A Foundation for Sustainability: The New York Golf Course Foundation

The New York Golf Course Foundation (NYGCF) is a newly launched non profit to promote sustainable golf management efforts in New York State. This new organization is an evolutionary step for the New York State Best Management Practices (BMPs) project begun in 2012 that established the state’s first golf industry BMPs.

The foundation’s mission is to continue and expand upon the work of the BMP committee, raise the profile of the state’s golf industry with respect to its environmental sustainability efforts, and to fundraise to provide a sustainable source of revenue to continue these efforts. Scientists from Cornell University will continue working with NYGCF to update the BMPs, address new topics as the need arises, and provide education to the superintendent target audience.

The current focus of the NYGCF is outreach and education aimed at promoting the acceptance and implementation of BMPs by the state’s golf course superintendents. In addition, the Foundation will continue to promote the recognition of BMPs as the best way to protect and preserve our water resources and enhance open space. State lawmakers and regulators have applauded our past efforts and the Foundation’s directors will continue to inform these key stakeholders of the activities of the new Foundation.

Under a current Turf Environmental Stewardship Foundation (TESF) grant, the foundation is working on an update to the state’s BMPs that will be incorporated into a template that can be used by any superintendent in the state to create a site-specific facility BMP. Once completed, the foundation will provide information and workshops for superintendents to become more familiar with the process of completing their own BMP document. Taking the time to create a facility BMP can pay off in a number ways; for example, superintendents can use their site-specific BMP document as a resource during the permit negotiating process with local towns by recognizing the club’s commitment to protecting water quality or as a tool to educate golfers and/or the interested non-golfing public regarding the industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The facility BMP tool is expected to be available to superintendents through the GCSAA’s BMP portal by October.

In addition to the facility BMP template development, the Foundation is currently working on re-establishing its Twitter feed (@NYS_GolfBMP), publishing new blogs on the website, and documenting case studies of BMP implementation. The Twitter feed, blogs, and case studies are designed to inform, update, and educate superintendents about time sensitive BMP-related methods for completing various environmentally sensitive tasks. The NYGCF will also continue maintaining and updating the BMP website (http://nysgolfbmp.cals.cornell.edu/).

We invite superintendents to subscribe to the Twitter feed, submit case studies (through the website comment field), and read our blog.