Campus Grounds : Main Campus

Campus Gate To Washington Square Hall

The main campus grounds crew is responsible for comprehensive grounds care for the 94 landscaped acres of the downtown San José State University campus.

Tree Trimming

There are approximately 180 species and over 1,500 trees on the main campus. Hundreds of Mulberries are pruned every year. Some species are thinned out every three to four years, while others are only pruned to improve their structure. All of the trimmings and the annual leaf fall are removed and transported to a green waste facility where it is turned into compost. During the fall and winter season the campus averages 15 tons a month of recycled green waste.

Trash Removal

The campus is divided into six areas, with a grounds worker assigned to each area. Every morning and afternoon they walk their areas and remove the litter. They also remove any illegally posted flyers or posters attached to light posts or buildings. One grounds worker is assigned to empty the 180 trashcans throughout campus. This is done on a daily basis.

Lawn Maintenance

The thirty acres of turf on main campus are mowed weekly with a large riding mower. The clippings are left on to decompose and provide nutrients to the turf. This grass cycling reduces the loss of nitrogen in the soil, saves time, saves the cost of recycling and removes 228 tons per year from our waste stream.

Turf areas are aerated twice a year, fertilized three times a year, and if necessary are over seeded during the fall or winter.

Lawns are meant to be used. Go out and lay on one and sunbathe, study, take a nap, or play a game, just don't cut the corner.

Pest Control

Pest control on campus is provided by in-house licensed qualified applicators, or by contracted Pest Control Operators. All methods and materials used are registered by the Federal and State Environmental Protection Agencies.

Malls and Sidewalks

The grounds crew routinely sweeps all the sidewalks and Malls on campus with a riding sidewalk sweeper. During the summer the grounds crew uses a high pressure steam cleaner to remove gum and other stains on the Malls, water fountains and other high traffic areas. They also use a riding scrubber that recycles the cleaning solution, minimizing the flow of water into our storm drains.


The irrigation system is maintained by an in-house Irrigation Specialist. Most of our systems are connected to irrigation controllers (timers) and water at night to minimize water loss due to wind and evaporation. The domestic (drinking) water and the irrigation systems have been separated in preparation for future connection to the South Bay Recycled Water project.

Flower Beds

Most flower beds on campus are replanted twice a year. During October the grounds crew plants fall and winter annual flowers. In April they are replanted with spring and summer annuals.

Gateway and Streetlight Banners

Banners for the streetlights and gateways must be approved in writing from the Presidents' office. Once approved, banners will be hung by the grounds crew and the requesting department will be charged for the installation.