Grounds professionals interested in taking the first steps to earn a certificate in the School of Grounds Management (SGM) are anxious to get to Louisville Oct. 26-29 for the Professional Grounds Management Society’s (PGMS) 2011 School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO.

Strategically integrated into the schedule of events offered at the GIE+EXPO, the PGMS School focuses on four core competencies of grounds management. Those who complete the entire program (usually taking two years) are awarded an SGM certificate by PGMS. In addition to the SGM certificate, PGMS offers both Certified Grounds Management (CGM) and Certified Grounds Technician (CGT) designations. Attendance at the School of Grounds Management qualifies as Continuing Education Units for both the CGM and CGT programs.

PGMS, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, will kick off the 2011 School in Louisville with in-depth, behind-the-scenes tours on Wed., October 26 to the Louisville Zoo and Bernheim Arboretum. The tours will be followed by a welcoming reception. Classroom education programs will be offered during the GIE+EXPO Thursday through Saturday at the Kentucky Exposition Center. PGMS courses will continue to emphasize sustainable management practices and will include two tracks of classes on topics such as “Managing Diversity in an Urban Landscape,” “Durable New Plant Selections for the Landscape Environment” presented by a Proven Winners staff member, “Greenroofs 103: Beyond the Basics – New Technology, Plant Selection and Updated Regulations” presented by Ed Snodgrass of Emory Knoll Farms, and “Battling Extreme Weather” presented by David Gallagher and Dave Hessond.

Helping PGMS develop its dynamic education program are its Elite Partners. These industry giants include: Platinum Partners John Deere and Cub Cadet; Gold Partners Bartlett Tree Experts, Kawasaki Motors Corp, Proven Winners and Toro; Silver Partners Davey Tree and STIHL; and Bronze Partners Echo and Midwest Rake Company.

More information on the SGM program can be found at Detailed registration for the PGMS School of Grounds Management will be available in June online at