Thursday, December 31, 2009

Identifying and Protecting Wildlife Habitats

From the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses workbook, Wildlife and Habitat Management category: We have identified core habitats, such as mature woodlands, wetlands or stream corridors and special habitat concerns such as endangered or threatened species on the property.

In order to become certified in the Wildlife and Habitat Management category it is imperative that all wildlife habitat be identified. Core habitats like the ones mentioned above need to be protected at all times from intrusion by golfers and/or maintenance staff. Of course there are going to be instances when this cannot be avoided as golf balls do frequently enter into wildlife habitat that are located just off the fairway.

The idea is for golf courses to label certain wildlife habitats as "out of play" areas. "Out of play" areas are usually sections of the golf course that do not receive much play anyways, for instance the land between a green and the next tee or wooded areas that are 20 yards to the side of the fairway.

Water bodies on golf courses are a different story. All water on the course should be protected by a buffer zone of unmaintained land. There should be no intrusion into these areas whatsoever by golfers or maintenance staff. Buffer zones that surround water bodies on the course are extremely important to protecting the health of the pond as well as the multitude of creatures that inhabit these areas.

This is a very "sticky" situation for superintendents who are attempting to maintain their golf courses in an environmentally friendly manner. Many golfers feel that the areas surrounding water should be playable, especially if they are in the middle of the fairway. However, the time has come for golfers to realize that the land on which golf is played must be shared with the wildlife that live there and likely lived there before the golf course was built.

If the golf industry is going to thrive in the future, golfers, superintendents and golf course owners will need to recognize that some consessions are going to be needed. Sustainable golf courses are necessary and that is going to mean protecting wildlife habitats including water bodies.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Water Conservation a Must in Today's Environment

Given the state of the environment these days it is imperative that everyone do their part to help conserve fresh water for future generations.

Golf Course Superintendents are doing the best they can to produce playing conditions that golfers in North America have come to expect while conserving as much water as possible. Click on the link below to read the article published in Inside Golf magazine regarding water conservation on golf courses.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Vancouver Island Superintendents Take on MS Once Again

Several members of the Vancouver Island Golf Superintendents Association are at it again as they prepare for the 3rd Annual MS Fundraiser. Learn more about this fundraising event at