Xavier ranked No. 1 in United States for urban university landscaping

Only other Professional Grounds Management Society grand award in country went to San Francisco State | November 9, 2006

Xavier made news for its No. 2 ranking in the U.S News & World Report guide to colleges and for placing among The Princeton Review’s "Best 361 Colleges." Now, Xavier’s natural campus beauty has earned national recognition as well.

Xavier has received the national 2006 Grand Award from the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) as No. 1 in the country for urban university landscaping. The only other Grand Award in the country went to San Francisco State University. The awards reception was held in Columbus on Nov. 4. The University won a PGMS Honors Award in 2000.

“Everyone always tells us how nice the campus is," says Walter Bonvell, Xavier grounds foreman who has worked here for the past 25 years. "Many people have put a lot of hard work into making this campus a beautiful place. Everyone in Physical Plant plays a part—the 12 full-time groundskeepers, the 3-5 seasonal groundskeepers, the electricians who do the lighting, the carpenters who build ornamental fencing, the plumbers who repair our irrigation systems, and the administrators who support our efforts.”

Xavier’s 148-acre campus includes about 20 acres of open space, eight of which are athletic fields. The grounds staff maintains 50 acres of turf, 25 acres of display beds and 30 acres of paved areas. The hilly terrain of the campus and the prevalence of pavers in the landscaping provide special challenges. Recent upgrades include plantings on the Hayden and Logan hillsides and at the Alumni Center. In addition, many more container plantings are gracing the campus.