Facilities Planning & Management

Landscape Services

Brian Lake

Manager, Landscape Services

Landscape Services Organizational Chart


Landscape Services is responsible for the grounds maintenance of the campus and University Housing properties, which encompass approximately 550 landscaped acres (nearly 24 million square feet of landscaped grounds).  Primary duties include general horticultural maintenance, lawn maintenance, fire break and weed abatement, and litter and debris removal. Staff are engaged in a proactive approach to the maintenance of landscape and grounds care that includes turf and sports field maintenance, shrub and tree maintenance, brush clearing, irrigation system maintenance, exterior Integrated Pest Management (IPM Practice) and planting of annual colors to enhance aesthetics of the campus landscape.

In addition, this unit also keeps storm drains cleared, parking lots and streets free of litter, and assists in the setup of athletic functions, lease of facilities, and scheduled events. Routine landscaping is performed at the W.K. Kellogg Rose Garden, perennial, and annual flower beds, walking trails, manicured lawns and gardens and athletic areas. The irrigation system allows for efficient use of domestic and reclaimed water.

Staff maintain a variety of plant specimens used for botany, horticulture, and agriculture studies, and works closely with faculty to provide hands-on field demonstrations and laboratories to enhance the learning experience for students.

The Landscape team includes gardener specialists, lead grounds workers, gardeners, tree trimmers, grounds workers, irrigation specialists, laborers, a pasture technician, and heavy equipment operators, and is dedicated to providing a safe and aesthetically pleasing campus environment.

landscape team

What We Do

The Grounds unit provides distinct areas of service which include:

  • Grounds maintenance
  • Irrigation management
  • Tree management
  • Pest management
  • Horse pasture management

 Base Services: FP&M Landscape Services receives a budget allocation and services are rendered without charge. The Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) has established six levels of grounds attention.  When staffed and funded appropriately, Landscape Services strives to achieve and maintain Level 2 – High level of maintenance. This level of grounds attention includes these Landscape Base Services and Frequencies.

Premium Services: FP&M Landscape Services does not receive a budget allocation and work must be funded by the department requesting services. Premium Services examples:

  • Auxiliary and enterprise facility maintenance
  • Department requests
  • Event services
  • Special requests
  • Any Base Service at an increased frequency

 For work involving the Grounds crew, submit a service request via email at fmcustomer@cpp.edu.

The Grounds staff provides a variety of outdoor maintenance services. Primary duties include general garden maintenance. The operation also provides integrated exterior pest management, irrigation repair and maintenance, as well as small landscape planting projects.

Turf Maintenance and Mowing is performed mostly on one scheduled service day of each week. Exclusions to the regular schedule occur during holidays and inclement weather. This may be needed to accommodate fertilization and various outdoor activities, which may need to use the lawns.

Tree Pruning and Maintenance
Tree pruning is performed with the intent of developing structurally sound trees with a specific appearance and the proper safe overhead clearance for pedestrians and vehicles.

Shrub Pruning and Maintenance
Shrubs are kept in a healthy, vigorous condition, free from disease and large concentrations of pests. Shrubs are pruned as needed to provide formal and informal shapes, fullness, and blooms.

Landscape Services Crew Biographies

East Campus
Jose Mata, Lead
Andrew Serrano, Gardener (Focus: President’s residence, Kellogg Rose Garden, Aratani Japanese Garden)
Jose Solano, Tree Trimmer (Performs grounds maintenance and tree trimming)
Manuel Guzman, Grounds Worker
Max Villarreal, Grounds Worker
Sirilo Garcia-Rios, Grounds Worker
Nickolas Vasquez, Laborer (Focus: Trash/recycling collection)

North Campus
Jesse Quiroz, Lead
Rob Landin, Gardener
Mike Pettengill, Grounds Worker
Anthony Lara, Grounds Worker
Noemi Gorostiola Vega, Grounds Worker
Ismael Zavalza, Grounds Worker

South Campus
Mike Miller, Lead
Felix Meraz, Gardener (Focus: Athletic turf operations)
Jesus Enriquez-Acero, Tree Trimmer (Performs grounds maintenance and tree trimming)
Mike Babb, Grounds Worker
Eli Gomez, Grounds Worker
Humberto Ochoa, Grounds Worker
Carlos Cuevas Jaramillo, Grounds Worker
Juan Chavez, Laborer (Focus: Trash/recycling collection)

Central Campus
Pamela Jordan, Lead
Jose Mireles, Gardener 
Jose Ambriz, Grounds Worker 
Rebekah Hempel, Grounds Worker 
Mathew Ramirez, Grounds Worker 

Gardener Specialists
John Hiatt, Gardener Specialist (Specialty: Plant health/design)
Gardener Specialist, Vacant (Specialty: Operations coordination/materials ordering/sports turf)

Equipment Operations
Ryan Hamilton, Lead Equipment Operator
Doyle Vest, Equipment Operator
John Camacho, Equipment Operator
Juan de Santiago, Equipment Operator 

Jaime Garcia-Luna, Lead 
Eric Moreno, Irrigation Specialist 
Jose Medina, Irrigation Specialist 
Vacant, Irrigation Specialist  

W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center Pastures Operations and Surroundings
Keith Kittridge, Pasture Technician
Marcoz Rodriguez, Gardener (Grounds maintenance and available to assist Pasture Technician)

Irrigation Management

The proper design and operation of irrigation systems can help reduce excess growth, maintenance requirements, and subsequent waste. Use of drip irrigation can enhance plant health, as well as minimize weed growth. Landscape Services manages the university’s water resources by utilizing the Laguna by Rain Master central irrigation control technology. This system uses drip irrigation and other forms of low-precipitation rate irrigation to minimize the use of water in irrigating the landscape, enhance plant health, and minimize weed growth. Landscape Services is committed to sustainability in its day-to-day delivery of service. Conservation is foremost and ensures efficient and effective irrigation systems, thereby reducing water usage. All landscaped and turf areas are irrigated as required to maintain adequate growth, health, and appearance, regardless of plant type or soil condition. Water use is regulated to avoid excessively wet or waterlogged areas, which can cause a decline in plant health, prevent turf mowing, and create excessive water run-off onto streets and structures. 

 To optimize water efficiency, Cal Poly Pomona uses:

  • Drip irrigation
  • Computer-operated irrigation management systems, namely Laguna by Rain Master Irrigation
  • Maintains appropriate scheduling for the seasons
  • Engages in routine maintenance of the irrigation system.
Native and Endemic Plants
Landscape Services is committed to creating a more self-sustaining system by using endemic and native plant material on campus where feasible. Landscape Services has supported several student projects to plant native and endemic plants around campus.

Recycled Wood Chips
Wood chip mulch is created by chipping tree and landscape pruning debris. Rather than being discarded and taking up landfill space, this debris is placed over the soil surface to reduce evaporation and erosion, prevent weed growth, and insulate plants from extreme temperature changes providing a better growing environment in landscaped areas.

Wood chips help:
Retain moisture
Reduce soil temperature
Reduce noxious weeds
Reduce erosion
Create natural walkway paths

Fertilizers and pesticides can be purchased in bulk quantities, reusable containers, or water-soluble packages. Bulk packaging reduces the amount of waste per unit of product, and usually costs less.

Plant Selection
With appropriate landscape design and plant selection, the landscape waste stream can be significantly reduced. An effective method to reduce waste is utilizing plants that require less pruning and choose plants that fit the available space to minimize pruning needs. In addition, the use of winter and summer perennials can give year-round color without the cost and waste of replacing annual plants.

Soil Amendments
In addition to plant selection and watering, soil preparation is an important factor in landscape waste reduction. There are soil enhancement products that contain up to 100% recycled content. Compost, which has been used by farmers for centuries, is a ready-to-use soil enricher that looks and feels like dark, crumbly soil. It is made from recycled organic matter, and has numerous beneficial effects, both before and after planting, as a soil conditioner and fertilizer.

Landscaping Edges
Landscape edging helps to contain plant material in a given area, or simply define areas within a landscape. The requirements of a landscape design make selection and installation of edging materials relatively important. Small differences in products can result in long-term savings for the campus. Effective containment and durability help save on future maintenance costs. Some edging materials are either 100% recycled or have some recycled content.

Cal Poly Pomona produces more than 455 tons of grass clippings annually. Grasscycling is the natural recycling of grass by leaving clippings on the lawn when mowing. The process of recycling grass reduces mowing time, disposal costs, water and fertilizer requirements, and other resources such as landfill space. Ultimately, the clippings quickly decompose, returning nutrients to the soil. This practice can have the overall impact of reducing fertilization requirements by 25% or more. Similar savings on water use are possible. Mowing time can be reduced by 50% or more because the bagging and disposal of clippings is eliminated. There are also indirect cost savings: By not handling heavy bags of clippings, back injuries and other physical ailments can be avoided.

Pest Control and Weed Abatement
Landscape Services uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control insects, diseases, and weeds on and around perennials, ground covers, shrubs, vines, and trees. This includes frequent monitoring and spot treatment as necessary using the least toxic methods.