Golf Course Management

FEB 2014

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

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64 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.14 that reduce electricity by 15 to 20 percent over a fxed-speed pumping station. The clubhouse lights have all been changed out for LED lighting, which has helped make TPC Twin Cities one of the top-ranked facilities in Min - neapolis for its low energy use. Stewart says the course operates an ex - tensive recycling program for organic waste, oil and flters in the machine shop, fuores - cent light bulbs and 100 percent of the waste paper. He says the program saves money and helps keep the environmental model going at the course. "You hear a lot of people talk about envi - ronmental sustainability, and in reality that's a huge part of it," Stewart says. "You have to be able to do things in an environmentally re - sponsible way that does not impact negatively the business plan for the facility. And if you indeed complement that and provide savings, then you are just adding to that sustainability model for that facility." But Stewart has taken his passion for envi - ronmental stewardship far beyond the course's boundaries. He has a long history of involve - ment with passing on his knowledge. He has been active with GCSAA as an instructor, he speaks often at industry and TPC network conferences, he hosted the "Green Links" portion of the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) website in 2010 and he works tirelessly to spread the news on environmental stewardship. "Roger has been active as Minnesota GCSA vice president and leader of the research committee, which annually donates $20,000 or more to the University of Minnesota Turf- grass Research and Outreach Center," says Scottie Hines, outgoing MGCSA president. "Roger was voted in as MGCSA president (in early January). It has been a pleasure to work next to someone who is as passionate and avid an outdoorsman as myself." The hardworking Stewart says he can see retirement not too far off in his future, but there is still plenty to do before he is done. He is working on continual tweaks at TPC Twin Cities that include water management in the kitchen, plus fuel spill containment in the maintenance facility and chemical storage facilities. As MGCSA president, Stewart will chair the environmental stewardship committee and work closely with state regulators to de - velop a certifcation program for golf courses that is similar to the certifcation program that the state is creating for farming. "The idea is that if (golf courses) can prove, through a set of requirements, that we are re - sponsible users of water, those who become certifed could be eligible for some relief if drought restrictions are imposed," he explains. Stewart and his colleagues see water usage as a concern in Minnesota going forward and hope to get out ahead of it. He will also con - tinue to speak and spread the word about en- vironmental stewardship among his peers and publicize the fact that golf course superinten - dents are really working to help the environ- ment to anyone who wants to listen. "Superintendents — and Minnesotans in particular — aren't known as people who talk about themselves, but if you are a professional in the business and you talk with them, you fnd out they have a certain sense of respon - sibility for the environment that they feel," he says. "We, as a group, need to get better at get - ting that word out." As for Stewart's environmental steward - ship efforts, his leadership and his worthiness for GCSAA's President's Award for Environ - mental Stewardship award, the word is al- ready out. "He is a very deserving recipient," Miller says. "He has been a leader in our industry for a long time now, so it is great to see him being recognized for his efforts." Joseph Oberle is a freelance writer based in Findley, Minn. Naturalized areas at TPC Twin Cities (top) provide habitat for insects (bottom) and wildlife. 056-067_Feb14_PresAward.indd 64 1/17/14 11:54 AM

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