When Grounds Maintenance published its first issue 40 years ago this month, the mission was simple: provide practical information that readers can immediately and effectively put to use on the job. Robert E. Hertel, magazine publisher of that inaugural issue, outlined the magazine's intent plainly:

“This is the first number of Grounds Maintenance … a new kind of periodical to fill a specialized need for technical and business operations information for the landscape industries. It is designed for landscape contractors and grounds superintendents serving industry, public and private institutions and recreational areas. We call it Grounds Maintenance even though its editorial scope spans all three segments of landscaping: design, construction and maintenance. It is the grounds maintenance aspect of the subject that needs the greatest attention and presents the greatest challenge.

“We have dedicated ourselves to covering two broad assignments, one technical, and the other about your business and management operations,” he wrote. “The approach is practical. That is, the information, data or methods presented take into consideration the application by professional grounds maintenance personnel.”

And while we've gone through a few changes here and there, the one thing that hasn't changed is that mission. Worded a little differently now on our front cover, we still strive to provide know-how for golf and green industry professionals. You can see the symmetry in the articles they published in that first issue and the themes we have today. Their articles and departments included “Ornamental Disease Notes,” “How to Select a Compact Tractor” and “Vertical Mulching — Breaking New Ground on Old Turf Problems.” As evidenced in every issue of Grounds Maintenance, we offer the same types of articles now, written by experts in the green industry. It was a concept important to Hertel, who wrote, “The technical subject matter areas of ornamental horticulture, plant diseases, landscape architecture are covered by competent authorities who research, teach, write and practice in these specialized fields,” and it's still important today.

Like Hertel, “We recognize that we are assuming grave responsibilities in publishing for this field relevant, helpful, and challenging information … Our pledge is to produce a magazine sensitive to the needs of its readers, and to offer editorial ideas in an attractive, clearly written manner. Your suggestions to keep us on target are welcome. We invite you to share your ideas with us. Give us your comments and your criticism.”

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