New facility accommodates research, teaching
September 16, 2022 By Turf & Rec
The newly relocated Guelph Turfgrass Institute, including the brand new G.M. Frost Research and Information Centre, celebrated its official opening this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The GTI has played a key role for the past 35 years with research and instruction to support Canada’s multi-billion-dollar sports field, golf and residential turf industries.
A public field day was held to commemorate the opening of the state-of-the-art Frost Centre and mark the GTI’s milestone anniversary. In attendance were University of Guelph Alumni, turfgrass professionals and members of the general public who toured the facilities and research plots.
The new centre serves as a research, education and resource hub for the Canadian turfgrass industry as well as the headquarters for the Ontario Golf Superintendents Association, Sports Turf Canada and the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation. Its development was funded largely by the Ontario government through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO).
“We’re excited to continue our work in this new state-of-the-art research and teaching facility,” GTI director Dr. Eric Lyons said. “We are tremendously grateful for the support from the provincial government, individual donors, organizations and the industry who made our new location possible.”
The facility’s new location covers about 17 acres at the east end of the University of Guelph campus. Fourteen research plots provide different combinations of turfgrass cultivars, mowing heights and soil types.
Researchers will build on the previous aspects of pesticide use, evaluation of grass species, varieties and seeding methods, sports field construction, fertility and management programs, and the biological and cultural control of diseases and weeds.
The research grounds, laboratories, diagnostic clinic and study space will continue to support and foster a strong Canadian turfgrass science program and attract new generations of academics, Lyons said.
“The University of Guelph is committed to delivering world class turf research that advances the sector, fosters sustainability and delivers vibrant green spaces for our communities,” Dr. Malcolm Campbell, vice-president of research said.
The GTI was founded through a collaboration among the university, the Ontario government and the turfgrass industry.
“We are immensely proud to join our partners again and reiterate our commitment to advancing turfgrass research with the opening of the new G.M. Frost Research and Information Centre,” Campbell said.
Lorne Hepworth, ARIO chairman, said, “Ontario is building on the strong foundation of research infrastructure by supporting the new Guelph Turfgrass Institute. Through research facilities like these, the provincial government is supporting the advancement of innovative research for scientific discoveries and opening the door for future technological advances in agricultural research for Ontario farmers.”
Funding opportunities are still available for the GTI’s new maintenance and teaching building, where students will learn irrigation installation, machine maintenance and landscape design.
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