Turf & Rec

News
Much progress made during past 15 years


September 15, 2009
By Mike Jiggens

Has it really been 15 years already? In August of 1994, I was hired as editor of Turf & Recreation by its new owner and publisher Bart Crandon, who purchased the magazine from its original Vancouver-based founders.

Together, Bart and I have been directly involved in nearly 70 per cent of Turf & Recreation’s full 22-year history. It almost seems like yesterday when we initially began this journey. At the time, my children were, respectively, beginning Grade 2 and kindergarten in elementary school. Today, one is in the workforce while the other starts college in September. The years have certainly flown by.

Much has happened over the course of 15 years in the two industries we know best—the professional turf and grounds maintenance profession and the publishing industry.

We’ve seen tremendous technological advances in such areas as mowing equipment, irrigation systems and eco-friendly products and materials. Golf course superintendents, lawn care operators and sports field managers are better educated today than ever before, and have made significant strides forward over the past 15 years.

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When we first began with Turf & Recreation, it was big news whenever a Canadian golf course became a fully-certified Audubon cooperative sanctuary. After all, you could count on one hand at that time the number of courses in Canada which had achieved such status. Today, the number is staggering, and more are joining the Audubon ranks as the years continue to roll on.

We’ve seen the advent of integrated pest management strategies and the objective of lawn care companies and golf courses to become fully accredited in IPM. We’ve also seen the intervention of government—both at the municipal and provincial levels—which has dictated new sets of rules for the professional turf and grounds maintenance industry to follow. We’ve also witnessed the wrath of Mother Nature over the years, punishing large green spaces with either severe floods, drought or ice damage. By the same token, we’ve seen these same green spaces persevere by overcoming such obstacles.

The way in which we’ve produced Turf & Recreation has also changed dramatically over the past 15 years. Advances in computer software have allowed us to step out of the “dark ages” of publishing and embrace new techniques that have made us more efficient in what we do. This includes acknowledgement of the Internet and its ability to complement the printed page, including the establishment of our own website presence.

We have grown along with the industry which we help serve. It’s a good bet that the next five to 10 years will see further dramatic changes within the turf and grounds maintenance industry. As government continues to stir the pot, some of these changes may be regarded as counter-productive, but I suspect most of what comes along within the coming decade will be of an exciting and positive nature.

If the past 15 years are any indication of how enjoyable this journey has been for me so far, I greatly look forward to the next 15.


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