To celebrate a brand new $1-million renovation of the Cherry Hill Golf Course near Fort Erie, Ont., members officially cut the ribbon and inaugurated the new course with a ceremonial teeoff as part of its recent men’s opening day activities. Established in 1922, Cherry Hill was designed by noted golf course architect, Walter J. Travis. Travis, portrayed by Cherry Hill member Mike Reynolds, was on hand to assist with the ribbon cutting and to hit the first ball in the ceremonial teeoff. Also on hand to officiate were club president Kingman Bassett, Jr. and 2008 president Robert P. Borneman. Representing the Walter J. Travis Society was Ed Homsey of Stafford Country Club. Ian Andrew, of Ian Andrew Design and Weir Golf Design, was the architect for the renovations, which include reconstruction of all bunkers with Travis-style grass faces and surrounding mounds as well as several new tee locations and a major pond expansion. Andrew spoke to the membership about Travis, and conducted a tour of select holes, while explaining the rationale for improvements and strategic shot options presented by the new improvements which were designed to reflect the style of Walter Travis. Cherry Hill Club hosted the 1960 Ontario Open, the 1972 Canadian Open Championship and the 1982 Canadian Professional Golfers Association Championship.
THE humanitarian efforts of a group of Canadians engaged in the turfgrass industry have resulted in the construction of a new soccer field for 165 orphaned children in the Dominican Republic. A team of 12 volunteers, made up of Nutri-Lawn franchisees, its corporate president, its director of operations, and the Canadian sales manager from The Toro Company spent a week at the improverished Caribbean country in January, constructing a playable field for the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage and installing an irrigation system for its community garden. The trip was organized by Nutri-Lawn’s “re:nourish” program which, since 2008, has contributed to worthy projects considered environmentally sustainable and which encourage community health. “An important part of our re:nourish program is to reach out to communities beyond where we currently operate and live,” said Ryan Vincent, president of Nutri-Lawn.
BUNKERS tend to be one of the most controversial aspects of a golf course, and superintendents often find themselves on the receiving end of complaints among golfers who claim they’re unfair as well as concerns from their own maintenance workers who find their upkeep to be a never-ending battle. Robert Randquist, superintendent at Boca Raton, Fla.’s Boca Rio Golf Club, said bunkers can be “a lightning rod” for criticism. Speaking in March at the Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show in Halifax, the veteran superintendent said every one of his colleagues has, at one time or another, fielded from his members the question, “When are we going to do something about our bunkers?” Superintendents will ultimately face one of three scenarios with regard to their bunkers, Randquist said, depending on whether they have deteriorated over time, they no longer reflect the architect’s original design or are deemed unfair by the club’s membership. The bunkers can either be redesigned, restored or reconditioned. First and foremost, a superintendent must have a clear picture of what the course owner or membership wishes to accomplish, he said, adding a significant difference in cost and method exists for each scenario. “If you go into a bunker project and you think you’re just going to recondition them, redo the surfaces and put new sand in, replace the drainage, and you’ve got a rough idea of what the costs will be, and all of a sudden it turns into a redesign project, the costs can escalate very rapidly.”
Green Diamond Equipment has opened a new flagship John Deere dealership in New Brunswick. The store features new and used equipment for homeowners as well as the construction industry. FULL STORY
Vancouver's Northlands Golf Club has adopted a "greener" approach toward keeping its greens green. Using organic fertilizers and electrically-powered equipment have helped matters greatly. FULL STORY
A free information session and tour of Kwantlen Polytehnic University's school of horticulture facilities is being offered Wednesday, June 10 and Saturday, July 18. The event is intended for prospective students who will be able to tour the Langley campus' facilities, meet students, faculty and alumni, and discover the school's programs, facilities and resources.
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.
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