In being awarded the Green Grounds Certification, you join a national network of institutions with the same goal of maintaining campuses organically, free of toxic, synthetic chemicals for the sake of human health and the environment. The initial application fee is $1000 and the reapplication fee is $500. Click here to meet our Certified campuses. Learn more on our FAQ page, or email us at if you have questions.


For the past two years, Re:wild Your Campus has conducted research and development to create a certification that not only recognizes schools pioneering the transition to organic landcare, but also serves as an incentive for other institutions of higher education to join this landcare revolution. The RYC Green Grounds Certification is the culmination of conversations with experts, groundskeepers, students, and sustainability professionals. It goes above and beyond reducing pesticide use to incentivize regenerative landcare practices that will increase biodiversity, reduce water use, improve soil health, and take campus sustainability efforts to the next level.

images of certifications offered by RYC

Green Grounds Certification Standards

Note: There are four different tiers included in this certification: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. To acquire the Silver level, the campus must meet all of the Bronze Standards and Silver Standards; Gold level entities must meet the Bronze, Silver and Gold Standards; Platinum level entities must meet the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Standards.

Note: Managed areas of campus include sports fields, campus grounds, housing and other areas of school grounds that are managed by school personnel or contractors hired by the school.

Bronze: 50% of managed areas of campus are managed without synthetic pesticides and meet the following criteria: 

  • Campus has an integrated pest management (IPM) plan or policy that indicates that synthetic pesticides should be used only as a last resort, and implements this policy

  • Campus can detail work of any contractors contracted to do land management  

  • Campus has a plan to continue to reduce synthetic pesticide use and achieve higher levels of this certification 

  • Campus has pesticide usage reports (PUR reports) from past 12 months

  • Campus utilizes Re:wild Your Campus signage to showcase certification and highlight organic areas on campus  

Silver: 70% of managed areas of campus are managed without synthetic pesticides and meet the following criteria:

  • Campus grounds departments collaborate with students and engage students in campus land care 

  • Campus commits to procuring new technology that is electric for landscaping

  • Campus is reducing synthetic fertilizer use and is transitioning to OMRI Certified Organic fertilizers

Gold: 90% of managed areas of campus are managed without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and meet the following criteria:

  • Campus is actively working to increase presence of native plants on campus 

  • Campus is working to reduce water use on campus through landscape management 

  • Campus is working to reduce synthetic inputs on sports fields

Platinum: 100% of managed areas of campus are managed without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Synthetic pesticides/fertilizers are only used as an absolute last resort after all other methods have failed and 100% of campus and the sports fields are regularly managed without synthetic pesticides/fertilizers.

  • Campus designs landscapes that require less management

Certification Advisory Board

Barry Draycott / President and Owner / Tech Terra Environmental

Chip Osborne / President of Osborne Organics / Founder of Organic Landscape Association

Richard McCoy / Founder and President / Richard A. McCoy Horticultural Services Inc.

Fred Newcombe / President / PJC Organics

Vanessa Armstrong / Organic Landscape Specialist and Consultant / Organic Landscape Solutions

Eric O'Brien / Director of Sustainability / University of Northern Iowa