BALTIMORE – The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) is in the process of unveiling a new landscape recognition program, the PGMS Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation.
The purpose of the program is to determine if a campus landscape/management system is utilizing best management practices.
The first part of the evaluation requires the candidate to review their program as they relate to the three principles of the PGMS accreditation program: Environmental Stewardship, Economic Performance and Social Responsibilities.
The key principles to be evaluated in each category are as follows:
Environmental Stewardship: provide leadership and effective communication, value ecosystem services, manage resources within natural limitations, evaluation of existing natural resources to preserve and conserve, establish environmental policies and evaluation processes and implement environmentally sustainable initiatives.
In the economic performance area, candidates for the accreditation designation will be asked to address the key principles:
Use of renewable and sustainable resources, eliminate or reduce the use of resources that are difficult or impossible to renew, improve grounds managements performance through policies and programs, investigate the use of advanced and emerging technologies, conduct life cycle assessment and costing and produce contingency plans that reflect budget reductions.
Social responsibility key principles set for evaluation included: ecosystems are safe, healthy and productive, natural processes and human activities co-exist, involve stakeholders to define and link long-term maintenance strategies, find new resources and technologies that enhance the user’s quality of life, the environment, routine assessment of training and development needs is being performed and workforce environment is responsive to employee’s health, safety and welfare needs.
Successful candidates will receive a one-, two-, three-, or four-star accreditation based on their level of meeting best practices. This rigorous evaluation process examines more than just general maintenance of a landscape. It strongly stresses best practices and sustainability procedures and, in all of the program’s test sites situations, it has proven to be a challenging evaluation.
“The value it will give to professional grounds managers and the recognition it will provide them and their campus will be well worth the investment,” said Joe Jackson, CGM.
While initially focused at the education campus, the program will quickly be modified so that a grounds professional overseeing any type campus like a cemetery, hospital or golf course, will be able to achieve accreditation.