UC-Davis Landscape Management Honored with PGMS Accreditation

The University of California-Davis has become the first campus to be honored to receive a Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation as awarded by the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS), it was announced today by Walt Bonvell, a Certified Grounds Manager (CGM), president of PGMS and senior grounds lead of Xavier University.

“Not only is the University of California-Davis the first to receive this exciting new accreditation,” said Bonvell, “in doing so, they earned the highest rating of 4-stars.”

Cary Avery, CGM and associate director, Campus Planning & Community Resources, Grounds & Landscape Services at University of California, developed the accreditation submission and received the honor on behalf of the school.

The PGMS Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation program is a dynamic evaluation tool designed to be used by facilities and organizations that have a landscape services or grounds component. Through peer expertise, the program evaluates strategic grounds management principles and practices that produce and guide the delivery of properties to an attractive, healthy, sustainable and high quality state, states PGMS.

PGMS accreditation focuses on three categories: environmental stewardship, economic performance, and social responsibilities.

In the area of environmental stewardship, PGMS accreditation evaluators looking at the University of California-Davis determined the campus grounds operation was excellent in providing leadership and effective communication, and that in addition to valuing ecosystem services, it manages resources within natural limitations, utilizes existing natural resources to preserve and conserve, and establishes environmental policies and evaluation processes and implements environmentally sustainable initiatives.

“The Grounds & Landscape Services personnel at the University of California-Davis demonstrated a very keen awareness and understanding of relevant grounds management key principles and best practices and provided evidence indicating effective implementation,” pointed out Joseph B. Jackson, CGM, the PGMS Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation facilitator.

Evaluators also determined the University of California-Davis to be superior in the economic performance area based on the use of renewable and sustainable resources, the elimination or reduction of the use of resources that are difficult or impossible to renew, the improvement of grounds managements’ performance through policies and programs, the use of advanced and emerging technologies, and that the campus conducts life cycle assessment and costing and produces contingency plans that reflect budget reductions.

“They have successfully integrated the important functions that sound grounds management practices contribute within a facilities organization to the overall university mission,” said Jackson.

Social responsibility was the final key category addressed by the PGMS accreditation evaluators with the University of California-Davis. This included a close look to determine that the school’s ecosystems are safe, healthy and productive, that natural processes and human activities co-exist, that the school involves stakeholders to define and link long-term maintenance strategies, and that it is looking to find new resources and technologies that enhance the user’s quality of life, and the environment.

“PGMS’ Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation is a remarkable accomplishment for a campus to receive,” stressed Bonvell. “Besides the honor, the detailed evaluation report outlining the strengths and weaknesses of the University of California-Davis’ best practices as evaluated by professional peers is worth tens of thousands of dollars in providing feedback that will constructively allow a manager to better systems and possibly reduce costs while enhancing sustainability and social responsibilities.”