[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

Re: E-M:/ Re: Ecological Golf Courses?

Enviro-Mich message from "Smethurst" <dsmeth@freeway.net>

-----Original Message-----
From: ECOARTDB@aol.com <ECOARTDB@aol.com>
To: onur3@traverse.com <onur3@traverse.com>; enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Date: Wednesday, June 02, 1999 11:17 AM
Subject: E-M:/ Re: Ecological Golf Courses?

>Enviro-Mich message from ECOARTDB@aol.com
>Dear Enviromich Network,
>I would like to find more information about the concept of "Green" golf
>courses ...that  are less polluting and energy intensive.  I can imagine
>smaller greens, grass that needs less mowing and perhaps no fertilizer,
>native plantings with gardens open to the public. Perhaps some of the wild
>parts of the course could be developed as Forest Gardening (a Permaculture
>concept), Empty Bowl Gardens, etc. I can see the course being put in at
>Oakland University becoming such a "model".  Although there are certainly
>many serious concerns with the building of golf courses, these strategies
>would diminish the impact, and possibly lead the way toward a different
>landscaping value system.
>Does anyone know how to connect with information about "More Ecological"
>courses? Are there any organizations working on this, or articles written?
> Deanne Bednar
>ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
>and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
>Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
>majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info
Yes, there are people working on "green" golf courses.  Some will say all
golf courses are bad and there many , maybe most, that have not been done
well.  Doesn't have to be that way.  Other states have regs that help.
Michigan doesn't.  They have building them on brownfields, on abandoned and
"depleted" farms, on flood plains as water retention basins, etc.  New turf
grasses that take less water and little herbicides and pesticides have been
developed.   Design can make a difference. too.  The United States Golf
Association is a source, as is The American Association of Golf Course
Architects.  The United States Golf Course Superintendents Association is
also a source.  The New York Audubon Society has a golf course
"environmental" certification system that has some merit, but is not
perfect.  Underline some.  The National Audubon Society has distanced itself
that New York affiliate in this regard.  All these sources can give you new
leads.  MSU has one of the leading turf grass programs in the country and
ought to interface with their wildlife and fisheries departments to give
solid advice.  They will give you new leads.  Try "golf course design" on
the Internet and that will give you leads as well.  I love golf and care
about the environment.  Terrible things have been done in the name of golf
course development, but it doesn't need to be that way.  Designers, and more
importantly owners, are discovering that doing it right is often cheaper
than doing it their way.  Good design, with the right grass can reduce
maintenance costs, I.e. herbicides and fertilizer. Some time ago, I tried,
without success, to get the DNR (before DEQ) to develop some design and
maintenance standards to follow.  The DNR did some work to create a "manual"
but I think it went by the wayside.  Courses that did so could be a
"Michigan Green" course and advertise accordingly.  Courses will continue to
be built in Michigan.  If we could do a coordinated statewide effort, we
could avoid the "brush wars" that so many courses create.     I still think
it would work.  Best of luck.  I do know more about this.  If needed call or
e-mail me.  Dave Smethurst

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"