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The Christ Hospital Grounds Crew Nationally Honored for Landscaping Excellence

The Christ Hospital has been presented with the Green Star Grand Award by the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) in recognition of high quality landscaping and maintenance standards. The Grand Award is the highest honor from PGMS.

“We appreciate the opportunity to have our work recognized by our peers from across the nation,” said Thomas Bates, director of real estate and transportation at The Christ Hospital. “We’re trying to create landscapes that not only beautify the hospital, but also give back to the community and improve the environment.”

A unique rain garden was built at The Christ Hospital to capture storm water runoff from Mason Street. The garden contains three separate cells, each made up of layers of gravel, specially engineered soil mix, native plants and perennials. These gardens allow captured rainwater to slowly percolate into the ground or be used by plants, which also help to remove impurities. These gardens have the capacity to divert 243,000 gallons of water annually from the storm sewer system.

The Christ Hospital has partnered with the Mt. Auburn Community Council to construct and maintain a community garden. Plots are available to anyone interested in growing fresh produce, but who may not have enough land of their own. This initiative was undertaken to bring agriculture back to the urban core and introduce healthy and fresh food options to an underserved population.

The grounds crew identified an underused space near the Emergency Department as an ideal location for a fresh herb garden. This space was transformed into an eye-catching display of basil, thyme, cilantro and other herbs, which are harvested and used by the cafeteria staff.

Transformations have also taken place in existing landscapes. This year, the grounds crew converted to a fully organic treatment program. Plants of native or drought-tolerant varieties are selected. Some of the older equipment that ran on gasoline/oil mix is now powered by propane or lithium ion batteries. These changes not only help to maintain beautiful landscapes, they also help lessen the impact on the environment.

The Green Star Professional Grounds Management Awards have been presented by PGMS for the past 38 years. The aims of the awards program are to bring national recognition to grounds manicured with a high degree of excellence, to recognize individual professional efforts leading to high maintenance standards and to challenge those responsible for maintenance of grounds throughout the country to achieve a higher level of excellence. Honorees from The Christ Hospital include: Tom Bates, director of real estate and transportation; supervisors Karl Jacobs and Pete Leurck; and employees Eddie Butts, John Eiben, Ron Greene, Dustin Mann, Dawn Rodgers, John Stricker, Rock Terrance, Kevin Warren and Jim Wilson.

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