GCSAA names four Environmental Leaders in Golf Award winners

By |  October 27, 2022 0 Comments

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) named four superintendents winners of the 2022 Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA). GCSAA in partnership with Syngenta, present the awards annually.

The awards recognize superintendents for their commitment to environmental stewardship based on environmental best management practices and honoring specific areas of focus. GCSAA will honor winners at the 2023 GCSAA Conference & Show, Feb. 6-9, in Orlando, Fla.

2022 ELGA winners include:

Communications and Outreach Award

Scott R. Bower, CGCS, Martis Camp Club, Truckee, Calif.

Bower  says environmental efforts are his facilities’ first priority. He speaks to numerous agencies, community groups and club members, while also educating staff members on the importance of forest health, land stewardship, water conservation and water quality.

Martis Camp Club leadership communicates its environmental efforts through regular newsletters, attending community meetings, hosting community tours and increasing trail signage showcasing its environmental efforts and practices as good land stewards in and around the golf course.

First runner-up is Matthew Gourlay, CGCS, MG, Colbert Hills Golf Course, Manhattan, Kan. The second runner-up is Gary Early, Salmon Run Golf Course, Brookings, Ore.

Healthy Land Stewardship Award

Justin C. Brimley, Crystal Springs Golf Course, Burlingame, Calif.

Brimley focuses on the limited use of pesticides and fertilizers as Crystal Springs, built in 1924, sits above a watershed, which provides drinking water to the entire bay area.

Brimley says he has attempted to reduce the course’s carbon footprint with better equipment and phasing out older, more unfriendly polluters. He has reduced nitrates and phosphorous inputs to protect the water quality while working with vendors on using products that are environmentally sound.

First runner-up is Don Naumann Blackberry Farm Golf Course, Cupertino, Calif. Second runner-up is H. Mitchell Wilkerson, CGCS, Moss Creek Owner’s Association, Hilton Head, S.C.

Innovative Conservation Award

Russell F. Young, CGCS, Palm Tree Golf Course, Yigo, Guam, USA

Young’s conservation idea stems from the fact that Palm Tree has several holes bordering the jungle, which invites unique challenges from the coconut rhino Beetle, which kills coconut trees.

In response, the course cut down infected trees, stacked them in a pile and covered them with Teken netting, creating a trap. This has steadily reduced the population of the beetles on the base, according to Young. Once the trees no longer attract the beetles, Young uses the decomposed material as compost for planting new trees.

First runner-up is Jim Pavonetti, CGCS, Fairview Country Club, Greenwich, Conn. The second runner-up is Reid Solodan, Canmore Golf and Curling Club, Canmore, Alberta.

Natural Resource Conservation Award

Wayne Mills, La Cumbre Country Club, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Mills oversees maintenance at La Cumbre Country Club, which, after enormous efforts, obtained recycled water from the city of Santa Barbara. Mills says this was difficult since the golf course is not located within the city limits.

Other conservation projects include a no-spray buffer zone that surrounds a 25-acre lake, which collects approximately 80 percent of the course’s drainage, aiding water quality management.

First runner-up is Landon Lindsay, Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club, Irving, Texas. The second runner-up is Ryan Cummings, Elcona Country Club, Bristol, Ind.

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