Landscaping

The Landscape Services department maintains Georgia Tech's commitment to a livable, sustainable and beautiful campus. A dedicated team of landscape professionals implement responsible processes and third-party, sustainability certifications. The department's goal is to maintain an attractive and safe campus environment where students, faculty, staff and visitors can live, work and study in comfort.

Man doing landscaping on the campanile

The Landscape Services Department is responsible for the maintenance of grounds and landscape of Georgia Tech’s 426 acre campus.  That acreage is divided as 312.5 acres of landscape, 3.5 acres of naturalized land and 110 acres of building footprints. The Landscape Services Department is charged with the maintenance of both the landscape and hardscape, including the 11,642 trees on campus.

Through the diligent work of the Landscape Services Department, in partnership with Tech's Capital Planning team, the campus became a Level II Certified Arboretum in 2016. This level is recognized by both the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum, for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. 

      - Learn more about our Campus Arboretum

      - Take one of our four Arboretum Tours

Environmental Grounds Certifications  

PGMS Landscape Management Accreditation 

In 2015, Georgia Tech's Landscape Services department earned the prestigious PGMS 3 Star Landscape Management Accreditation, and then a Green Star Honors award for campus beauty. PGMS is the Professional Grounds Management Society, a nationally recognized organization that brings together grounds professionals in higher education institutions, park and recreation facilities, and more.  

PGMS Landscape Management and Operations accreditation is a 3rd-party verified process that requires commitment across three categories: environmental stewardship, economic performance and social responsibility. The PGMS Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation verifies and recognizes an integrated, environmental management systems approach applied to a grounds management. Read more. 

Tree Campus USA

Georgia Tech was an inaugural signatory of the Tree Campus USA program in 2008. A program of The Arbor Day Foundation, Tree Campus USA helps colleges and universities establish healthy community forests. We have maintained our commitment on an annual basis through a dedicated tree care plan, student engagement and a tree advisory committee that meets on a monthly basis. 

Department Evolution

2015:
  • Green Star Honors Award for Campus Beautification 
  • Georgia Urban Forest Council "President's Award" for The Georgia Tech Comprehensive Urban Campus Tree Inventory and Management project
  • PGMS Landscape Management and Operation Accreditation
2008:
  • Georgia Tech was an inaugural signatory of the Tree Campus USA program in 2008. 
An aerial view of Tech's campanile fountain surrounded by manicured trees and grass.

Professional In Every Way

Georgia Tech's Landscape Services Department Includes: 
  • 1 Certified Arborist
  • 3 Horticulturist II and 3 Horticulturist Assistants
  •  2 Georgia Certified Landscape Professional (GCLP)
  • 7 Georgia Commercial Pesticide Applicators Licenses, Category 24
  • 1 Construction Foreperson, 1 Maintenance Support Foreperson
  • 1 Turf Maintenance Foreperson
  • Dedicated Tree Maintenance Crew
  • Emergency Action Teams (Severe Weather Events)
Grounds worker laying out compost in a planting bed.

Sustainable Grounds Management

Extensive green policies and procedures support our commitment to a healthy environment for people and planet.
Natural Mulching

Preserving our bio-load from landscaping activities and re-using that load on campus helps prevent the production of additional greenhouse gas emissions. When organic matter decomposes in an anaerobic environment, methane is produced. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gas emissions, being 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide across a 100 year time period. 

ā€‹Leaf Management and Re-Use

With over 11,000 trees on campus, many that are deciduous, leaf management at Georgia Tech can be very challenging. To keep our walkways and bike paths clean and safe we utilize a combination of giant Versa-Vacs and several smaller vacuums. During leaf season we average 3-4 loads of leaf material at 60 cubic yards per load. These leaves are taken to a site at the edge of campus where they are composted to the point that the material can be used for mulch or soil amendments. 

Mulching Mowers

All mowers in our department are "mulching mowers". This means that they are equipped with discharge plates, mulching baffles and mulching blades. These pieces work together to ensure proper placement of clippings. By mulching all turf on campus, we eliminate a large amount of organic waste from the landfill while providing moisture and a natural fertilizer for the turf areas. 

Wood

Our tree maintenance crew captures all wood from our maintenance and removal operations. Some of the wood logs are saved and re-used in building structures, where possible.  We also require any outside contractors to leave their chips on campus. All wood chips are used on campus as healthy mulch for our smaller shrubs and beds. We estimate that this practice keeps 600-700 yards of wood chips on campus and out of the landfill. 

Irrigation & Stormwater Management

 

Rain Gardens

The construction of Klaus building in 2007 resulted in the installation of the first significant rain garden on Georgia Tech Campus. This project also included reforestation as part of the sustainability initiatives. Other rain garden locations are behind Boggs Chemistry, behind Laser Lab, EBB/Eco Common and at the Carbon Neutral Building.

Smart Irrigation with Water Recycling & Calsense

Thirty three percent of our irrigation water use is from cisterns and wells and we have set a goal to increase that number to 50% on all new construction projects.  We utilize an irrigation maagement technology called Calsense. This irrigation system can be remotely controlled when needed.

 

 

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