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The 2006 Green Star Awards

Government Building or Complex

Honor Award – Smithsonian Institution

In the courtyard of the Freer Gallery of Art is an intricate rope hedge, consisting of Buxus microphylla or "Green Beauty" that originates from Japan. From March through November, a crewmember spends 6 hours a week using hand sheers and pruners to trim the hedge.

The Enid A. Haupt Garden parterre on the south side of the Smithsonian Castle is the centerpiece of the 4.2-acre rooftop garden. A team of four uses hand shears to trim the alternanthera and boxwood, and the turf is cut on a 5-day schedule during the growing season. Each of the spring and summer installations are made up of about 7,000 plants.

The grounds team at the Smithsonian Institute oversees more than 180 acres of landscapes surrounding 17 museums and support facilities in the Washington D.C. metro area. Director of Horticulture, Barbara Foust leads a contingent of 28 employees to oversee this site, which receives 20 million visits each year. Foust and her team's primary challenge has been performing fine gardening in a busy urban setting. Completed in 1855, the original Smithsonian Institution Building was designed by architect James Renwick Jr., whose other works include St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City and the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. This Washington landmark is constructed of red sandstone from Seneca Creek, Maryland, in the Norman style (a 12th-century combination of late Romanesque and early Gothic motifs).

Cemetery or Memorial Park

Grand Award -Pratt FamilyMemorial Garden

A specialized garden, consisting of Bradford pear trees, over 200 flats of annuals, as well as perennials and Purple Fountain Grass, is dependent on ongoing pruning, fertilization and insect control.

The tranquil half-acre memorial garden is a challenge for the landscaping crew, with their weekly deadheading of spent flowers and pinching back blooms to encourage new growth.

Managed by CoCal Landscape, the Pratt Family Memorial Park in Longmont, Colorado is a study in contrasts; an intimate half-acre memorial garden surrounded by a 40-acre business park consisting of corporate offices, hotels, restaurants, and retail. The site is immaculately kept with constant annual color maintenance and upkeep of gray crusher fines paths. The culmination of more than 200 flats of annuals, 400 labor hours, constant deadheading and only 17 inches of precipitation annually produce many challenges, but the result is a stunning area.

Industrial, Commercial Site, or Office Park

Honor Award – Robert Rothschild Farm

This formal herb garden was installed in Rothschild Farm's early days. Herbs from this garden were once used in some of the company's gourmet products.

Weed control is performed throughout the year in order to allow customers to come pick fresh raspberries, and keep areas like the butterfly garden - shown here - appealing to the eye.

The Robert Rothschild Farm in Urbana, Ohio was honored in the Industrial, Commercial Site or Office Park category. This award-winning grounds program features two full-time and two part-time employees that oversee this 171-acre site that includes a "pick-it-yourself" raspberry facility, a 52,000 square-foot processing and production complex, corporate offices, a retail store and cafe, as well as a wildlife sanctuary.

Grand Award – Focus on the Family

Turf in median areas is subjected to 100-degree heat in midsummer as the site has numberous microclimates due to the neighboring Rocky Mountains.

Native perennial grasses are a signature feature in some of the intimate gardens at the Focus on the Family Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Focus on the Family headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado was also honored in the Industrial, Commercial Site, or Office Park category with a Grand Award. The headquarters draws about 175,000 visitors to the 49-acre campus each year. They are also the workplace for 1,300 employees.

Park, Recreation Area, or Playground

Honor Award – Bernheim Arboretum

Paul Fields created this artwork known to the staff and public as "The Snail." It is located in a popular visitation area at Bernheim Arboretum known as the "Sun and Shade Area." To make sure all areas are irrigated, an underground trunk line was installed that channels water from nearby Lake Nevin.

The Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky is a large site, measuring in at approximately 14,000 acres.

Bernheim’s 240-acre arboretum contains over 1,900 labeled varieties of trees, shrubs and other plants. It is Kentucky's official arboretum with several significant collections of dogwoods, maples, hollies, magnolias, witch hazels and buckeyes. It has several large picnic areas, 35 miles of trails, education facilities, four lakes and a natural forest spanning several thousand acres. The Bernheim grounds staff has brought several innovations to the site in recent years including the development of environmentally friendly strategies such as realigning a stream to its former natural course, no-mow zones, prescription fire management of grasslands and forested areas, and invasive plant controls.

Honor Award – Oldfields

Since the late 1990's a few mature conifers have been removed purposefully, or due to storm damage, allowing more light into areas of the garden.

A 22-room mansion sits as the centerpiece of the 152-acre landscape, where the landscaping crew works to maintain a mix of ages of plant material. New conifers are periodically planted and large-growing deciduous shrubs are removed or heavily pruned.

Oldfields is a 152-acre historical estate with several formal gardens maintained by 13 full-time and nine seasonal grounds professionals. It hosts the largest single day arts fair in the country with an estimated attendance of 25,000.

Recently designated a National Historic Landmark, Oldfields-Lilly House & Gardens is an elegant 26-acre estate and historic house museum located on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. At the heart of Oldfields is Lilly House, the 22-room mansion that was once home of J.K. Lilly Jr., the late Indianapolis businessman, collector and philanthropist. Lilly House has undergone historic restoration and is now open to the public. Oldfields’ magnificent gardens and grounds were designed in the 1920s by Percival Gallagher of the famous landscape architecture firm Olmsted Brothers.

Grand Award – Central Winds Park

With ballfield seeded with Perennial Rye, Painted Lady Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) and Tonto Red Crepe Myrtles (Lagerstroemia fauriei) add color to the park during the summer months.

Eight full time employees with a stable of 29 mowers, both riding and walk-behind, maintain the softball fields at Central Winds Park in Winter Springs, Fla.

Central Winds Park, located in Winter Springs, Florda, is a 103-acre complex consisting of four baseball fields, four softball fields, six soccer fields, two football/lacrosse fields, two playgrounds, a nature trail, two sand volleyball courts, an outdoor basketball court, two large pavilions, and a 10-acre amphitheater. It is a place where the community as a whole can congregate.

Multiple Sites under Management Company

Honor Award – The Villas at the Bridges

A view of the man-made stream runs behind homes at The Villas at the Bridges, as well as some of the 800 different specimen trees.

The entry way to one of the 59 homes at the Bridges, where a crew of six maintains 500 landscape pots, as well as weeding and planting on The Villas' numerous slopes.

The Villas at the Bridges in Rancho Santa Fe, California Features 59 Italian style villas, various common area slopes and a small niche park. The Villa's grounds crew oversees a palette of plants based on a Mediterranean climate to compliment the Italian style architecture that is displayed throughout the community. A staff of six maintains four acres of turf, one acre of color beds, and over 800 specimen trees as well as more than 500 succulent pots on rear walls, entrances and street pilasters.

Condominium or Apartment Complex

Grand Award – Post Stratford

This sitting area was originally designated an emergency exit route during construction. Many varieties of Acer palmatum, Styrax japonica, Cedrus atlantica gauca "pendula," Chamaecyparis Obtusa aurea "Verdoni," ornamental schrubs and colorful perennials of all types give the area a diverse scope of color.

A view of the pool from a balcony, most of the trees in this tightly landscaped courtyard are fastigiated or pyramidal in form, which helps to avoid many shading and special challenges.

Post Stratford is an upscale, urban mid-rise development located in North Atlanta and maintained by Post Landscape, an in-house division of Post Properties, Inc. Post Stratford's color displays are the signature of the development's landscaping. Every spring and fall, the site's 1,000 square feet of annual color beds are changed out by its grounds crew. There is no turf in this urban community. To compensate, the streets and sidewalks are softened by perennial and specialty ornamental displays. A unique aspect of the grounds program at Stratford is their urban vegetable garden which provides an environment of raised planters, allowing residents to enjoy some of the same therapeutic gardening activities of a homeowner in suburbia.

Grand Award – Shell Point Retirement Community

The residence courtyard at the Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers, Fla. is densely planted with palms and crinums lilies. The crew faces an ever-present unique challenge of golf carts causing soil compaction and damage to turf grass.

Residence courtyard with waterfall pond water feature. Flowers are treated with 10-52-10 water soluble fertilizer.

The Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers, Florida is located at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River on 450 acres in Fort Myers, Florida It is a not-for-profit retirement community for more than 2,000 residents. A 12 month growing season, and damage caused by constant building and maintenance are some of the conditions that the Shell Point grounds crew have overcome to provide a first-rate landscape for residents.

Hotel, Motel, or Resort

The Sunshine state is the location of both Green Star award winners in the Hotel, Motel, or Resort category.

Honor Award – Gaylord Palms Resort

Pathways wind through the landscape providing a sense of privacy. The 63-acre property is also lined with more than 375 exotic and native species of palms.

Colorful cannas lilies provide vertical elements to perennial plantings. The landscape also hosts four different turf types, mowed on weekly and bi-weekly schedules: St. Augustine "Floratam", Bermuda "Type 419", Zoysia "Emerald" and Argentine Bahia.

The Gaylord Palms Resort, located in Kissimmee, Florida received the Honor Award. Horticulture Manager Tim McColgan directs the grounds maintenance. Contractor TruGreen LandCare staffs the resort full time to create an always-fresh landscape experience. The grounds feature more than 375 exotic and native species of palms, covering 63 acres. The crew changes the flowerbeds six times a year, replacing more than 100,000 annuals. Many of the beds feature new introductions and unique varieties of plants.

Grand Award – The Breakers

The 10,000 sq. ft. color garden extends the length of the main drive on the north side of the resort and features annuals and perennials spanning seven blocks.

The main entrance drive is lined with 100 royal palms and date palms that require monthly trimming. The property includes a 1,000-foot driveway comprised of 60,000 sq. ft. of antique clay brick.

The Breakers is a 140-acre, four star/five diamond hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. The property consists of a 90-acre vintage ocean golf course, croquet lawn, ocean lawn, and grounds turf that includes close cut Bermuda grass. Other features include themed garden walks, vine covered trellises, courtyards, terraces, 700 container gardens, an on-site nursery, five miles of formal hedge, 40,000 annual flower display beds (changed three times annually), historical fountains, a tennis facility, 1,500 square feet of beach and five pool decks.

Amusement Park, Theme Park, or Zoo

Honor Award – Sea World San Diego

Assorted succulents and palm fish, made by local artist Dan Townsend, create this sea-themed garden at Sea World San Diego.

The waterfall and pond inside the Forbidden Reef exhibit is a bird sanctuary for assorted waterfowl and flamingos.

Sea World San Diego covers more than 189 acres in Mission Bay and is one of the top tourist attraction in the city. More than 100 million visitors have passed through the gates since its opening in 1964. So many visitors takes a toll on the landscaping. With a total rainfall of only six to 10 inches a year, Director of Landscape Stephanie Shigematso and her crew of 55 have their work cut out for them!

Grand Award – Sea World Orlando, Discovery Cove

The entrance sign floral display at Sea World Orlando requires more than 9,000 bedding plants each time it is planted.

One of the 11 ponds on the property surrounded by plantings of cannas that the crew maintains at Discovery Cove. Managed by the in-house pest control staff to control the amount and type of vegetation and to control mosquito larvae.

Sea World Orlando and Discovery Cove are sister parks in Orlando, Florida. Both serve different purposes but share the common goal of creating a landscape that serves as an escape from the real world. The two sites cover more than 150 acres total and are maintained by a grounds crew of 78. Led by Director of Horticulture Bob Vidler, they oversee 83 acres of turf and 2.2 acres of flower beds.

Golf Course

Grand Award – Stone Mountain Golf Club

The quarry pond, part of 8.65 acres of water features on the property, is located on the 11th hole of the Lakemont course at Stone Mountain Golf Club.

This area of the Stonemont course has been naturalized to provide habitat for wildlife as part of the Stone Mountain Golf Club's Environmental Master Plan. This area features native grasses, wildflowers, and signage from Audubon International. The ligustrum hedge in the background is known as the "green mile."

Stone Mountain Golf Club is part of the 3,200 acre Stone Mountain Park located near downtown Atlanta. The property features 127 acres of turf, approximately four acres of display gardens, nine acres of ponds and lakes, nine acres of parking lots and paths, and 192 acres of natural plant/forest communities. Managed by Superintendent of Grounds Anthony Williams, CGCS, CGM and a team of 13, the club achieved Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary status in 2006 and has emerged as an environmental leader within the golf industry.

School Grounds

Honor Award – Salesianum School

A new sidewalk connecting the main gymnasium and parking lot entrances was constructed in 2003. Accessing the entrances is much safer and wear and tear on the turf grass in front of the school is minimal.

The 18th Street landscape at the Salesianum School is just three-years-old and utilizes plant material that provides year-round color and textural intrest.

Salesianum School is an independent Catholic secondary school for boys in Wilmington, Delaware. The 22-acre campus includes six tennis courts, two baseball diamonds, two soccer fields, a football practice field, a lacrosse field, and parking for up to 443 vehicles. Athletic Facilities and Grounds Manager Don Savard, CSFM oversees 12 acres of turf and one acre of display beds.

University and College Grounds

Honor Award – University of Tennessee at Martin

Boling University Center and Paul Meek Library courtyard area. The Quadrangle is highly trafficked by students and faculty, making turf maintenance a high priority.

The north entrance to the sociology building from the campus quadrangle at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The spotless grounds are a testament to UTM, which was awarded in 1993 and 2005 by the PGMS as well.

The University of Tennessee at Martin is a 500-acre campus located in Northwestern Tennessee within the city limits of Martin. The 10-person grounds crew is responsible for maintaining 200 acres of turf and nearly an acre of display beds. The primary purpose of the campus is to provide a quality undergraduate education in a traditional collegiate atmosphere. The safe and friendly campus plays an important role in the learning environment, and the beauty of the campus grounds has always been cherished by those associated with the campus.

Honor Award – Harvey Mudd College

The Norman F. Sprague Memorial Library Courtyard at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif. features a garden of daylilies and a pear tree in a bed of star jasmine. Recent improvements included the replacement of 80 pop-up sprinkler heads with a drip irrigation system.

Lower planters and higher planters contain both Japanese boxwood as a border with a jacaranda tree above. The area also features shade umbrellas.

Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, is one of the seven colleges that make up the Claremont College network. A staff of five full-time groundskeepers maintains the 13 acres of turf, five acres of display beds, and nine acres of paved area on campus. The grounds crew was presented with the Green Star Honor Award for its maintenance of the Norman F. Sprague Memorial Library Courtyard.

Grand Award – Elon University

The 30,000 pansies that are planted on campus each fall are enjoyed close-up by thousands of students, visitors and staff. Tulips are often planted in the pansy beds to provide extra interest and are timed to bloom during the peak of the spring student recruitment season.

Although most of the turf at Elon University is tall fescue, common bermudagrass creeps in leaving brown patches in the winter. The crew overseeds the high use and highly visible areas such as this quadrangle with rygrass to mask the bermudagrass and to provide better winter color.

Elon University is a private liberal arts institution located on 585 acres in Elon, North Carolina. The university's landscaping and grounds department is responsible for maintaining 182 landscaped acres and the University's extensive sports facilities, including seven professional-quality sports fields and eight club sports fields. The crew of 21 full-time employees is constantly busy as the campus has been designated as a botanical garden and must be maintained as such. This includes producing education programs and publications, sponsoring horticulture internships, and maintaining hundreds of plant labels.

Grand Award – Pomona College

The Smith Campus Courtyard at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. is a central meeting point for students and faculty. Maintained by 22 full time workers, the 140 acre campus contains 20 acres of planting beds, 41.7 acres of turf, 4000 trees, and an irrigation system centrally controlled with 5 sites and 50 satellites.

A view of the Crookshank Parkway at Pomona college. With approximately 2.5 miles of parkway hedges pruning is a year round task, often requiring lane closures to trim.

The grounds crew at Pomona College in Claremont, California maintains a 140-acre site with 90 acres of open landscaped and paved areas. In addition to maintaining 42 acres of turf, a dozen acres of athletic fields, and 20 acres of planting beds, the college's grounds team is also a crucial part of the College Emergency Preparedness Program. They are the primary responders for emergency response and are trained in light search and rescue.

Grand Award – University of California at Davis

Sixty-year-old cork oaks line campus streets. Many of the oaks were planted during WWII due to fears that the United States would run out of cork because of fighting in European countries where the tree natively grows.

The pedestrian entrance to UC Davis is framed by spring leaves. Chinese hackberry is one of the dominant trees found throughout the park-like campus.

Nearly 2 million visitors walk the grounds of UC Davis each year - and that's not even counting the student population of 40,000! In spite of the enormous amount of people on campus, the grounds crew has had to make due with a budget that has declined by 10 percent since 2000. The consolidation of the university's grounds department and industrial services has eliminated duplicate shop, digging, hardscape, and repair functions. This has allowed the grounds crew to keep more projects in-house, saving the university hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Grand Award – University of Wisconsin at La Crosse

The Hoeschler clocktower was a gift to the university and is one of the most photographed locations on campus. In the foreground are daylilies and hackberry trees.

The main entrance to the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse welcomes visitors with a 27-foot long entry sign in the planting median. The design of the sign mimics the striping of the brick and native limestone that fashions Graff-Main Hall, the oldest building on campus that serves as the administrative center.

After staff was cut and campus acreage increased, one would think that the grounds crew at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse would struggle to keep up appearances. But they didn't. Instead, they produced a landscape worthy of the Grand Award. The administration is always looking to increase the variety of trees and shrubs on the 120-acre campus that includes 9,000 annual flowers that are propogated and maintained by the landscape services staff.

Urban University Grounds

Honor Award – University of Maryland

There are 22 acres of display beds at the University of Maryland. Here a bed of Carnival de Nice tulips adds color to a woodland garden on campus.

There are 800 acres of turf on campus that is cared for by a staff of 80 full time grounds keepers.

Just eight miles from the capitol is the University of Maryland. Assistant Director of Landscaping Services Bill Monan maintains 1,400 acres along with his 80-person crew. Maintaining the grounds is a huge undertaking, often managing outdoor special events that attract crowds of more than 75,000 people in one day. The main campus features 22 acres of bedding area, 800 acres of turf, 22 miles of sidewalks, 350 acres of impermeable surfaces and a student body of 45,000.

Honor Award – University of Southern California

The campus is divided into six zones that are evaluated each week and rated on safety, quality of maintenance, and overall health and aesthetics of the landscape.

Twenty-two thousand square feet of display beds adorn the campus of USC.

University of Southern California grounds and landscape personnel maintain 170 acres in downtown Los Angeles. The key to their successful program has been flexibility. In 2005, the campus hosted more than 500 events ranging in size from less than one hundred people to more than 40,000 for commencement ceremonies to football game tailgate parties. In addition, about 75 commercials, television shows, and movies were filmed on campus in 2005.

Grand Award – San Francisco State University

Dramatic plantings are integrated with a bronze sculpture in the intersection of a pathway on campus.

A roof garden adorns the student health center. Due to the university's close proximity to the ocean, constant gusty winds and sandy soil make irrigation a necessary daily task.

San Francisco State University sits on 134 acres in the southwestern portion of San Francisco. The campus receives approximately 30,000 visitors everyday.

The goal of the grounds crew at SFSU strives to maintain a campus that looks and feels more like a personal garden rather than an institutional landscape.

To achieve this feeling, the university's planting displays are divided into three categories:

  1. focal color - intense floral quality year-round at campus and building entries, main intersections, etc.;
  2. highlight - landscape beds with interspersed color throughout the year;
  3. garden - richly textured plantings using shades of foliage color and variety of texture to demonstrate the gardener's art.

Grand Award – Xavier University

Meandering sidewalks bring visitors to Xavier University into Schott Hall to the office of admission. Double fountains with ornamental grasses, Johnson blue geraniums, ground covers, spireas and beds of liriope.

Gallagher Student Center opens up into the green space that is frequently used for outdoor events. Because of the amount of use the area receives, it is aerated and seeded each year after commencement ceremonies are held.

The 148-acre campus of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio is divided into three areas. Each area is maintained by a team made up of a grounds foreman and three groundskeepers. Each team is responsible for maintaining flower beds, mulching, irrigation, pest control, trimming, pruning, snow removal and mowing all turf areas including the athletic fields.

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December 6, 2019, 12:44 pm PDT

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