By Mike Jiggens
The June issue of our publication has a decided slant toward sports turf, with no less than three stories devoted to that sector of the industry.
We have an interview with Sports Turf Canada’s new president, who is making history as the association’s first ever president residing outside of Ontario. Next, we have a second interview with Canada’s new sports turf manager of the year. And, finally, we have an announcement about two upcoming Sports Turf Canada field days—one in Toronto and the other in Calgary.
Sports Turf Canada is the new name given to what was formerly called the Sports Turf Association. Based in Guelph, Ont., the nearly 30-year-old association was primarily an Ontario organization, with all of its past presidents and board members being residents of the province.
In recent years, however, the association has begun to spread its wings so that it can deliver its message and educational opportunities to all parts of Canada. To accomplish this, it has meant forging relationships with regional associations outside Ontario.
The process began with a connection to Atlantic Canada. The City of Moncton, N.B.’s Gordon Horsman was mostly responsible for the connection to the east, and a successful field day was held some years ago in that part of the country.
The Sports Turf Association then developed a relationship with the Western Canada Turfgrass Association, and now it has a presence in the west. Tapping into both ends of the country prompted a name change to Sports Turf Canada.
Its new president, Tab Buckner, who is manager of parks operations for the Township of Langley, B.C., wishes to build further upon Sports Turf Canada’s current reach into Atlantic Canada and British Columbia and Alberta. He says it’s a goal he has set for himself during his two-year term as president to see that the association can perhaps land in Saskatchewan and Manitoba at the very least.
Canada’s sports turf manager of the year, Greg Lampman, hails from the Town of Oakville, Ont. Relatively new to the turf industry—involved only since 2010—he has sunk his teeth into what he does and likes to experiment with new products and techniques to perfect on his day-to-day operations.
He faces the usual challenges as do most other sports turf managers—especially overuse of his fields—but continues to rise to the challenge to keep his playing surfaces playable and in good health.
Sports Turf Canada has taken some positive steps of late to broaden its scope. For the first time in its history, it will be conducting a field day this summer in Calgary which represents an important milestone in its quest to better establish itself in Western Canada. Additionally, it is conducting a sports field version of the First Green program—a pilot project in Langley.