Profiles
By Mike Jiggens ARTIFICIAL sports fields have come a long way since their introduction nearly 50 years ago, but there is still no such thing as a maintenance-free synthetic playing surface, more than 250 members of the Sports Turf Association were told in September. Redexim Charterhouse’s Chuck Hicks, speaking at the association’s 22nd annual field day in Brantford, Ont., said the artificial playing field is currently in its fourth generation of manufacturing type, and, although it’s a vast improvement from its first generation days of “Astroturf,” the fields still require regular attention if they are to remain playable and realize a long lifespan.
GIE+EXPO showed few indications of an economic downturn during the annual green industry event in October in Louisville, Ky. Final attendance numbers were up in several areas, giving show organizers reason to celebrate.
HAVING to appear in court as a municipality’s star witness in a personal injury lawsuit is not a pleasant experience for most for most sports turf managers, but many cases can realize a positive outcome if certain risk and liability precautions are undertaken before, during and after a typical season. Alan Dore, manager of parks and cemeteries for the City of Hamilton, Ont., outlined the importance of inspecting and maintaining sports field infrastructure during the 22nd annual field day of the Sports Turf Association in Brantford in September.
COMMUNITIES in Bloom is 15 years old and is showing no signs of slowing down. The Canada-wide competition which fosters civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement recently held its national awards ceremony in Vaughan, Ont., where several municipalities of various sizes were formally honoured for their efforts in 2009. Communities in Bloom was originally established with the guidance of Britain in Bloom, Tidy Towns of Ireland and Villes et Villages Fleuris de France, and held its first edition in 1995 with 29 participating municipalities across Canada.
By Mike Jiggens THE Western Canada Turfgrass Association’s new executive director has officially been on the job for almost a year now, but has only been flying solo for the past couple of months.   Jerry Rousseau, former superintendent at Kokanee Springs Golf Resort in British Columbia’s West Kootenay Region, succeeded long-time WCTA executive director Bob Wick on Jan.1, but had been working alongside his predecessor until the end of September.
POSSESSION of the Fall Classic Cup proved to be short-lived for the Western Ontario Golf Superintendents Association. After finally winning the annual match play tournament in 2008 after a four-year drought, the trophy has returned to the hands of the Western New York Golf Superintendents Association following play Oct. 19 at the Harvest Hill Golf Center in Orchard Park, N.Y. The ninth annual Ryder Cup-like match play tournament between the bordering associations was narrowly won 21-19 by the U.S. side, giving the New Yorkers a 6-3 advantage in victories since the event began in 2001.  
TWO neighbouring regional golf superintendents associations from southern Ontario wrapped up their seasons Oct. 22 by engaging in a friendly Ryder Cup-like match play tournament at the St. Thomas Golf & Country Club in Union. In what was promoted as the first annual Syngenta Ryder Cup Superintendent Charity Challenge, the host Greater London Association of Golf Superintendents (GLAGS) soundly defeated the visiting Kent-Essex Golf Superintendents (KEGS) by a 14-7 margin.  
The Guelph, Ont.-based Sports Turf Association has become the first recognized international affiliate of the Sports Turf Managers Association of Lawrence, Kan.
St. Catharines, Ont. is looking at installing a new $3.4-million artificial turf sports field in the city. The project will include a single field, sports lighting, seating for 800 spectators, a field building with change rooms, washrooms and equipment storage, a bus dropoff and parking for 100 cars. FULL STORY
THE next few years are apt to be rough for Ontario’s sports turf managers, in the wake of a province-wide cosmetic pesticide ban implemented in April, but those up to the challenge can still produce acceptable playing surfaces, more than 250 members of the Sports Turf Association were told in September. “I think we can overcome those challenges over the next few years, but it’s going to be rough,” said Dr. Eric Lyons, assistant professor of turfgrass science at the University of Guelph, speaking at the STA’s 22nd annual field day at Brantford, Ont.’s Lions Park.
IT was a banner day for the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation on Sept. 14. The organization raised approximately $40,000 from its annual fundraising golf tournament, held at The National Golf Club of Canada in Woodbridge, which will be earmarked for turfgrass research.
CANADIANS involved in the professional turfgrass management industry have been given the rare opportunity to influence U.S. policy, by taking part in a survey administered by Rutgers University. In a recent memo to members of the Western Canada Turfgrass Association, executive director Jerry Rousseau said he had been contacted by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada to help provide input for registering new pesticide products for use on turfgrass in Canada.
As most people hunker down at the sound of another winter weather warning, snow and ice management contractors are out reaping the harvests of abundant snowfalls. Recently, nature has been accommodating to the snow and ice business while money is hard to earn elsewhere in the current economy. If you plow snow, you’ve experienced the potential. But if you only offer a plowing service, you’re missing out on the increased profits of material spreading. Whether you’re currently in the snow business or looking to get in the game, it may be time to break the ice and jump into the growing trend of full-service snow and ice management.
The "stench of rotting turf" has prompted the Regional Municipality of Niagara to urge its residents to leave grass clippings on their lawn. Complaints have been fielded about the foul smell coming from Niagara's main composting facility. FULL STORY
Metro Central YMCA in Toronto has initiated a new green roof project. A running track at the top of the building was not much more than hot concrete and offered little in the way of aesthetics. The greening project, although still in its early stages, will also offer plenty of environmental benefits. FULL STORY

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