FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith has earned a Green Star Campus award for its pristine landscaping and grounds management.
The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) has recognized UAFS with the Grand Award in the organization’s 2019 Green Star competition.
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.
UAFS shared the organization’s top honor with The University of Nevada at Reno, Oklahoma State University and The University of Maryland, besting hundreds of campuses across the country for the award.
According to a press release, the 13 grounds employees at UAFS maintain more than 168 acres in Fort Smith and help preserve the historic gardens and lawns at the Wilahuf and Drennen-Scott sites in Van Buren.
“It is a great honor to compete,” said Matt Rich, grounds manager for UAFS and its contracted lawn service company Southeast Service Corp., “But a greater honor still to win such accolades. Out of all the beautiful campuses in the United States, the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith is a gem that shines above the others.”
“Our team is dedicated to making this campus an exceptional place to be,” Rich continued. “They work hard each and every day, and I am so proud they have been rewarded for their efforts.”
Though the award acknowledges excellence, Rich said the grounds team plans to continue improving, from finding new ways to beautify the campus, to increasing efforts toward sustainable practices and environmentally-friendly gardening.
“There are many plans to innovate and renovate our campus so the students can interact with the landscape and enjoy their surroundings as they learn. We are all excited and proud to bring this award home, and hopefully, earn more in the future.”