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.

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.



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).