Turf & Rec

When pro-environmentalism isn’t quite enough

June 14, 2010  By  Mike Jiggens

I had the opportunity in mid-May to visit a nine-hole golf course in
Woodstock, Ont. which badly wants to become 18. Trouble is, the local
conservation authority won’t allow an adjacent parcel of land to the
existing nine to be developed for golf.

What’s particularly unsettling for the course owners is that the conservation authority has only said that further expansion “doesn’t fit our mandate.”

Negotiations continue between both parties, and it is hoped the mysterious, unexplained mandate will be revealed.

In the meantime, Sally Creek Golf Club superintendent Chad Ziegler is doing everything humanly possible to demonstrate to the conservation authority that the golf course is a pro-environment piece of property.

Turf varieties were specially selected that are known for their decreased susceptibility to disease.

Buffer zones are in place to protect the Sally Creek which flows along eight of nine holes.

The golf course has become ISO 14001 certified which demonstrates its leadership in environmental values.

Furthermore, the golf course is in the process of becoming a fully-certified Audubon cooperative sanctuary.

Ziegler believes the answer might be to have members of the conservation authority board visit the golf course and see for themselves what is being done to protect the environment. He suspects there may be some representation on the board who still figure golf courses are pesticide-laden properties, unaware of the progress golf clubs and superintendents have made in recent years to become true stewards of the land.

As far as nine-hole courses go, this one’s a bit of a hidden gem, tucked away within a new housing development in the city. Although par is only 35 and the course might not be particularly long from the tips, its tricky landing areas and undulating greens will give even the lowest of handicappers a real challenge.

See page 18 for the story.

With the cosmetic pesticide ban now a year old in Ontario, some hope is available for many of the lawn care companies which may have been caught without viable alternative products to satisfy their customers.

Two new products have recently become approved commercially. One, Fiesta, has been tested by the Nutri-Lawn company which has so far praised its effectiveness in controlling weeds. It is a natural alternative for selectively controlling broadleaf weeds in turf. Its active ingredient is iron in the form of hydroxyethylenediaminetriaceticacid.

Another product to recently be green-lighted by Health Canada is ZeroTol, a broad-spectrum fungicide/algaecide. It has already proven itself in the United States for its use not only on turf, but on such ornamental crops as bedding plants, cut flowers, nursery plants, plugs and cuttings.

See page 38 for more about these products.

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