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Grounds Services earns national notice

December 19, 2007

A butterfly garden for the children. A new interior garden for Campus Health Service. New landscaping for the Business Administration Building.

ASU Grounds Services has moved beyond just mowing lawns and trimming trees – and for that it has won an Honor Award for “exceptional grounds maintenance” in the Professional Grounds Management Society’s Green Star Awards competition.

The award recognizes ASU’s achievement as a Level One landscape by APPA, a national organization devoted to fostering leadership in educational facilities, and its “embeddedness” at ASU.

According to Ellen Newell, assistant director of Grounds Services, embeddedness means partnering with various campus colleges and departments to create specialized grounds areas for them.

“We have created a butterfly garden for the Child Development Labs and an interior garden for Student Health Services,” Newell says. “We also are re-landscaping the area around the Business Administration Building, at the request of the W. P. Carey School of Business.”

Grounds Services personnel also have begun donating produce from its various campus gardens to the chefs at the University Club.

APPA recognizes five levels of landscaping maintenance, ranging from one, the highest, to five, Newell says.

“Level One is resort-quality maintenance – daily attention to litter, flower beds and mowing,” she says.

Nearly 60 groundskeepers currently work at ASU. When all the positions are filled, there are 70 on the job.

“We give them a lot of on-the-job training,” Newell says.

Grounds Services will receive a plaque and will be featured in several national trade magazines, Newell says.

“This is a great honor to receive,” says Fernando Reyna, the manager for ASU’s Grounds Services. “It not only recognizes the efforts put in by my staff, but also ASU’s commitment toward enriching the lives of its students and faculty through green spaces.”