Penn State receives Honor Award from Professional Grounds Management Society

October 31, 2018

Penn State was recognized with an Honor Award from the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) as part of the society’s 2018 Green Star Awards competition. The award was given in the University and College Grounds category for exceptional grounds maintenance.

The Penn State grounds at University Park are a continuous point of pride for Penn State faculty, staff and students. The grounds have previously been recognized by ArbNet as an accredited arboretum, Tree Campus USA and by PGMS with a Grand Award, as well as a Four Star Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation Award.

OPP landscaping

Penn State's Office of Physical Plant landscaping crew.

IMAGE: Patrick Mansell

The Office of Physical Plant grounds maintenance crews are responsible for 990 acres of land and more than 3 million square feet of planting beds. The crews utilize a variety of sustainable practices, such as planting native species of plants, installing and maintaining rain gardens to aid in storm water management and switching from gas powered to electric hand tools. In addition, a tree and soil protection program aids in protecting the campus landscape around construction projects.

Grounds and Equipment Manager Ryan McCaughey developed the award submission and was joined by Grounds Maintenance Supervisor Matt Wolf to receive the award on behalf of Penn State at the Society’s 2018 Awards Dinner.

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. Overall, PGMS presented two Grand Awards, its highest honor, as well as 16 Honor Awards and seven Merit Awards in seven categories of competition. To view a complete list of winners. visit

Last Updated October 31, 2018