LOUISVILLE, Ky. -The Professional Grounds Management Society, (PGMS), awarded its highest honor, the Green Star Grand Award, to four members here Oct. 25, in association with the School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO.

PGMS is a confederation of institutional grounds management professionals who support their peers through education, certification, maintaining ethical standards and creating fellowship.

The Green Star Grand Awards were presented to:

– Jeff McManus, CGM, University of Mississippi-University and College Grounds category; – John Reinhart, University of Guelph-Urban University Grounds category;
– Kent Bagnell, Venetian Resort-Hotel, Motel, or Resort category;
– Gary Davis, Providence St. Peter Hospital-Hospital or Institution category.

Along with his award, McManus, director of landscape services, University of Mississippi, is also a certified arborist (ISA) and earned his bachelor’s degree in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture from Auburn University.

McManus told Turf magazine, "Whether we like it or not, people often judge our organization by the outside appearance. Our objective is to expand the beauty of the campus in order to attract, support, and increase a healthy, safe learning environment. I cannot say enough about the men and women who, day in and day out, perform the duties of creating and maintaining one of the world’s most beautiful campuses."

The annual PGMS Awards Program brings national recognition to those institutional grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence. The program complements other national landscape award programs by recognizing outstanding landscape design and construction.

John Reinhart, studied horticulture at the University of Guelph before working in the grounds department there. Reinhart explained that receiving the award means a great deal to both the grounds management staff and to the university.

"It has been my goal for the past four years to achieve this honor and accepting it and meeting the other professionals at the conference was a real pleasure. It confirms what we already know and work for every day – the University of Guelph is a well-maintained, uniquely beautiful place to work and learn."

Bagnell says the award gives him the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the great team they have assembled at the Venetian Resort, "They are dedicated to continually improving the resort; the hedges and topiaries require continuous trimming, sub-par plant material is replaced immediately and they are always willing to try new plant material."

In addition to the four Grand Award winners, PGMS presented 22 Honors Awards and seven Merit Awards in 11 categories. For a complete listing of awards, please follow this link: http://pgms.org/2013-green-star-award-winners/