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UC Plant Services and Maintenance win national award


Williamsburg, Ky. – The Plant Services and Maintenance Department of the University of the Cumberlands (UC) was recently awarded the Merit Green Star Award from the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) for excellence in management.

The director of UC’s Plant Services and Maintenance Department, Mr. David Root received a letter from the President of PGMS, John Van Etten, who commended him on the excellence he has shown in leadership and teamwork. Root, along with the other seven grounds crew members, not only handle the mowing and planting on campus but they are the first responders for snow and ice in clearing campus with weather issues.

“It takes a good thought-out plan and a consistent theme,” said President of Operations Kyle Gilbert when asked his secret on a well-kept and beautiful campus. “Secondly, a well trained staff and the financial resources to carry out the plan. We use only trees and plants that will thrive in this area and that will give us the most productive effect year-around. Most people have lost all of their plants and trees by mid-summer, but, we plant trees and bushes that will thrive through the hot months and into the beginning of school in August. We plant a lot of two season bushes that are green in spring and summer but turn gold and maroon in fall. We plant a lot of holly bushes so that we have red berries at Christmas. While we have primarily one consistent theme, we do try to make each building have its own uniqueness.”

Gilbert takes pride in the accomplishments of the Plant Services and Maintenance Department. They plan on continuing their streak of excellence on campus regardless of the awards received due to their pride in UC and its students and staff.

UC’s team submitted pictures of the beautiful and unique landscape that the Patriot clan takes such pride in calling their college campus. Out of all the submissions, UC was chosen as one of seven colleges nation-wide for this prestigious award.

Gilbert feels that it is important that UC has a clean and attractive campus at all times. “The first impression of campus or the ‘curb appeal’ is crucial when prospective students and parents come to visit,” explained Gilbert. “The appearance of campus sets the tone for who we are and what we are about. I am very pleased with this award. We are competing with many schools throughout the nation. The Grounds crew deserves the recognition.”

This award will help to elevate the Plant Services in their profession and enhance their mission to make UC’s campus beautiful.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit