. 20 in conjunction with the School of Grounds Management & Green Industry in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 18-21.

The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of 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.

This award is by no means a pinnacle but rather a milestone. There are definitely ways we can still improve but the award is a reiteration that TAMU’S SSC Grounds Management Department is moving in the right direction.

In addition to PGMS, the two additional organizations that were part of the Green Industry Expo included the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and Hardscapes North America. The convention, which is the 14th largest in the US, boasted an enormous trade show, with 20 acres of outdoor exhibits and 30 acres of indoor exhibits at a giant convention center in Louisville. The convention also included training activities for attendees.

Members of the SSC Grounds Management team who traveled to receive the award were:

  • George Bernardon, Regional VP, Grounds Management

  • Don Crawford, Regional Director of Operations

  • Carla Wiseniske, Grounds Manager, Horticulture, Greenhouses & Color

  • Gabriel Dye, Horticulture Team Leader

  • Seth Flowers, Grounds Manager, Res Life, Irrigation & Turf

  • Jeremy Stavinoha, Horticulture Team Leader for Residence Life

  • Tim Jones, West Campus Supervisor

  • Jonathan “Poncho” Cavazos, Grounds Manager, Landscape Construction and Heavy Equipment

  • Richard Andrate, Landscape Construction Team Leader

SSC Regional VP at TAMU, Richard Gentry, also traveled to Louisville for the occasion as well as Bill Cox, Assistant Director, for the university's Facilities and Dining Administration office.

A special thanks to Graphics Designer Barbara Musgrove for leading the application process! Barbara put together the application, PowerPoint, compiled the photos and worked tirelessly to make sure we were properly represented. We couldn’t have gotten this award without your work, Barbara – thank you!

Congratulations to Texas A&M University and SSC on this literal grand award!

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