Golf Course Management

APR 2018

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

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80 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.18 The golf course as an arena for biodiversity and green infrastructure From the start, Chalmers Golf Club in Landvetter, Sweden, set up an environmental policy and plans for sustainable development of the golf course and its surroundings. The club took thorough inventories of flora and fauna and used them to form development and main - tenance plans that would also preserve and in- crease biodiversity. The club's latest project is to act as biotope (habitat) host for red-listed frogs and salamanders. ("Red-listed" means that the species are considered threatened.) According to Swedish environmental laws, any building or construction project that disturbs the natu - ral environment of threatened species must take compensation measures to ensure that the over - all habitat is not affected negatively. An existing lake ecosystem was drained when a large road was built close to the golf club, and the build - ers were required to recreate a wetlands area for frogs and salamanders. The golf club, in coop - eration with the builders and traffic and envi- ronmental authorities, designed, planned and built a lake ecosystem area for red-listed am - phibians on the 18-hole golf course. The ben- efits for the golf club were substantial. Added value for Chalmers Golf Club • A strategic investment in the golf course was financed by the road builders. • The new wetlands area enhanced playing quality and strategy for two golf holes. • The new wetlands also improved drain - age of several golf holes and surrounds. • The club strengthened its public relations. • The club contributes to preserving im - portant local biodiversity. • Members have an increased interest in biodiversity on the golf course. • In the future, the builders will subsidize the maintenance cost for the new lake ecosystem area. The golf course as an outdoor classroom Children's learning experience can be im- proved if part of the teaching takes place in natural outdoor environments. In addition, their levels of stress decrease and their con - centration improves, as does their engagement and their willingness to collaborate. Access to urban green areas and natural resources close to human settlements is constantly decreasing, owing to increasing density in our cities. The Chalmers Golf Club in Sweden has established an environmental policy that promotes biodiversity on the club grounds, as evidenced by the presence of this smooth newt, a European salamander. The land around a golf course can provide an ideal setting for an outdoor classroom. Teachers are trained in the fine points of mushroom collection and identification at Motala Golf Club in Motala, Sweden.

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