Landscape Management Research Center

The secondary turfgrass research facility is utilized for various low maintenance research projects. It also houses the turfgrass breeding nursery and the Mascara-Steiniger Turfgrass Museum.


In the turf program's early days, most of the research was directed toward golf course maintenance. When the late 1970s saw an expansion of the lawn care industry and resultant environmental concerns, Penn State faculty recognized the need for research that addressed these concerns. To supplement research space at the Valentine Center, the Landscape Management Research Center (LMRC) was created in 1983.

“As we were planning the LMRC, we decided to renovate some old runoff plots that had been built on the site in the late 1930s,” says Thomas Watschke. “They were originally part of a government project where runoff plots were installed at all land-grant schools to study erosion problems. That work began in about 1937, and in 1942 the plots were abandoned. So when we went to renovate them, they had to be dug up. There was three-foot-high grass growing over them. George Hamilton was an undergraduate working for me, and he was also one of my advisees. So George and a few of his buddies got the runoff plots ready for action, and that was a lot of hard work.”

The seventeen-acre LMRC is the current site for several projects. Runoff plots are used for studies on fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides. Other studies include crabgrass evaluation, weed control, and research on roadside grasses and wildflowers. An additional nine acres were set aside as a turfgrass breeding nursery.