Facilities and Grounds

Live Events

Spotlight On Facilities and Grounds

PWX@Home works around your busy lifestyle. You can choose one afternoon per month to set aside and embrace an all-new virtual learning experience. The second Tuesday of each month from August through July, APWA will unveil education in 12 key public works focus areas. The series features sessions on relevant topics—most of which were selected for PWX 2020 in varying formats to maximize learning and engagement.

View all 2020-2021 Spotlight On... Series sessions >

Urban Forest Master Plans: Partnering to Develop a Plan that Costs Your City Less, Engages More Stakeholders, and Ultimately Helps to Manage Your Urban Forest Effectively

Speakers: Dana Karcher, Matt Grubisich

Everything is Bigger in Texas, even urban forest master plans! With more partners, more input, more meetings, and more surveys, the urban forest master plan for the City of Dallas is thorough, engaging, and demands accountability. How did this happen and what did it take to get to this point? This talk will share the unique relationship among the Texas Trees Foundation, the City of Dallas, and their local citizens in the development of an UFMP. Presenters will share how this plan is funded, (here’s a hint, the majority of the funds are from a donor), new ways to engage citizens in meetings (not at city hall), and how not to allow the plan to sit on the shelf in the urban forester’s office. With sustainability, healthy communities, cleaner air, stormwater management, pest eradication, and walkable neighborhoods on every city’s list of wants, learn how Dallas’ urban forest master plan goes beyond tree management and addresses the needs of the City and the region.

The ADA and Local Government Facilities – Winning Compliance Strategies

Speakers: Heidi Lapin, John McGovern

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has applied to units of state and local government since January 26, 1992. In the 1990s, many governmental agencies were confused by the requirements. In the 2000s, the ADA was more warmly embraced. In the 2010s, the ADA mandates became much clearer, with many court decisions and the amendment of the design standards. This session provides strategies for applying the ADA to facilities, including City Hall, police station, cemetery, public works facility, parks, pools, sport fields, community centers, and beaches. Access is a function of design, construction and installation, and maintenance, and presenters will discuss common errors in each and offer easy remedies to ensure compliance. The session will use case studies from other jurisdictions, asking attendees to consider what side of the decision their agency would be on…the right side or the wrong side. The presenters bring unique local government perspective to the session. One speaker earned a law degree while working in local government. That education, with his local government experience, rule-making experience, and familiarity with the ADA, gives him a unique perspective on compliance with the ADA. The other speaker worked for local governments in Parks and Recreation and Facilities for more than 20 years. She brings firsthand knowledge of facility operations and construction projects, and has managed the teams that must ensure compliance.

Did you attend the live program?

Access the recordings and revisit this content in the eLearning Portal.

Did you miss out?

The recordings will be available for purchase APWA Store in late 2021.

Facilities and Grounds Concurrent Jam Sessions

Sponsored by:

Grounds Jam Session: Heritage Park – It Takes a Village
Speakers: Rey Rodriguez, Lisa Au 

The City of Mountain View is challenged with meeting its park space requirements for residents within its build out city limits. In this case study of Heritage Park, the project involved the efforts of the city, a county grant, Friends of Immigrant House, master gardeners, and a private property owner with a windmill. The 1.22 acre park includes a historical Immigrant House, circa 1888 and restored to the 1920s, a donated Star Steel windmill from the 1930s, 150 trees, a demonstration garden, and bee hives. The design reflects a peaceful sanctuary for visitors away from their busy suburban lives, but the project completion required the dedication from diverse community groups to create this neighborhood gem.

Proficiency Level: Introductory

Learning Objectives:
1. Develop strategies for collaboration with multi-objective community groups to develop a successful project.
2. Navigate the challenges for restoring a historical building and transporting it across town.
3. Plan and execute various strategies for a multi-phase project to transform a neglected parcel into a neighborhood park.

Facilities Jam Session: A Year Later: What We Know Now About Re-opening Facilities Safely
Speaker: Jeff Nichols

Facilities & Grounds Certificate Program

SOLD OUT! To be notified of future program dates, email education@apwa.net.

This unique course combines the benefits of an in-person workshop with the convenience of online learning. This workshop will be held over two weeks, for four days, with two-hour sessions, allowing for instructor interactions, peer networking, and online discussions. Live instruction sessions will be recorded and can be watched by participants who have a conflict with the live class time or revisited by participants. The Certificate Program for Facility and Grounds professionals will cover the basic need-to-know topics that professionals in the facilities and grounds disciplines need to understand to perform their jobs effectively and proficiently. The program provides training and real-life experiences in the areas of ADA compliance, grounds maintenance, preventative maintenance, capital improvement planning, and more.  This program will be worth .80 CEU credits.

After completing this course, participants will be better able to:
1. List the topics about which facilities and grounds professionals should possess a basic mastery and proficiency.
2. Discuss what facilities and grounds professionals should consider in their day-to-day planning and in forming both long- and short-range objectives.
3. Identify the information that should be considered by facilities and grounds professionals when they develop program initiatives and budgets.

Small Cities/Rural Communities Perspective On Facilities and Grounds

The responsibilities of facilities and grounds management staff in small cities and rural areas is never uniform. Unique duties often include managing cemeteries, harmful insects, and ADA compliance in aging or historic buildings, but the most challenging responsibility is finding resources and staff to accomplish the unique challenges. Join this panel as they discuss how small city/rural community staff must wear different hats to serve their communities.

Third Thursday Advocacy Jam: April

Infrastructure, including the operation and maintenance of public facilities, will likely be a key focus of federal officials in both the U.S. and Canada in 2021, with President Biden’s administration consideration a broad infrastructure package, surface transportation reauthorization on the horizon, and the Government of Canada’s mandate to conduct a National Infrastructure Assessment. Please join APWA’s US and Canadian Government Affairs staff for an update and open-ended discussion on the state of infrastructure policy. Additionally, with National Water Week taking place April 25th-May 1st there will be a discussion of APWA’s efforts as an active sponsor and participant to promote the value of clean water and the key role public works professionals play in delivering this service. We look forward to hearing your thoughts - join the conversation!

On Demand eLearning Opportunities

Principles of Public Works Operations: Principles of Facilities and Grounds Management

This session is designed for individuals that are interested in exploring the principles of Facilities and Grounds management, as it applies for those entering the public works industry and those who want to further their professional development. This session provides practical advice on how to best manage facilities and grounds and dives into best practices and emerging trends relating to facilities and grounds management. It provides real-world examples, as well as a discussion guide to keep the conversation going with your peers after the conclusion of the session.

Purchase From APWA Store

Resource Center Highlights

Members can access recordings of Click, Listen, & Learn programs, content from past conferences, and specific e-books and publications on demand 24/7 through the Resource Center. We'll feature three to four exciting programs related to the month's highlighted technical area.

Government Facility Security Programs & Technology
Many facility maintenance operations have tasked with developing security protocols to protect municipal buildings, staff and customers. Developing these procedures requires knowledge, planning and tools. This presentation will discuss the key aspects that need to be considered when developing or evaluating security protocols in municipal facilities. Also, this program will provide information about the technologies that can be used to make facilities more secure.

Infrastructure and Art - Not So Far Apart
Infrastructure such as trails, parks, and public buildings can contribute positively to the ambience, quality of life, and positive vision of residents and visitors toward a community. Often, there can be objections to some design elements because some feel that the plain-gray version means less costs. Grandview, Missouri, has adopted the view that art incorporated into public facilities creates an identity for residents, visitors, developers, and local businesses. Representatives from the city will discuss the return-on-investment and improved property values that have been achieved.

Protecting & Leading People During Reopening of Government
Reopening government facilities for employees and the public after a pandemic is more than just unlocking doors. Leaders must consider the safety of everyone that enters the building, and safety requires planning. This panel will discuss challenges and innovations related to facility cleaning as well as the leadership required to open government facilities to the public and employees.

Trending Technologies/Roving Reporter

Trying to keep up with the latest and greatest #trendingtech in public works? You're in luck! APWA is highlighting a new trending technology by way of our Talking Top Tech webinars, Roving Reporter Education Series, and new resources and programs. You can even share your own Roving Reporter videos on social media using #APWARovingReporter.

Switchyard Park Roving Reporter
Converting a former railyard that operated from 1892 to 2004 was a big undertaking for the city of Bloomington, Indiana. The largest park project in city history converted the railyard into a community space that includes a 11,000 square foot pavilion, outdoor performance stage, community garden, playground, and splashpad. APWA’s Roving Reporter travelled to Bloomington and visited with city staff to talk about the project’s history and challenges.


Career Development/Workforce


The Value of My CPWP-M
David J. Pinsonneault, CPWP-M, CSFM, CPRP
Town of Lexington, MA

CPWPM logo

Certified Public Works Professional-Management (CPWP-M)
The Public Works Professional-Management certification is issued to recognize individuals in the public works field who have the knowledge and experience to manage organizations within a public works department.

The certification is for public works managers, superintendents and supervisors ready for management positions.

Exhibitor Showcase

Check out the Exhibitor Showcase to find the best resources for public works, as well as informational videos and product information. Plus, learn from subject matter experts in the Technology and Exhibitor Solutions Theaters!

Visit the Exhibitor Showcase

Special thanks to our Jam Session Sponsor:

Facilities and Grounds Resources

"Fleet Specific Facilities: What to Consider" Blog Post
Elected officials and public works leaders are realizing the value of their fleet; thus, managing and protecting assets in that fleet has become imperative. One thing leaders are doing to protect their fleet assets is building fleet specific facilities. The facilities allow managers and technicians to house parts, secure vehicle keys, and work on vehicles safely and efficiently. While a new fleet specific facility will improve efficiency, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before, during, and after the doors open.

April APWA Reporter Articles

Publication Highlights

New Release: Public Works Management: Things They Never Taught in School
Public works management requires a balance of two essential components: technical expertise and leadership skills—neither of which are adequately covered in a traditional classroom. In Public Works Management: Things They Never Taught in School, Jim Nichols goes beyond the blackboard as he shares his more than 17 years in local government executive management.

Nichols unpacks the critical soft skills necessary for exceptional leadership, addressing key issues that managers face at all levels of experience. From workplace culture and employee performance to external communications and public perception, Nichols lays the groundwork to help managers navigate roadblocks and, ultimately, achieve their organizational (and even personal) goals.

Public Works Administration: Operations
APWA’s new “Blue Book,” a companion to Public Works Administration: Supervision and Management, focuses on the external environment of public works with such issues as finance, law, and fundamentals of government. It also includes an overview of public works operations and concludes with one of the most important aspects of public works leadership—creating the future.

This book includes a look at strategic planning, systems thinking, policy development, and other vital forward-looking techniques.

Public Works Management Practices Manual
Developed by and for public works professionals, the widely used Public Works Management Practices Manual updates and improves statements that describe the basic criteria and procedures necessary to perform as a full-service public works agency and provides the framework for the objective self-evaluation of an agency.

Changes to the 10th edition include 10 mandatory chapters, including a new chapter on Asset Management (chapter 10) which involves inventory, condition assessment and inspection; chapter 2 is reduced to 36 practices (removing three practices related to union contracts). Comparing your agency's operations to industry standards provides the opportunity for growth in many areas. This includes establishing new processes for improvement, learning new methods, identifying team-building tools, developing SOPs, and engaging and empowering employees.

Committee News

APWA Committees are the backbone of our education program. You'll be the first to see committee chair videos, trending committee hashtags for social media, InfoNOW Communities, knowledge team and subcommittee opportunities, and more!

The mission of the Facilities and Grounds Committee of the APWA is to provide APWA members with the resources for exchanging and developing ideas, information, skills, knowledge, and technologies for the operation, management, and maintenance of public buildings, grounds, and parks. The committee also recommends and advances APWA policies and positions concerning public facilities and grounds issues.