NCEF Resource List: School Grounds Maintenance
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Information on managing and maintaining school and university campus grounds and athletic fields, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.

References to Books and Other Media

Operational Guidelines for Educational Facilities: Grounds, second edition
Bigger, Alan S. editor
(APPA, 2012)
A comprehensive guide to maintaining and managing a grounds and landscaping operation. Topics covered include: sustainable grounds operations; green fuels, vehicles, and equipment; and landscape inventory and measurement, environmental stewardship, staffing guidelines, contracting options, position descriptions benchmarking, and environmental issues and laws. The appendices feature a Quality Appearance Program Case Study and an extensive glossary. An independent chapter on snow removal is also included. 225p

Professional Grounds Management Society Green Star Awards 2011.
(Professional Grounds Management Society , Nov 2011)
This program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence. Includes award winning school grounds, university and college grounds, and urban university grounds. Click on an award winner to view a photo and description of the winning entry.

Design Workbook.
(Boston Schoolyard Initiative, 2011)
Provides ideas, guidance and tools for making decisions on potential elements in schoolyards and outdoor classrooms. The workbook has been created with consideration for safety, budget, sustainability, maintenance, sense of place, functionality and inclusion of natural and man-made materials. Includes a recommended plant list, illustrations of best practices, and numerous checklists.

Professional Grounds Management Society Green Star Awards.
(Professional Grounds Management Society, Nov 2008)
This program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence. PGMS recognized several winners in both the Urban University Grounds category and the University and College Grounds category.

PGMS Salutes Nation’s Top University and College Grounds
(Professional Grounds Management Society , Nov 2006)
PGMS has recognized six universities and colleges as Grand Award winners in its 2006 Green Star Awards competition. Four others have been announced as Honor Award winners. The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence. Grand Award winners in the University and College Grounds category include: Elon University in Elon, N.C.; Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.; University of California at Davis; and University of Wisconsin at La Crosse. The University of Tennessee at Martin and Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif. received Honor Awards in this category. Honorees in the Urban University Grounds competition include Grand Award winners San Francisco State University and Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as Honor Award winners University of Maryland in College Park, Md., and University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Calif.

Top Ten Tips for Good Practice and the Maintenance of School Landscapes.
Esselburn, Robert K.
(, Orange, CA , Mar 07, 2006)
Grounds maintenance professionals are constantly at a crossroads as whether to provide a design for the future or maintain the status quo. Given the ever-increasing budget constraints, they are strapped with trying to maintain old tree and shrub plantings, and caught between the choice of pruning, replacement, or simply removal. This article suggests ten tips to consider when selecting and caring for landscape plants at schools. 2p.

Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Best Practice Manual: Volume IV, Maintenance and Operations.
(Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), CA, 2006)
This volume presents high performance guidelines for the maintenance and operation of schools. Information in this volume will help ensure that high performance school buildings continue to operate as their designers intended, providing optimal health, efficiency, and sustainability. Introductory chapters are geared toward district and managerial staff. The remaining chapters address the needs of maintenance, custodial, and groundskeeping staff and cover such topics as cleaning and calibrating building systems, selecting green cleaning products, and reducing waste. Specific guidelines are included for the building envelope, lighting, HVAC, landscaping, plumbing, and snow management and de-icing. 82p.

Water Systems on School Grounds
(EcoSchool Design , 2006)
This is a list of resources providing information about water systems on school grounds, including watershed projects, water recycling, constructed wetlands, storm drains, etc. There is also a list of case studies with examples of some of the water projects that are already working at schools around the world.

Site Assessment and Soil Remediation Can Help Keep Schools Safe.
Leonard, Michael
(, Orange, CA , 2006)
Discusses remediation issues with ground contamination at school sites, including assessment, public interest, benefits of using brownfield sites, and the removal of contaminants from both existing and potential school sites. 2p.

Sports Turf and Amenity Grassland Management.
Brown, Stewart
(Crowood Press, Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK , 2005)
Provides detailed advice on the care and maintenance of sports turfs, covering grass types, mowing, irrigation, fertilizing, aeration, pest control, turf establishment, and renovation. 192p.
TO ORDER: The Crowood Press, Ltd., Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wilshire, SN82HR, United Kingdom

Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities. Adobe PDF
(National Forum on Education Statistics, School Facilities Maintenance Task Force; Association of School Business Officials International, Washington, D.C. , Feb 2003)
The planning guide was developed to help readers better understand why and how to develop, implement, and evaluate a school facilities maintenance plan. The guide is designed for staff at the local school district level, where most facility maintenance is planned, managed, and carried out. This audience includes school business officials, school board members, superintendents, principals, facilities maintenance planners, maintenance staff, and custodial staff. The document is also relevant to the school facilities interests of state education agency staff, community groups, vendors, and regulatory agencies. The guide focuses on: (1) school facility maintenance as a vital task in the responsible management of an education organization; (2) the needs of an education audience; (3) strategies and procedures for planning, implementing, and evaluating effective maintenance programs; (4) a process to be followed, rather than a canned set of "one size fits all" solutions; and (5) recommendations based on best practices, rather than mandates. The document offers recommendations on the following issues, which serve as chapter headings: (1) "Introduction to School Facilities Maintenance Planning"; (2) "Planning for School Facilities Maintenance"; (3) "Facilities Audits (Knowing What You Have)"; (4) "Providing a Safe Environment for Learning"; (5) "Maintaining School Facilities and Grounds"; (6) "Effectively Managing Staff and Contractors"; and (7) "Evaluating Facilities Maintenance Efforts." 184p.

Building and Grounds Maintenance Checklist. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, IAQ Tools for Schools. , 2002)
This checklist discusses six major topics areas: buildings and grounds maintenance supplies; dust control; floor cleaning; drain traps; moisture, leaks, and spills; combustion appliances; and pest control. 2p.

Operational Guidelines for Grounds Management.
(APPA: The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers; National Recreation and Park Association; Professional Grounds Management Society. , Jun 2001)
This book offers guidelines intended to help both new and experienced grounds managers create operational and staffing-level plans that can be the basis of discussion with all grounds management stakeholders. In its various chapters, the book (1) explains the differences between zone and broadcast maintenance practices that are essential to plan development and implementation; (2) discusses five different levels of maintenance, each tailored to meet the expectations of stakeholders; (3) covers issues to consider when deciding whether to outsource all or part of the grounds maintenance function, (4) explains the importance of position descriptions and highlights trends in such descriptions to be found in the employment market today, and (5) details how to develop a benchmarking profile for a site. The book also examines environmental issues and laws that affect the legality of grounds maintenance operations. Appendices contain a glossary of terms, information on grounds management software, techniques for making an inventory of outdoor landscape areas, sample position descriptions, a publications directory, a list of professional organizations and associations, and a list of Cooperative Extension Service State Information specialists. (Lists 70 references.) 159p.

Cost Analysis and Financial Strategies: On-line Lesson.
(Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, 2001)
Undergraduate course guide on recreational facility grounds maintenance standards. Includes analysis of funding levels, maintenance service objectives, public partnership considerations and a guide to levels of maintenance suited to different types of outdoor facilities, including per/acre maintenance cost estimates. 10p.

Your School Grounds Handbook.
(Schoolscapes, Farnham, Surrey, England , 2001)
This handbook discusses the process of planning school grounds. It presents ideas for creating good educational landscapes and provides step-by-step procedures to achieve this goal. The steps include ground surveying and analysis, establishing community and school needs and wants, planning changes and preparing the design process, publicizing and consulting to get feedback on the proposals, selecting and establishing fundraising sources, implementing the plan and building its momentum, and incorporating maintenance and sustainability features in the planning. A checklist is offered to help planners assess whether the project addresses sustainability principles. Appendices focus on planning play areas. Topics discussed include play equipment, safety, surfacing, topography, and plants. Organizations are listed for addition information and support. 28p.

Landscapes for Learners: School Ground Guidelines. Adobe PDF
George, Linda
(Greening Schoolgrounds Program, Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada , 2001)
School grounds can and should support curriculum, protect children from health risks, and provide high-quality space in the community for educational and recreation. School community-based initiatives to green school grounds provide these benefits at comparatively little cost to school boards. These guidelines establish the educational rationale for creating landscapes for learners. The guidelines are primarily directed at school community groups (parents, teachers, students, and community members) who choose to design, establish, and maintain landscapes for learners on school grounds. Recommendations outline a pathway to change including the removal of barriers for school community-based initiatives on school grounds. The guidelines link the value of educational landscapes to the mandated British Columbia school curriculum. 18p.

Sports Field Management Guide, Volume 2. Traction on Turf.
Ratcliff, Cindy, Ed.
(Intertec Publishing Co., Overland Park, KS , Sep 2000)
This guide presents three articles on athletic-field turf management. The articles explain how athletic-field managers can make a difference in playing surface quality, discusses the design and technical challenge behind athletic-field mowing patterns, and provides a form to help identify and document sports field problems. This issue is a supplement to the September, 2000 issue of American School & University magazine. 17p.
TO ORDER: Intertec Publishing, P.O. Box 12901, Overland Park, KS 66282-2901; Tel: 800-441-0294

Grounds Maintenance Estimating Guidelines
(Professional Grounds Management Society, Hunt Valley, MD , 2000)
Collection of costs and calculation worksheets for estimating grounds program costs. This guide contains sample worksheets, task charts, and personnel, overhead, labor, capital, and machine costs sheets. 36p.
TO ORDER: Professional Grounds Management Society, 120 Cockeysville Road, Ste. 104, Hunts Valley, MD 21030; Tel: 800-609-7467.

Grounds Maintenance Management Guidelines
(Professional Grounds Management Society, Hunt Valley, MD , 2000)
Provides specific information in all of the key areas of running a typical grounds operation. Includes a maintenance program guideline, landscape materials, safety regulations and procedures, irrigation maintenance schedules, snow emergency plans, etc.
TO ORDER: Professional Grounds Management Society, 120 Cockeysville Road, Ste. 104, Hunt Valley, MD 21030; Tel: 800-609-7467.

Campus Landscape: Functions, Forms, Features.
Dober, Richard P.
(John Wiley and Sons, New York , 2000)
This guide provides information, instruction, and ideas on planning and designing every aspect of the campus landscape, from parking lots to playing fields. Using real-world examples of classic and contemporary campus landscapes, it features coverage of landscape restoration and regeneration; provides an assessment matrix for consistent, effective evaluation of existing and proposed plans; offers more than 175 photographs and drawings of campus landscapes; presents detailed captions, citations, and design guidelines for significant features; and includes discussions on security, maintenance, and the environment. 288p.
TO ORDER: John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012; Tel: 212-850-6011

Sports Field Management Guide. Volume 1.
Nelson, Eric K.; Stier, John C., Landry, Gil
(Intertec Publishing Co., Overland Park, KS , Sep 1999)
This journal presents three articles on athletic facility turf management practices. Articles are as follows: "Turfgrass Choices for Athletic Fields," (Eric K. Nelson); "Fertilization: Maximizing Performance of High-Traffic Turf," (John C. Stier); and "Tips for Sports Turf Managers," (Gil Landry). Supplement to American School & University magazine September, 1999 issue. 15 pp.
TO ORDER: Intertec Publishing, P.O. Box 12901, Overland Park, KS 66282-2901; Tel: 800-441-0294

Sports Fields: A Manual for Design Construction and Maintenance.
Puhalla, Jim; Krans, Jeff; Goatley, Mike
(John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY , 1999)
Comprehensive technical reference information is provided for those responsible for the design, construction, renovation, or maintenance of sports grounds. Chapters illustrate specific design elements of all popular sports facilities and explain how those elements are integrated in a successful project; explore commonly encountered sports field problems, and suggest appropriate solutions; follow the sequence of steps for construction or renovation of facilities; and provide practical guidance for continuing maintenance programs. The manual is divided into three general growing zones in North America to account for the different growing climates and characteristics of turfgrass needs. Also included are a review of procedures and equipment currently in use to evaluate the quality and safety of a sports field; and miscellaneous related topics that include stadium management, sand fields, turf paints and covers, and research that is likely to have a substantial impact on the future of sports fields. 480p.

Green Investment, Green Return: How Practical Conservation Projects Save Millions on America's Campuses.
Eagan, David; Keniry, Julian
(National Wildlife Federation, Reston, VA , 1998)
Highlights 23 cost-saving conservation initiatives at 15 public and private postsecondary institutions across the United States. Savings per project ranged from little more than $1,000 to $9 million, and the total savings across the 23 projects were $16.8 million, which represents an average of $728,500 per campus. The projects address issues of transportation, energy and water conservation, materials re-use and redistribution, composting, recycling, and management of hazardous chemicals. 77p.

The Boston Schoolyard Initiative: An American City's Approach to Sustainable Schoolyard Development. Adobe PDF
Meyer, Kirk
(Paper presented at the Learning through Landscapes: Grounds for Celebration Conference , Sep 21, 1997)
This presentation describes the development process behind the Boston Schoolyard Initiative: a 5-year, inner city, community-driven initiative to transform neglected and unwelcome schoolyards into active centers of school and community use. Each phase of the initiative is discussed from community organizing through design, construction, and ongoing maintenance. The initiative shows sustainable schoolyard programs need total involvement from all potential users in the design and development phases, a focus on the multi-use approach, the integration of the school grounds into the life of the school, and inclusion of the school yard in future budgeting allocations. 8p.

School Grounds: A Guide to Good Practice. Adobe PDF
Funnell, Keith; Alford, Valerie; Denegri, Don; Johns, Sally; Young, Bob
(Department for Education and Employment, Architects and Building Branch, London, England , 1997)
Limited financial resources and increasing pressures of competing claims on school outdoor grounds have created the need for greater quality enhancement of these areas to ensure they are used efficiently. This document addresses the issues and principles affecting school grounds, provides an analysis of the benefits of using and developing these areas, and outlines the processes necessary for successful school ground management as advocated by Learning through Landscapes. Chapters examine why ground surveying is important; how the National Curriculum provides a framework for the need to teach in the outdoor classroom; and why schools should develop a clear justification for their management of breaks and lunch times, as well as the special nature of this experience and its connection with student behavior. Additionally explored are recent research on the hidden curriculum and how school ground design influences behavior, different options and their contractual arrangements for school ground maintenance, and resources for planning grounds changes. It discusses the importance of the process of developing school grounds and of student involvement. 140p.
TO ORDER: The Publications Centre, P.O. Box 276, London, SW8 5DT; Tel: 0171-873-9090; Fax: 0171-873-8200

Esso Schoolwatch Survey Pack. Adobe PDF
Wood, Joan, et al
(Learning Through Landscape Trust, Winchester, England , 1997)
A survey packet, designed for primary schools, helps schools establish site monitoring activities that involve the entire school community in evaluating and maintaining school grounds. The packet helps the community collect information on how the grounds are used and by whom, how the grounds are maintained and whether they are in a good condition, and what image the grounds convey to those within and beyond the school community. The data collected can be used to manage sites effectively, provide basic information for site development, avoid destroying resources already acquired, recognize causes of problems, isolate features or practices that are unsafe, identify income-generating potential and possible savings, and avoid repetition of mistakes when undertaking site development. Concluding sections address analyzing and using survey information, curriculum links in surveying school grounds, an example of a site plan, and lists of resources. 58p.

Grounds Maintenance Evaluation. Adobe PDF
(Chesapeake Public Schools, Office of Program Evaluation, Chesapeake, VA , 1996)
The Grounds Shop of the Chesapeake Public School Division (Virginia) Department of School Plants was evaluated in 1995-96. The goals of the grounds maintenance program are to provide safe and attractive grounds for students, parents, and staff of the school district. The evaluation examined the extent to which these goals are being met by using ratings by 36 principals. Whether the program could be restructured to improve efficiency and effectiveness and whether there is a role for a private provider of lawn services were also explored. Over 60% of the principals rated the overall grounds maintenance activities of the Grounds Shop as above average, but the final appearance of the lawns was not always excellent. Groundskeepers attributed this to not having enough time for the final touches. Better communication between principals and groundskeeping staff would improve the program. It is concluded that the current in-house staff offers generally efficient and cost-effective service when compared with the estimated costs of an outside lawn service. 79p.

A Legacy of Us: Maintaining and Managing Your School Grounds. Adobe PDF
Layzell, Julie; Rogers, Nicola; Flatt, Graham
(Learning through Landscape Trust, Winchester, England; Hampshire County Council Schools Landscape Project, England , 1996)
This manual and videotape provides guidance on establishing effective school ground maintenance and management practices that link the grounds development phases with appropriate management. The video provides an overview of the key issues by showing approaches adopted by five different schools, and the manual explores these issues in greater detail offering additional outline information on the practice of maintenance and management of school grounds as well as a resource directory of organizations and contacts who can give support to schools. 35p.
TO ORDER: The Green Brick Road, 429 Danforth Ave., Ste. 408, Toronto, ON, Canada M4K 1P1; Tel: 800-473-3638.

The Challenge of the Urban School Site Adobe PDF
Martin, Deborah, Ed.; Lucas, Bill, Ed.; Titman, Wendy, Ed.; Hayward, Siobhan, Ed.
(Learning Through Landscape Trust, Winchester, England , 1996)
This guidebook provides information on improving urban school grounds to enhance children's lives. Chapters provide the experiences from other schools on the topics of greening the urban school grounds; the multi-cultural aspects of developing urban school grounds; organization of limited space; issues involving seating, shelter, and raised structures; and playground art. The unique difficulties involved in secondary school ground development are addressed in the areas of curriculum linkage, social needs, and the management and organization of change. Additionally discussed are areas of special consideration in urban school grounds development, such as vandalism prevention, school security, tarmac removal, and new surface installation. Resource information is provided along with a list of schools and their locations which have created winning grounds development schemes. 110p.

Turf Management Handbook. Good Turf for Lawns, Playing Fields, and Parks.
Schroeder, Charles B.; Sprague, Howard B.
(Interstate Publishers, Inc., Danville, IL , 1996)
Practical guidelines for turf management are provided that explain the natural processes involved, specific materials and equipment, and procedures that have been found to produce desirable results with a minimum of effort and expense. The handbook starts with information on how grasses grow, then proceeds through various chapters on turfgrass characteristics for cooler and warmer regions, soil characteristics, practical use of fertilizers, new turf care, weed and insect control, irrigation, procedures on renovating poor turf, and seasonal schedules for management of turf areas. 206p.
TO ORDER: Interstate Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 50, Danville, IL 61834; Tel: 800-843-4774

A Guide to the Management and Maintenance of School Grounds. Adobe PDF
Wood, Joan; Littlewood, Michael
(Learning Through Landscape Trust, Winchester, England , 1996)
A guidebook helps schools identify their maintenance requirements, choose the best organizational model of maintenance to ensure they receive a good quality service for their money, and help teachers and administrators achieve whole school awareness and commitment to school maintenance management. Sections address evaluating a school's maintenance situation, understanding what the different types of grounds maintenance organizations do, choosing the most appropriate kind of maintenance agreement, and deciding who to work with. Also included are several case studies. 94p.

Landscape Practices and Procedures. Adobe PDF
(State of Hawaii, Dept. of Education, Honolulu , Mar 1994)
Advises school administrators and custodians on the care and maintenance of school grounds, as well as community groups whenever beautification projects are undertaken. Sections of the document outline safety precautions, maintenance of equipment, and landscaping practices and procedures. Appendices offer a landscaping policy form and the Hawaii Department of Education plant list. 32p.
Report NO: RS 94-5280

Natural and Artificial Playing Fields: Characteristics and Safety Features.
Schmidt, Roger C., Ed.; Hoerner, Earl F., Ed.; Milner, Edward M., Ed.; Morehouse, C. A., Ed.
(ASTM International, Conshohocken, PA , 1990)
Papers are presented on the subjects of playing field standards, surface traction, testing and correlation to actual field experience, and state-of-the-art natural and artificial surfaces. The papers, presented at the Symposium on the Characteristics and Safety of Playing Surfaces (Artificial and Natural) for Field Sports in 1998, cover the interaction of a sport with the playing field by offering views of designers, administrators, athlete, and sport researchers. 196p.
Report NO: STP-1073

References to Journal Articles

The Real Cost of Mowing
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions; Nov 2011
Three part series looks at the cost of owning and operating a mower. Part 1: Focus on Life-Cycle Costs Can Deliver Big Benefits; Part 2: Components of a Mower's Life-Cycle Cost; Part 3: Landscape Changing for Mower Specification.

Grounds Department Updates Operations for Green, Financial Benefits
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions; Oct 2011
Explores how the grounds managers of the 126-acre campus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California ensure landscaped and turf areas look their best, protect the environment, and enhance the bottom line.

Water Conservation Focus of Grounds Department's Efforts
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions; Oct 2011
Describes how the California Institute of Technology grounds department installed a weather station and a computerized irrigation system. The control system applies the least amount of water necessary for the current climactic conditions, including air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and solar.

Making the Most of Mowers.
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions; v19 n8 , p20 ; Aug 2011
Describes Michigan State University's use of multi-purpose equipment for mowers and other landscaping needs, such as sweeping and plowing.

Designing the Successful Grounds Organization.
Gratto, Fred
Facilities Manager; v27 n4 , p22-24,26 ; Jul 2011
Makes case for competent and committed grounds staff who fully understand the scope of their duties and responsibilities and know the mission of the entire organization. they will require less supervision as they become more capable and more self-sufficient, more responsible, ore confident, and better able to contribute to the mission.

Caring for Growing Places.
Klingensmith, Dawn
Recreation Management; v12 n7 , p34-36 ; Jul 2011
Describes the many different reasons for maintaining grounds, including not just functionality and safety, but also user comfort and satisfaction. Aesthetic appeal is critical on college campuses, where first impressions and environmental psychology are deemed important factors for student recruitment and retention.

Snow and Ice Management: Cold Treatment.
Moore, Bruce
Maintenance Solutions; v19 n7 , p19,20 ; Jul 2011
Describes changes in snow and ice management from exclusive use of granular materials to luquid anti-icing materials.

Strategies for Sustainable Landscapes.
Moore, Bruce
Maintenance Solutions; v19 n5 , p24,26 ; May 2011
Discusses current high-efficiency irrigation systems, low-maintenance and regionally hardy plants, and integrated pest management for more environmentally conscious and affordable landscapes.

Budget Benefits of Grounds Care Attachments.
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions; v19 n4 , p19,20 ; Apr 2011
Advises on expanding the utility of grounds care equipment with innovative attachments that can obviate the need for new pieces of equipment, or convert one type of equipment into another. Advice on assessing groundskeeping needs, inventorying current equipment, and assessing attachment efficacy is included.

Roofing: A Growth Opportunity.
Vorley, Wade
Maintenance Solutions; v19 n1 , p11,12,14 ; Jan 2011
Describes challenges and benefits of vegetative roofs and summarizes the challenges and considerations for installation and maintenance.

Major Challenge: Big-Ticket Equipment. [Grounds Management: Buying Big-Ticket Equipment.]
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions; v18 n9 , p22,24 ; Sep 2010
Advises on the selection of "big-ticket" equipment for university grounds maintenance. Involving the users in the selection, presenting the case to financial staff, negotiating the price, and connecting the need for the equipment to the mission of the university are addressed.

Bio-diesel: Toe in the Water Makes Big Waves. [Bio-Diesel: One University's Experience with the Alternative Fuel.]
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions; v18 n8 ; Aug 2010
Describes advantages and roadblocks faced in experimental conversion to bio-diesel fuel in landscape services equipment at University of Mississippi. Combining the correct fuel ratio and the most efficient machinery yielded dramatic time- and cost-savings.

Project Planning: Building Collaboration.
Matt, Chris
Maintenance Solutions; v18 n6 , p22,23 ; Jun 2010
Describes decision-making process for purchasing equipment for landscape services. Light construction equipment and attachments can improve worker productivity and safety. Equipment should have interchangeable pieces whenever possible. A year-round maintenance plan should be put in place.

Cutting-Edge Alternative.
Maintenance Solutions; v18 n1 , p23,24 ; Jan 2010
Discusses the use of propane-powered mowing equipments, which use less fuel and produces less exhaust.

Landscaping for Less.
Hanson, Dave
Facility Management Journal; v19 n6 , p37,38 ; Nov-Dec 2009
Describes the replacement of landscaping turf with drought-resistant ornamental plants. These landscapes are typically no more expensive to install than turf and cost far less in maintenance.

Grounded in Service.
Matt, Chris
Maintenance Solutions; v17 n11 , p6,7 ; Nov 2009
Profiles Michigan State University's Landscape Services department, which operates like an on-campus contractor. Examples of large and small projects executed by the department, how they work with the facilities staff and building contractors, and how they organize and maintain their inventory of flora are described.

A Tall Task in Texas.
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions; v17 n9 , p18 ; Sep 2009
Describes challenges to the mowing program at the University of Texas, where 124 acres of turf are congested by 70,000 students, faculty, and staff; the temperatures during mowing season are high; construction vehicles compact the soil and harm trees; and economic pressures have reduced seasonal hiring.

Restorative School Landscaping.
Rinck, Robert
School Planning and Management; v48 n5 , p20,22,24,25 ; May 2009
Describes how to restore a school landscape through consultation with a design professional, collection of data on existing conditions and vegetation, analysis of traffic patterns, and use of space. Replacement of expansive traditional lawns with "no-mow" lawns and low maintenance plantings, use of materials that look best during the school year, and using the landscape as a teaching tool are among the recommendations.

Fleet Management: Strategies for Success.
Walker, Cathy
Maintenance Solutions; v17 n4 , p28,29 ; Apr 2009
Discusses specification, training, and maintenance for fleets groundskeeping equipment, emphasizing strong relationships with suppliers, cost-effective replacement, choosing the particular personnel to train, and proactive maintenance that is organized by a maintenance department rather than the users.

Staff Safety: Issues and Answers.
Camplin, Jeffery
Maintenance Solutions; v17 n2 , p18 ; Feb 2009
Discusses safety issues for grounds workers, including identification of biological and machine hazards, typical injuries, protective gear and clothing, and maintaining a written safety handbook.

Grounds Asset Management: Bigger Equipment, Better Results.
Matt, Chris
Maintenance Solutions; v17 n2 , p16,17 ; Feb 2009
Advises on the selection of light construction equipment for use in grounds management. Selecting the correct equipment for the job and the users, choosing attachments, renting versus buying, and training are discussed.

Mowers: The Sustainability Connection.
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions; v17 n1 , p20 ; Jan 2009
Discusses advances in environmental considerations for mowers, including those that run on alternative fuels or electricity, and produce less noise.

Let it Snow.
Michael Fickes.
School Planning and Management; v48 n1 , p25-27 ; Jan 2009
Discusses snow removal at schools, highlighting the practices of Kentucky's Jefferson County Public Schools. Types of equipment, salt and brining practices, staffing, plowing and piling advice, and protection of interior floors are addressed.

Grounds Care: A Case Study in Sustainability.
Walker, Cathy
Maintenance Solutions; v16 n12 , p16,17 ; Dec 2008
Profiles Illinois State University's use of pervious concrete, resurfacing of asphalt with cooler and longer-lasting concrete, recycling of wood waste into mulch, modification of landscaping vehicles to use a biodiesel mix, and integrated pest management.

Nature's Classroom.
Beuttell, Kevin
School Planning and Management; v47 n7 , p22-25 ; Jul 2008
Describes the advantages of natural landscaping on school grounds, including lower maintenance costs, environmental friendliness, and opportunities for outdoor learning. Advice on site selection and preparation, plant selection, and maintenance is included.

Duke University's Quality Appearance Program.
Jackson, Joe
Facilities Manager; v24 n3 , p38-41 ; May-Jun 2008
Describes the Quality Appearance Program (QAP) initiated by Duke University's Grounds Services Unit. The QAP is a self evaluation process that embodies four points (identify, analyze, effectuate, and evaluate) and mandates that quality grounds should be beautiful, appealing, and diverse. The article contains a full-circle process diagram and a comprehensive rubric chart.

Green Machines.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v32 n3 , p78-80,82,84,86 ; Mar 2008
Reviews current options for environmentally preferable groundskeeping equipment, including biodiesel, electric, propane, and hybrid machines. Excessive optimism over ethanol is countered with a discussion of the environmental impact of growing more corn.

Grounds Care Goes Green.
Hounsell, Dan
Maintenance Solutions; v16 n1 , p30 ; Jan 2008
Reviews groundskeeping equipment and operations choices that save energy and reduce pollution.

Utility Vehicles: Driving Toward Sustainability.
Matt, Chris
Maintenance Solutions; v15 n12 , p18,19 ; Dec 2007
Reviews options for campus grounds maintenance vehicles, with particular attention to the limitations and opportunities with electric vehicles, opportunities for bio-diesel and propane vehicles, and vehicle maintenance.

Taking Control of Bothersome Birds.
Walker, Cathy
Maintenance Solutions; v15 n9 , p25,26 ; Sep 2007
Reviews the health threats posed by birds and their droppings, strategies to control bird infestations at the outset, bird deterring products, and laws protecting migratory, but not domestic, bird populations.

Grounds Attachments: The Tools of Productivity.
Walker, Cathy
Maintenance Solutions; v15 n8 , p25,26 ; Aug 2007
Reviews attachments for mowing equipment and tractors that are useful in grounds maintenance. Snow-removal equipment, leaf vacuums, aerators, brooms, trailers, seeders, sprayers, spreaders, buckets, augers, trimmers, and tillers are covered, with advice on attachment selection and their use in extending the use and life of equipment included.

Let It Rain.
Milshtein, Amy
College Planning and Management; v10 n4 ; Apr 2007
Reviews the value of quality campus grounds to student recruitment and retention, with attention to sustainable landscape design and maintenance, including use of native plants, organic practices, conservation during construction, and use of the landscape to control run-off.

Moving Toward Better Ant and Weed Management in Schools. Adobe PDF
Messenger, Belinda; Babb, Thomas; Simmons, Sewell
CASH Register; v28 n3 , p10,11 ; Mar 2007
Discusses non-aerosol control of ants and weeds, sanitation to control ants, and turf management practices that strengthen grass and reduce weeds.

For a Desert Campus, More Than Rocks and Cactus.
Blumenstyk, Goldie
The Chronicle of Higher Education; v53 n25 , pB16,B17 ; Feb 23, 2007
Describes the conversion of most of the University of Las Vegas' grounds from lawns to xeriscapes, citing the use of diverse native flora and subsidies from the county water authority.

Grade Your Schools.
Ilg, Timothy
School Planning and Management; v45 n6 , p56-58 ; Jun 2006
Decries the lack of a principal's responsibility for school buildings and grounds and offers eight suggestions to principals that will help them assess the community's opinion of the school's appearance, involve the students and community in school upkeep, audit and budget for building and grounds conditions, and fully utilize school grounds for learning.

Maximize Your Water Use, Minimize Your Chemical Applications.
School Planning and Management; v45 n4 , pG14,G16,G18,G20 ; Apr 2006
Outlines components and scheduling for a turf irrigation system and program, emphasizing precision irrigation to safe water and reduce chemical use.

The Value of First Impressions.
Kautz, John; Rayburn, Kevin
College Planning and Management; v9 n4 , p10-15 ; Apr 2006
Profiles two institutions that have learned the value of the campus itself as a recruiting tool. Campus improvement and beautification projects at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and the Belknap Campus of the University of Louisville have brought both schools many benefits, including an improved image, growing student pride and involvement, and increasing enrollments.

Pest Prevention: Outdoor Maintenance Practices. Adobe PDF
Simmons, Sewell
CASH Register; v27 n3 , p6-8 ; Mar 2006
Outlines outdoor maintenance practices to deter pests. These include sealing the building, clearing plants away from the building; moisture, food, and garbage management; and turf and landscape maintenance.

Environment 101.
Pryor, Philip
American School and University; v77 n13 , p161-163 ; Aug 2005
Discusses environmentally sound landscaping practices, such as native plantings, allowing grass to go dormant during drought, tree planting designed to reduce air conditioning demands, composting, decreasing the amount of impervious surface area, and recycling.

Campus Landscaping: More Than Cutting Grass and Trimming Trees.
Todaro, Tony; Sigars, Mark
College Planning and Management; v7 n8 , p36,37 ; Aug 2004
Describes plantings at Nova Southeastern University that pertain to the academic program and also plant considerations around childcare facilities.

Maintenance Sourcebook: Landscaping and Grounds.
Macht, Carol; Gomulka, Ken; Harper, Wayne; Conry, Terry
College Planning and Management; v6 n8 , p14-18 ; Aug 2003
Asserts that facility managers need continual education in many subjects to keep their campuses in excellent condition, highlighting four areas related to landscaping and maintenance: landscaping care; athletic field care; grounds care; and equipment care. Lists of relevant professional organizations are included.

Mowers: Choice Cuts.
Walker, Cathy
Maintenance Solutions; Mar 2003
Grounds care managers have more options than ever when it comes to specifying mowing equipment. The choices are almost overwhelming. To make the decision easier, this lists important criteria to help managers narrow the search and ultimately choose the right mowing equipment.

Grounds Maintenance is More Than Just Mowing the Lawn.
Steger, Michael G.
College Planning and Management; v5 n7 , p12 ; Jul 2002
Quality grounds result from a well-rounded program involving knowledge of plants, implementation and management of a fertilization and pest management program, and implementation and management of an active design/project/replacement program.

Is the Grass Always Greener on the Other Side?
Pica, V. Joseph
School Planning and Management; v41 n6 , p50-52 ; Jun 2002
Describes how Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California opted for artificial turf for its athletic field to avoid the complications associated with maintaining live turf in a low-water environment.

Curbside Critique: A Technique to Maintain a Positive School Yard Image.
Strickland, Jessie Shields; Chan, T.C.
School Business Affairs; v68 n5 , p24-27 ; May 2002
Describes use of a "curbside critique," a weekly assessment by community volunteers and school leaders to maintain an appealing appearance of the schoolyard and building exterior.

Turf Wars: A New Synthetic-Grass Product Takes the Field.
Gehring, John
Education Week; v21 n21 , p6 ; Feb 06, 2002
Article discusses educational facilites that have switched from traditional grass athletic fields to a synthetic-grass surface that requires much less maintenance and provides greater safety advantages. [Free subscriber registration is required.]

Playing the Infield.
Custis, S. Gary
Grounds Maintenance; Feb 2002
Sports fields are some of the most challenging areas in turfgrass management. New baseball and softball infields require different care and management than fields that have been established for a season or more. Discusses field demands, turf species, soil makeup, aeration, fertilization, and pesticides.

Ground Control.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v25 n4 , p89-92,94-97 ; Apr 2001
Discusses how use of the right equipment can provide the best maintenance for athletic fields. Mowing, fertilizing, and irrigating equipment for turf management are discussed.

A New Generation of Mowers
Walker, Cathy
Maintenance Solutions Online; Jan 2001
Advances in speed, size, flexibility and performance can help managers specify the right equipment to meet facilities’ turf needs.

Cold-weather Considerations
Maintenance Solutions Online; Dec 2000
The ‘slow season’ gives grounds managers an opportunity to prepare for warmer weather. This discusses equipment, chemicals, staff, budget and schedules. An equipment winterization plan is included.

When Is It Time To Contract Out Your Landscape Operations?
DeStefano, Stephanie
Facilities Manager; v16 n5 , p42-45 ; Sep-Oct 2000
Discusses the option of privatizing school grounds operations and points to consider when trying to decide whether it is the best option for a school to use. Outsourcing contract writing and contract management are discussed.

Stormwater, Students, and Swamp.
Leeds, Charles W.
Facilities Manager; v16 n5 , p40-41 ; Sep-Oct 2000
Discusses Villanova University's (Pennsylvania) development of a stormwater wetland area to help collect water from small storms, remove sediment and pollutants, and return the water into a local stream.

Taking Root?
Popke, Michael
Athletic Business; v24 n9 , p53-59 ; Sep 2000
Shows how advances in field-surface technology have resulted in natural grasses and synthetic turf systems that deliver durability and extended use.

What Should Stay Put? Campus Landscape Planning for the Long Term.
Yahres, Mike Van
Facilities Manager; v16 n5 , p35-38 ; Sep-Oct 2000
Discusses campus landscape long-term planning and design decision making during campus alterations and upgrades. Those campus landscape elements that tend to remain in place and planning for their continued existence are discussed.

Feet First.
Cohen, Andrew
Athletic Business; v24 n7 , p47-48,50,52,54-55 ; Jul 2000
Discusses the high priority nature and maintenance needs of keeping playing surfaces to sports and recreation facilities. Grass and synthetic field and track surface maintenance are discussed as are gym floors, hard-surface tennis courts, and ice surfaces.

Pursuing the CGM: The PGMs Certified Grounds Manager Program.
Haasteren, George Van
Facilities Manager; v16 n3 , p60-62 ; Jul-Aug 2000
Discusses what it means to be a Certified Grounds Manager (CGM) and provides the steps towards preparation for becoming a CGM. Ten reasons for becoming a CGM are listed.

Six Steps to Grounds Maintenance Master Planning.
Fickes, Michael
College Planning and Management; v3 n4 , p47-50 ; Apr 2000
Discusses six steps in integrating grounds maintenance into the master planning process which can lower maintenance costs while creating a beautiful campus. Areas addressed include quantifying maintenance tasks, developing standards and specifications for each task, developing work schedules, and monitoring performance.

Landscaping With Maintenance in Mind.
Sorensen, Randy
School Planning and Management; v39 n2 , p52-54 ; Feb 2000
Examines school ground landscape design that enhances attractive of the school and provides for easier maintenance. Landscape design issues discussed include choice of grass, trees, and shrubs; irrigation; and safety and access. Other considerations for lessening maintenance problems for facility managers are also highlighted.

Fowl Play.
Dahlgren, Sally
Athletic Business; v24 n1 , p63-64,66,72-73 ; Jan 2000
Discusses ways some universities have dealt with eliminating insects and wildlife from their athletic fields. The types problems to look for, the damage pests can cause, the safety issues involved, and tips on remedies are examined.

Make the Most of Your Schoolyard
Coffee, Stephen R.; Rivkin, Mary S.
Principal; v79 n2 , p31-32,33-35 ; Nov 1999
With the "greening of the schoolyard" gathering momentum, it is important to build an understanding between educators and facilities managers. Principals are advised to avoid surprises, consider costs, plan for long-term maintenance, consider safety and liability, address concerns about physical security, and keep the neighbors happy.

Schoolyard Habitat Sustainability: Discouraging Vandalism
Stout, Beth
Clearing; n105 , p29-31 ; Fall 1999
Discusses vandalism to schoolyard habitat site areas. Finds that instances of vandalism are few and the threat of vandalism can be kept to a minimum while students, teachers, and community members enjoy a hands-on, outdoor learning opportunity.

Compaction and Wear Concerns on Sports Fields.
Gillan, John
Facilities Manager; v15 n5 , p43-45 ; Sep-Oct 1999
Describes relatively simple measures athletic facility managers can use to alleviate the turf destruction and compaction of athletic fields including seed and soil amendments and modifications on team practice. Ways of enhancing surface traction and lessen surface hardness are explored.

Fifteen Tips for Improving Your Grounds This Summer.
Sturgeon, Julie
College Planning and Management; v1 n3 , p35-36,38 ; May 1998
Provides tips on how to improve a university's or college's campus grounds maintenance program that can enhance a school's appearance and improve the odds of increasing enrollment. Grass selection, tree and shrub management, and the use of flowers are examined.

Building a Pond on the School Grounds
Pope, Jonathan
Clearing; n100 , p14-15 ; Jan-Feb 1998
Describes the efforts of two teachers to construct a pond and woods on school grounds. The teachers used specialized student teams for working on a wetland study and the building project. An advisory committee including teachers, the principal, and the custodian worked through maintenance issues. Includes ideas for creating outdoor science centers.

Watson, James R.
Athletic Business; v22 n1 , p59-61, 64 ; Jan 1998
Discusses how proper irrigation and drainage design can enhance athletic field maintenance operations. It explores the factors influencing irrigation and drainage design decisions and offers design tips for various athletic fields that respond to efficient water management and cost control.

Keeping School Grounds Green.
Davitt, Keith
The Construction Specifier; v50 n9 , p50-51, 53-54 ; Sep 1997
Discusses how athletic field school irrigation systems are being transformed by shrinking budgets, environmental concerns, and industry-inspired advances. The costs involved, the new devices that contribute to system efficiency, and the need for user education are examined.

Smooth Operators.
Perry, Floyd, Jr.
Athletic Business; v21 n1 , p59-62, 64 ; Jan 1997
Examines specific steps in athletic field maintenance to assure a high-quality baseball playing field. Areas examined are the pitcher's mound, hitting areas, baselines and base areas, the skinned areas or bad-hop zones, edging techniques, and infield turf repair.

Transforming School Grounds into Natural Learning Environments
Keetch, Tammy
Clearing; n94 , p8-9 ; Aug-Sep 1996
Discusses the benefits as well as the concerns of changing traditional asphalt and turf grass grounds into educational resources. Benefits include an opportunity for hands-on learning, a softer and more creative area for play, a reduction in school ground violence among students, an ecologically improved landscape, and a reduction in maintenance requirements with a chemical free landscape.

Cutting to the Chase.
Spoor, Dana L.
American School & University; v68 n9 , p37-38 ; May 1996
Addresses the issue of grounds care at educational facilities. Tips for purchasing and maintaining equipment, keeping regular maintenance schedules, and properly training workers are presented. Safety tips are also included for employees operating grounds equipment.



Due to lack of funding, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities is currently available only as an archived site. As of September 1, 2012 no new content will be added or updates made. We regret the need to take such steps, but should funding become available, we look forward to reinvigorating NCEF and providing this valuable resource to the educational facilities community.

If you have questions or are an organization or company wishing to support the continued operation of this industry recognized resource please contact Institute President Henry Green (, 202-289-7800).