Golf Course Management

FEB 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Top: Because Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland, Wash., receives less than 9 inches of rain annually, water protection and conservation are prime concerns. Photos by Carl D. Thompson Bottom: Naturalized pond shore banks and bat boxes are among Columbia Point's wildlife-friendly features. Natural Resource Conservation Award This award will recognize individuals who employ effective strategies for water conservation, energy conservation, and sound wildlife management. Carl D. Thompson, CGCS Columbia Point Golf Course Richland, Wash. When Carl Thompson, CGCS, steps back to look at the work he and his team have done in the area of environmental stewardship, he's quite proud of what they've accom - plished. But in terms of narrowing it down and trying to shoehorn it into one of the new-look ELGA's four categories, he wasn't quite so sure. "I was really surprised when I won," says Thompson, a 26-year GCSAA member and winner of the 2018 ELGA for Natural Resource Conservation. "With the new format for the ELGAs, after doing the application for it, I didn't feel good about any of them. Person - ally, I don't think we'd stand out in any one category. But I love what we do cumulatively on our golf course." Because Columbia Point — an 18-hole public course owned by the city of Richland, Wash., and a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary — lies in the arid southeastern part of the state and receives less than 9 inches of rain annually, perhaps it comes as no surprise that, when it comes to resource conservation, water is king. The course, nestled between the Columbia and Yakima rivers, was remodeled in 1997 with water and sustainability in mind. "This golf course was remodeled from a couple of different tracks," Thompson says, noting the course was designed to filter stormwater runoff from all the surrounding devel - opment. "We filter the water before it runs to the rivers. That's an integral part of protect- ing the environment. It's the right thing to do, and it's also fun including your community. Our golfers take pride in that, that we're here to protect the environment." Asked to pinpoint a favorite environmental initiative, Thompson settled on a sulfur burner installed on an irrigation pond close to 10 years ago. The course installed it primar - ily to deal with an aquatic pest, the Asiatic clam. 48 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.19

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