2023 PGMS Green Star Awards | SSC’s Winning Campuses

October 20, 2023

Each year, the PGMS Green Star Awards® nationally recognize private, public, commercial, and industrial landscapes maintained with a high degree of excellence. This year, SSC Services for Education is excited to announce awards received for operations on four of our partner campuses. 2023 marks the seventh year that SSC has received recognition from PGMS.

Grand Award: Aurora University

Aurora University is a private, four-year, nonprofit accredited higher education institution offering excellence in education.  It was founded in 1893 in Mendota, Illinois before moving to Aurora in 1912. The main campus is in Aurora, approximately 45 miles from Chicago. The campus is comprised of a 42-acre main campus and a 90-acre sports park and has maintained their Tree Campus USA designation for 10 years.  

Led by Grounds Manager Kevin Baumann, the Grounds Team at Aurora University strives to provide a campus environment that is encouraging for the entire campus community, supporting inclusivity, and emphasizing the transformative power of learning. Excellence is the standard at Aurora University, and our goal is to make that obvious when students and visitors first walk on and through campus. 

Honor Award: Nord Anglia

The Village School is located on over 28 acres in Houston, TX, with over 200,000 square feet of facilities divided among seven main buildings, including gymnasiums, natatoriums, and residential life. Sports areas cover 6.42 acres and consist of athletic, practice, and synthetic fields. British International School is located on 33 acres in Katy, TX, with modern glass architecture, making it a unique design in the area. The sports area covers seven acres and consists of two NCAA-sized gymnasiums, a FIFA regulation soccer field with two additional practice fields, a fitness center, gaga courts, and an aquatics center.  

Led by Grounds Manager Cristina Harville, our partnership with Nord Anglia includes a comprehensive grounds management program including mulch replacement once a year and bed enhancements twice a year. We also complete special projects upon request, overseeding once a year and fertilization and weed control following the grounds cultural calendar.  

Honor Award: West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University sits in the heart of the Texas Panhandle, spanning over 423 acres of managed APPA 1 and 2 landscapes. Our grounds team manages over 348 acres on the main campus, including eight synthetic turf fields and a 70-acre cross-country course. In addition, we manage two WT properties on the north side of Amarillo (30-minute drive), totaling 8.74 acres, and five additional agriculture properties outside of Canyon, totaling 3873.75 acres. The harsh, imposing climate of the Texas Panhandle makes grounds management a challenge on a day-to-day basis.  

Led by Grounds Manager Aaron Shehan, the Grounds Team’s mission is to manage a safe, well-maintained outdoor environment for learning and provide the “grounds” for growing as a community. 

Honor Award: Henderson State University

Henderson State University (HSU) is a public, co-ed university in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Founded in 1890 as Arkadelphia Methodist College, HSU is Arkansas’s only public liberal arts school and one of the state’s oldest publicly funded universities. The campus is located on 156 acres, requiring daily grounds management including over 44 acres of mowing, five thousand annual plants, lawns, trees, shrubs, and perennials, many special requests on campus, and management of three athletic fields for events. The team manages lawns, trees, shrubs, and perennials daily. 

Led by Grounds Manager Josh Hebig, the Team at Henderson State University takes pride in the work they do each day and its impact on creating beautiful curb appeal and a safe on-campus experience for students and staff. 


Congratulations to all SSC Grounds Teams and campuses recognized for their excellence this year at the 2023 Professional Grounds Management Society’s Green Star Awards. For more information on SSC Grounds Management services, check out our grounds service page.

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