Tips for getting ready to submit your Green Star Award

    Winning a Green Star Award for your institution not only showcases your property, but is also great for staff morale, peer respect, customer relations, positive press and a great recruiting tool. In saying that, all you need to do now is beat out your fellow colleagues and win over the judges.

    Everybody approaches things differently but here are a few hopefully helpful suggestions to not only ease the process, but make it enjoyable.

    First, start early. You want pictures from all four seasons so get in the habit of taking photos all the time. You don’t even have to look at them just keep adding them to a file until you’re ready to sit down and start putting the process together. Also, remember to get shots from different angles, up on a roof or lift, different shade patterns, whatever you think would make the photo stand out.

    Follow the instructions; this sounds simple but you would be surprised how many applicants don’t. The application is very specific in what is required. I would figure out a process that works for you and stick with it to completion.

    When you think it’s complete, give it to someone you trust who is not in the industry to look over it. If Lisa in accounts payable is confused by the photo it may not be showing what you are trying to portray. It’s so easy to get tunnel vision and you need a judge 3,000 miles away who has never seen your property to not only know what they are looking at but be impressed with it. Also, let that person count your photos and have them complete a check sheet just to make sure you are dialed in.

    Last piece of advice: Don’t get frustrated if you don’t win. The Awards Committee will give you some great feedback. Take that information and make your adjustments to try again. If you are in Louisville for the PGMS School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO, I suggest you attend the Awards Banquet and you will be able to see what other winners applications look like. If you have questions give a fellow member who has won a call. They will be more than happy to share their experience.

    For me, it was the fact that a group of my peers judged my application that brought me my greatest satisfaction. Who knows better what we do then the men and women who go out and perform the same work as us all over the country?


    Joe Kovolyan, CSFM
    University of Puget Sound
    2014 Green Star Award Grand Winner - Payton Field/Baker Stadium

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