Landscape Services

The SDSU Landscape Services department maintains 220 acres of irrigated campus landscape, 115 irrigation controllers, 3800 trees, and 6 intercollegiate athletic surfaces for training and competition.  Our team strives to provide a welcoming atmosphere to enhance our campus learning environment. We take pride in the appearance of the campus grounds and the impact it has on our student body and visitors to our campus.

SDSU is located in one of the most favored areas in North America for growing subtropical plants.  Frosts don’t amount to much on the campus landscape. Because of this climate, the campus boasts a diverse plant palette, ranging from Mediterranean and drought tolerant to moderately irrigated subtropicals.

The Landscape Services department is a loyal and qualified group of landscape professionals. We operate by promoting ethical practices that enhance the integrity, quality, and values of the University's Mission Statement and its goals.

Our objectives are to meet the environmental requirements of all plant materials, trees, lawns, irrigation systems and athletic fields, provide prompt service, and to display a commitment to responsible landscape management. We operate under the assumption that we are responsible for the largest classroom on campus.

The Landscape Services department is responsible for the landscape management and maintenance of all the exterior landscaped areas throughout the campus.  Our landscape team provides the following services:

  • Maintenance of perennials, shrubs, trees, and lawn areas
  • Landscape design and installation of small scale projects
  • Design, installation, maintenance and management of irrigation systems
  • Provide input for large scale landscape installations on campus
  • Weed abatement for fire protection
  • Cleaning of drainage swales on sloped native areas
  • Solid waste and recycle collection from outdoor receptacles
  • Campus litter cleanup
  • Campus event support as it pertains to landscape services
  • Heavy equipment support to other shops
  • Hardscape cleaning support

Our athletic grounds team is responsible for providing safe playing surfaces for D-1 intercollegiate competition, as well as Aztec Recreation Intramural teams.  The focus of competition at the NCAA D-1 level is continuous improvement to make the jump to professional level athletic competition. We strive to keep fields available and playable as much as possible for our student athletes, so they can improve their skills, just like a classroom.

Our athletic grounds team provides the following services:

  • Lining of intercollegiate athletic surfaces for training and competition
  • Preparation of athletic surfaces for training and competition
  • Laying out and painting of logos on athletic surfaces
  • Mowing of grass athletic surfaces
  • Grooming and cleaning of synthetic field surfaces
  • Turfgrass Management and Maintenance
  • Skinned Area Management and Maintenance
  • Solid waste and recycle collection from outdoor receptacles
  • Cleaning of bleachers and seating areas after athletic events
  • Playability assessment of field surfaces as needed
  • Oversight of large scale and small scale field renovation/construction projects


SDSU Landscape Services employs Calsense Central Irrigation Control, which is constantly monitoring flow and adjusting irrigation run times based on crop coefficient and evapotranspiration.  Our irrigation team is constantly working to make our irrigation system more efficient.

Our team focuses on soil management, rather than plant management.  The plant will never outperform the soil it grows in!  We utilize mulch blended with compost, to feed the soil slowly, increase soil microbial activity, suppress weed population, and retain moisture in the soil. We also utilize organic based fertilizer on the landscape.

We oversee green waste and trash pickup and disposal, averaging 165 tons green waste to tonnage compost annually.  We “grass-cycle” grass clippings, meaning we do not collect them, and allow them to return to and decompose in the soil, providing additional nutrients to the turfgrass.

Our urban forest management focuses on promoting species diversity and age diversity, increasing the canopy cover on campus, risk assessment, and maintaining a 1:1 planting to removal ratio.  This focus will provide a campus urban forest that is sustainable, safe, and lessens the amount of heat island effect on the landscape and its occupants.

We also follow strict guidelines for plant selection. We select plants based on the inputs needed to maintain them properly.  We do not install plants with a crop coefficient higher than 0.5. 

Through these efforts, our goal is to reduce the inputs necessary to maintain our campus landscape.