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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58 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.19 experience with members of their club or com- munity. A few tips to help get started: • Start small. Confusion and chaos can un - dermine the whole event. Make sure you choose a location that is easy to find, pro - vides space for arts and crafts and keeps the flow between activities manageable. It is better to have kids help each other plant the garden than to have more plants than help - ers. It also keeps cleanup and maintenance to a minimum. • Be visible. Pick a location that participants will see often so they can show their friends the flowers they planted and check for pol - linators visiting their garden. Make a small sign to identify the garden for each year. • Practice. Designate a leader for each stage of the workshop and do a run-through or two. Iron out the wrinkles beforehand by laying out the plants and practicing the T-shirt production. • Be flexible. Focus on the kids' experience and creating a lasting memory. e educa - tional value may be realized later, when the youngsters cover the subject in school and eagerly tell the class that they learned about pollinators at the golf course. Sample themes for a children's pollinator workshop Bee Aware — Educate yourself about polli- nator life cycles and habitat • What are pollinators and why are they im - portant? During children's pollinator workshops, golf course superintendents can talk about the importance of pollinators — like this tiger swallowtail butterfly — and should encourage participants to return often to see which visitors their garden has attracted. Photo by Andrew Hartsock • Arts and crafts. During the arts and crafts portion of the workshop, the children color pictures of bees and butterflies that depict the ideas introduced during an expanded discussion of the overall theme. • Pollinator garden. Parents and older chil - dren are invited to help the younger chil- dren plant high-value native perennials to create a children's pollinator garden. Take-home message While the garden is being installed, sup- port staff or volunteers scan coloring pages, print them onto iron-on paper and make T-shirts, which are returned to the artists at the end of the workshop. Develop a handout with links to educational resources, extension contacts and programs, and ideas about how to improve pollinator habitats at home. e workshop provides an opportunity for superintendents to engage current and poten - tial golfers, and to promote themselves, their programs and their role as responsible manag - ers of high-value landscapes within the com- munity. Delivering a positive, informed mes- sage in an educational, recreational and social setting creates opportunities for a relaxed di - alogue to evolve, which further develops the image of the superintendent as a knowledge - able and engaged professional. e T-shirts and gardens serve as subtle reminders of the event, the message that was delivered and the impression that was made on the participants and parents by the profes - sionals who shared their time, knowledge and • Become familiar with the various native pollinators in your region and what they re - quire to grow and thrive. • Discover opportunities to create or improve pollinator habitat on your property. • Share a list of resources that will help fami - lies learn more and build on the lessons learned during the workshop. Bee Healthy — What elements support pol - linators during each stage of their life cycle? • Plant clusters of native plants that support all stages of development for a variety of beneficial insects. • Install a hummingbird feeder as an alter - nate source of nectar. • Create a mud spot or salt lick to provide es - sential nutrients. Bee Kind — Identify ways to improve the value of your property and minimize our impact on pollinators and ways that we can help them thrive throughout our communities • Plant a pollinator garden or incorporate pollinator-friendly plants into your land - scape. • Add interest to your gardens by adding food or nesting sites for native bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. • Develop responsible landscape manage - ment programs that are based on maintain- ing healthy plants and reducing our reliance on pest-control products. Peter Gorman, GCSAA Class A superintendent and a 20-year member of the association, is the vice president of the Connecticut Association of Golf Course Superinten - dents and has established a reputation as an advocate for superintendents and the golf industry in Connecticut. He participates in the Grassroots Ambassador Program, represented golf on the science and technical workgroup for the Connecticut State Water Plan, serves as steering committee chair for the Connecticut and New England Regional BMP projects and is a member of the University of Connecticut dean's advisory board for the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. He recently left his position as superintendent at Pine Orchard Yacht and Country Club in Branford, Conn., to become a technical representative at Atlantic Golf and Turf in Turners Falls, Mass.

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