Kevin Mercer, superintendent of grounds at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, continues to be recognized for his successful environmentally sustainable landscaping practices. On May 3, 2012, Mercer was awarded the College of Southern Maryland’s “Wings of the Hawk Award” for his work on CSM’s athletic field renovation.
Mercer’s work at St. Mary’s College has garnered praise from many sources: during January 2011’s Sports Turf Managers Association Convention, Mercer, the sole recipient out of thousands of STMA members, was awarded the President’s Award for Leadership, in recognition of his environmentally friendly grounds maintenance program at St. Mary’s College. This spring, Mercer’s efforts earned the college’s designation as the first Certified Audubon Sanctuary campus in Maryland and the fourth in the United States. Other recent awards include the campus’ achievement of Level One Arboretum status from the Morton Arboretum accreditation society and Tree Campus USA status from the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Mercer, who introduced such environmentally friendly practices to campus as creating meadows and strategic buffer zones, planting native species, composting food and grass clippings, and conserving fuel, will release a landscaping guidebook later this year. The book, coauthored with Dr. Dave Minner, extension turfgrass specialist at Iowa State University, and Jim Sluiter, Audubon International staff ecologist, will guide others in employing more environmentally sustainable practices in landscaping.