Routine Services – Grounds Services

Adopt-A-Garden Program

Departments or individual staff members on campus are allowed to voluntarily assist and maintain very small areas around their workplace.  Employees will assist by pulling weeds, removing trash and planting flowers.  Interested department employees will perform these functions on their own time often during their breaks or lunch.  Interested Palomar College employees must contact the Director, Facilities, Chris Miller via email or the Interim Supervisor, Grounds Services & Recycling, Tony Rangel via email prior to beginning work.

Athletic Fields

Palomar College maintains twenty-one (21) men’s and women’s varsity-sport teams including baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s tennis, track and field, men’s and women’s water polo, men’s and women’s volleyball and wrestling in our Athletics program.

These year-round activities take a heavy toll on our athletic fields.  The Facilities Department Grounds Services crew supports these activities by providing a vigorous turf that can stand up to these heavy demands.  Our trained professionals wage a constant battle to aerate, fertilize, control weeds and insects, seed, irrigate and mow these fields to each sport’s specifications.  We are proud to be a part of a winning sports tradition at Palomar College.

Dead Animal Removal

Please do not put dead animals in refuse collection containers. To request the removal of a dead animal from the public right-of-way, call the Facilities Office at extension 2629 or via email Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is also the number to use for after hours messages and emergencies.

The removal of dead animals from County maintained roads or facilities is a service that is provided by D & D Inc. and can be reached by calling 888-299-9905.

Flowers, Hedges & Trees

The Grounds Services crew of the Palomar College Facilities Department assist in improving the environmental quality of campus, expanding the educational opportunities for students, faculty and staff, enhancing the aesthetic appearance and maintaining the campus. A lot of ideas and hard work are necessary to create a positive outdoor environment. Click here for a listing of garden themes currently on campus.

Hardscape Maintenance

Hardscape is the non-living functional elements of a garden such as paths, seating, and edging.  A simple definition of “hardscape” is anything in the landscape that is not plantings or earth works. Furthermore hardscape prevents soil erosion, water run-off, and lasts a long time before needing to be replaced.  Some people might say “why do you want hardscape–a lot of hard, empty bits and parts in your garden”?  They might  feel that it’s unnecessary—even an intrusion into the land of plants.

So what does hardscape bring to the garden, and why not have all plants?  First, open areas provide contrast and interest to vegetative spaces. Second, they provide areas for human activity in the garden, such as sitting to read, gathering for parties, grilling and eating. Third, of course, we need ways to move around in the garden—paths of stone, gravel or brick provide better footing, aren’t muddy in the wet, and look good. Finally, hardscape generally requires less maintenance, and fewer consumables such as water and fertilizer.  While hardscape needs to be maintained, it does not require the regular care that plants do.

Herbicide Management

Herbicide management services are provided by Palomar College’s licensed groundskeepers who are members of the Pesticide Applicators Professional Association (PAPA). Primary duties include addressing pest problems outside of Palomar Community College District properties including calibrating and applying various fertilizers and pesticides related to ornamental plant maintenance, lawn management, and turf grass maintenance including our athletic fields.

All chemicals are applied according to safety regulations and guidelines. Application usually occurs on weekends to avoid exposure to the campus community.


The Palomar College Facilities Department Ground Services Irrigation Specialists are responsible for the design, installation, maintenance and repair of irrigation systems on the Palomar College main campus. It is their goal to keep the sprinkler systems running effectively and efficiently. It is also their goal to keep the campus looking lush and green while adhering to any and all water restrictions currently in place.

Most watering occurs at night, using recommended application rates. However, it is not always possible to water only at night. Watering of newly laid sod and other requests will occur during the day. Irrigation systems are typically controlled by individual timers that require a trip to the site to adjust.

Irrigation related problems, i.e.: broken sprinklers or lines, sprinklers systems running for an extensive amount of time, and requests for outages should be directed to the Facilities Office at extension 2629 or via email.

Landscape Construction

The Palomar College Governing Board adopted a resolution on August 8, 2006 to request that the voters pay $694 million proposition to maintain and modernize the 60-year old college’s San Marcos campus and to create new educational opportunities in the under-served areas of the District. The basis for Proposition M is the Master Plan 2022, which was published in August 2003.

Proposition M was approved by the voters on November 7, 2006. The total proposition will be funded through the sale of several series of bonds with the first series of bonds being sold in May 2007 (Series A, 2007).

The Prop M Website is dedicated to providing information to the community regarding Proposition M construction projects, citizen’s oversight of the proposition, and the various business opportunities for vendors related to the construction projects to be conducted in completion of Master Plan 2022.

Sidewalk Repair

The Palomar College Facilities Department’s Ground Services crew embraces the maintenance of the campus grounds and the preservation of sidewalks on College property.  When sidewalks fall into despair, our crew handles the replacement of the sidewalk.

Our upmost concern is to alleviate the potential for pedestrian injuries due to tripping on uneven or broken sidewalks.

To report uneven sidewalks, please contact the Facilities Office by calling us at extension 2629 or by emailing us at the Facilities Office.

Special Event Support

Activities that are not academically-oriented that occur on campus grounds are considered special and must be coordinated through the Events Scheduler. The Events Scheduler is responsible for evaluating each request, determining the various entities that will be affected by the activity, and getting feedback and/or approval from each one, interpreting agency policy and procedures for requestors, approving requests, and following up on each activity. The primary objective is to help requestors have a successful event that is safe for participants and protects College property.

The Palomar College Facilities Department’s Grounds Services crew provides sprinkler adjustments services for outdoor events.

Tree Maintenance

The trees on the Palomar College campus are one of its most valuable assets.  They add beauty and character to the landscape and provide innumerable environmental benefits.  The Facilities Department’s Grounds Services crew makes tree care a high priority.  We aim to maintain a diverse collection of healthy trees.

The campus arborist and groundskeepers continually monitor tree health and look for hazardous conditions.  We prune trees to remove dead or damaged limbs, provide clearance for pedestrians and vehicles, and allow access to roofs and windows.

Trees sometimes become unsafe and must be removed.  The Grounds crew only removes trees if there is no other viable, safe alternative.  Occasionally trees are removed to accommodate construction projects.  Removal is not considered unless it is the only way to accommodate necessary construction.  We base tree care decisions on current research in arboriculture and industry standards.