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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"It does become a challenge. How do you continue to move forward?" Easter asks. "I think the best answer is that we continue refining the initiatives we've already done. We've always had to work on refining them. We set new goals and continue to get bigger." Case in point: the course's beehives. Bro - ken Sound started with one hive; now there are 24 on both courses, and, under the su - pervision of professional beekeepers, they produce 1,500 gallons of honey. "I got tired of people pointing fingers," Easter says. "They'd say, 'You're a superin - tendent at a golf course. You're destroying the environment.' When I got to Broken Sound, we were able to point the finger back to them." And they've helped point the way to sound environmental stewardship. The course's first initiatives were small steps: re - placing Styrofoam cups with biodegradable Ecotainer cups, using fewer plastic water bottles and installing energy-efficient light - bulbs. Now, Easter and his team consult with courses and even cities on much big - ger projects. "Some of the hardest problems we had to tackle were, every time we'd try something, we didn't have anybody to follow," Easter says. "That's the barrier I'm trying to break. That's one of the most important things I do. That's ultimately my goal, to educate. We do probably 40 tours a year, with home - school kids and kids in elementary and mid- dle school, city councils … people fly me all over the place to talk about our initiatives. We're doing carbon filtration in an entire golf course. It's kind of crazy what we do sometimes, when you look at it." Perhaps Easter's greatest lesson is this: Environmental stewardship is possible at any course, regardless of budget. "It's a business decision," he says. "You have to be able to show return on invest - ment. If you show return on investment and that we're helping the environment and you're able to save money … when people say they can't afford it, I say, 'What can't you afford?'" Jeff Reich, Class A superintendent at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., and a 21-year association member, was first runner-up for the Healthy Land Steward - ship Award. Wayne Mills, Class A superintendent at La Cumbre Country Club in Santa Barbara, Calif., and a 34-year member, was second runner-up. Top: Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton, Fla., boasts vegetative buffer and riparian areas to filter water, absorb nutrients and reduce runoff and erosion. Bottom: Shannon Easter, director of golf mainte- nance and environmental sustainability, is the winner of the 2018 ELGA for Healthy Land Stewardship. He was the overall and private winner of the 2016 ELGA. 2018 elga

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