IT’S official. Ontario’s new cosmetic pesticide ban is underway. Lawn care companies are marching forward even though they’ve been stripped of the tools that have worked so effectively for them for years. Many of these operators still have a bitter taste in their mouths for the way in which the provincial government handled the process leading to the ban. The lack of science involved in the political process is the particular bone of contention. The activists have won, but it appears they’re not resting on their laurels. In the days since the ban took effect on April 22, there have been reports of activists harassing lawn care employees, demanding to look inside their trucks for illegal pesticides.
Here’s one of the few cool things about getting older... and no, I’m not talking about the early-bird special at Denny’s, although that is pretty cool. I like Denny’s so much, that the one time my doctor ordered blood work to check my cholesterol, when the technician shoved the needle into the vein what came out was that white cream gravy the Denny’s people pour over country fried steak. Apparently, that puts my cholesterol as “high.”
It’s all around us. It surrounds you as you move around. Without it we could not survive for more than a few days. In some countries it is illegal to capture while in others they have so much of it that they just want it to stop and go away.    It is water in the form of rain and its many states of water: invisible moisture in the form of humidity, mist of fine water, casual rainfall that is beneficial to the plants and recharging water reservoirs to provide us with the essential water humans require, and then on mass—floods where it is just too much at one time and needs to stop now. Rainwater arrives at irregular intervals throughout the year. To facilitate the capture and utilization of this free source of water (not in all parts of the country and probably not forever, either), we must devise a capture, storage and utilization system. What do you need to do to capture the rainwater? How much do you need to capture? What are you going to use the rainwater for?
By Lily Darold Marketing Communications Manager Becker Underwood Inc. The recently enacted ban on cosmetic pesticide use in Ontario has lawn care specialists wondering which biopesticides offer the best results and are a safe alternative. Entomopathogenic nematodes are an effective alternative to conventional insecticides. Now, more than ever, these nematodes are gaining acceptance and use as an important tool in controlling turfgrass insect pests. “Entomopathogenic nematodes are remarkably versatile in being useful against many soil and cryptic insect pests in diverse cropping systems, yet are clearly underutilized,” states Randy Gaugler, department of entomology at Rutgers University. Nematodes are simple, microscopic roundworms—colourless, unsegmented and lacking appendages. Certain plant parasitic nematodes are associated with crop damage. These harmful organisms include cyst, sting, lance and root knot nematodes.
Thirty-two municipalities across Canada were recently honoured for their achievements from the eighth annual WinterLights Celebrations. The program is a sister competition of Communities in Bloom. Winners were announced in Prince George, B.C. during the program's symposium and awards ceremony. To read more about the program and the list of 2008-2009 winners, visit
IT wasn’t the spring start that Jeff Stauffer wanted to kick off his 2009 season at Credit Valley Golf & Country Club in Mississauga, Ont. Since he began working at the private golf course in 1996, he’s seen his share of flooding in the Credit River valley, but nothing has ever come close to the damage experienced this year. “February ’09 takes the cake,” said Stauffer, who begins his 11th season this year as superintendent. “Older members are comparing this flood to the flood of ’74.”
TURF & Recreation is almost ready to launch its new and improved website, bringing us into the 21st century with a slew of new, reader-friendly features. We’ll soon be putting to rest our previous site—we’re still —which we felt had become stagnant and offered little for our readers to complement what was available in the printed pages. Our retooled site will include web exclusive features, a classifieds section, news archives, a job board, book store, a subscription centre and a section for new products. In addition, we will provide the means to have coming events announced in a much more timely fashion. Publishing Turf & Recreation seven times a year is often a hit and miss proposition for getting these announcements out to our readers. Often, we’ll get word about an event which has arrived after we have gone to press with our current issue, yet the event will have passed by the time we’re ready to publish our next edition. This will no longer be as much of a problem. If the timing isn’t right for our print edition, these announcements will always have a place on our website. There will also be an opportunity for our readers to get interactive. We will be including an online poll concerning one issue or another which is pertinent to our industry. Visitors will have both the opportunity to cast their vote and view the results. Our archived news section will be a work in progress. Anything which has already appeared in the pages of Turf & Recreation, starting with our past January/February 2009 issue, will be accessible in future months and years. All of this doesn’t come without a little bit of effort. For me, it means having to go back to school in a sense. Website design and maintenance is new territory for me, and I’ve had to undergo specialized training in this field in recent weeks.  But we feel it will all be worth it. Be sure to frequently visit for continual updates and fresh, new information. Ontario’s new province-wide cosmetic pesticide ban is ready for its official launch. Many of those involved in the lawn care industry have embraced the new regulations and are ready to move forward. Others aren’t entirely pleased with the consequences. At February’s Ontario Turfgrass Symposium in Guelph, the questions-and-answers session following an address on the subject by a Ministry of the Environment official was more lively than her actual presentation. Among the questions asked: “What am I supposed to do with the $1,000 in product I still have?” “Will the province be refunding the $200 I spent getting my applicator’s licence?” “Was this legislation based on science or politics?” The answer to the latter question was “Next question.” There’s still a lot more to be heard about this subject.
St. Catharines (Ont.) Golf & Country Club superintendent Dennis Piccolo was one of about 200 attendees at the February Golf Industry Show in New Orleans who volunteered their time to help Habitat For Humanity construct eight homes in the area. In addition to helping build walls and floors, Piccolo also laid sod at his particular work site. The volunteer workers were told they had done about one week's worth of work in a mere two days. The City of New Orleans, La. is trying to rebuild itself after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“Eek! Eek! The sky is falling! There's a recession! Head for the hills! “Oh no. I can’t afford to buy a hill because of the recession. “I’m already overextended on my credit cards and the value of my house has dropped eight per cent so I can’t leverage that to buy a good hill to hide on. “I’ll just have to sit in the basement of my depreciating house and shiver with fear.” If you read the papers and watch some TV, you know we have a recession going on right now.
What started out as a Northern Adventure mini-putt course and driving range in 1988 is now a unique and unparalleled 72-hole golf experience. Cardinal Golf Club in Newmarket, Ont. is now Canada’s largest golf complex. “What we have been aiming to do is develop a complex where we can grow the game and entertain golfers of all skill levels,” says general manager Bob Kilgour. “With the opening of the championship calibre RedCrest Course this summer we have completed the vision and are truly where the public golfer belongs.”
The 2009 Ontario Turfgrass Symposium, held last February in Guelph, marked the start of a new era on the Canadian sports turf scene. To my knowledge, this was the first time that the synthetic turf phenomenon was officially recognized by the turf industry with the presentation of a one-hour talk on the subject by a dedicated synthetic industry representative. 
  A new booklet published by The Turf Resource Center in Illinois is designed to help decision-makers and the general public make informed decisions regarding the installation of natural grass or artificial turf fields in their communities. Natural Grass and Artificial Turf: Separating Myths and Facts is a 32-page publication which is based upon information from some of the industry’s most highly-respected research scientists, sports field managers, contractors and other professionals.
The 2009 Depression has created a situation where consumers are watching their wealth being eroded. The value of homes has dropped and pension savings have been decimated. Consumers fear for their jobs with the rise in layoffs and unemployment.
CAN outstanding golf course conditions and environmental stewardship co-exist? According to a veteran Alberta superintendent, they can. Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club’s James Beebe addressed the subject in January at the 2009 Golf Course Management Conference and Trade Show in Toronto.
DUCKS Unlimited’s Canadian headquarters near the Oak Hammock Marsh area in southern Manitoba will undergo a controlled burn of its roof this spring. The building features a 28,000-square-foot green roof which is grown to various short and medium-size grasses and flowering plants which are native to the surrounding Oak Hammock Marsh. The burn will get rid of dead vegetation, improve the soil makeup and oust invasives. A previous controlled burn on the roof was done in 2000. Green roofs have grown in popularity in recent years. They are particularly popular in Germany, but many North American building owners have caught on to the technology which serves to reduce summer air cooling energy by 25 per cent and cut heat loss in the winter by 26 per cent through the added insullation. Most green roofs don’t require a burn. Weeds are usually eliminated through conventional means. The roof at Ducks Unlimited’s interpretive centre resembles a natural habitat for waterfowl. Ducks annually nest on its roof, and a goose made it its home more recently. Green roofs boast several other advantages. They stagger or reduce the amount of storm water runoff, placing less stress on sewer systems, they are six to eight degrees cooler than roofs without vegetation, and provide habitat for wildlife in urban settings. Although the cost of constructing a green roof is more than that of a traditional roof, they tend to last twice as long and don’t require maintenance as frequently. The cost-savings associated with cooling and heating normally offset the cost of the roof itself, and its longevity provides long-term savings.
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