2022/2023 Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Fund Grant Final Report
TESF Grant Period: April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023
The New York State Best Management Practices (NYS BMP) project is an innovative research and outreach education program that has resulted from a partnership of superintendent leaders in the state and Cornell University. Begun in 2012, this project has codified standards and actively demonstrates the implementation of BMPs for the protection of water quality on golf courses in the state of New York. In addition, the leaders of the project created a 501c3 foundation, the New York Golf Course Foundation, Inc., to continue and expand upon the work of promoting BMPs in the management of the state’s golf courses.
In addition to financial assistance in completing the Best Management Practices for New York State Golf Courses book and NYS BMP website in early 2014, past TESF grant funded efforts have included the following:
- A self-assessment survey, and a follow up survey, for golf course superintendents and a development of an education and outreach plan based on an analysis of the results
- Funding of equipment for a low cost wash pad demonstration project
- Development of case studies, in both written and video formats
- Outreach materials to continue promoting and publicizing the project to superintendents, legislators, regulators, and other interested stakeholders
- Creation of dynamic content and social media campaign
- A second edition of the BMPs, updated and expanded to include pollinators and landscaping
- New publications (e.g. integrated pest management (IPM) for Annual Bluegrass Weevil (ABW) management and a nutrient management planning publication, among others)
- Multiple BMP Education Workshops
- How to video series (e.g. how to create a facility BMP document, reducing pesticide use for ABW control using IPM, developing a nutrient management plan, developing a water quality testing program)
- Honeybee evaluation program
Continued TESF funding has allowed the NYS BMP program to mature by addressing comprehensive environmental stewardship, development and implementation of a variety of educational and outreach initiatives, and generating dynamic content to increase interest in and awareness of the program.
To continue to build upon and expand our successful TESF-funded work on the NYS BMP, during this TESF grant period, we implemented portions of the TESF-funded education plan by increasing exposure, implementation, and impact of environmental stewardship programs in NYS and promoted the development of facility-specific BMPs. These efforts include an interactive facility BMP document developing workshop and complete BMP document development for 5 chosen facilities around the state of NY.
Additional details on progress on each task for the April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023 timeframe are described below.
Task 1: Creating Your Golf Facility BMP Document – Workshops
Prioritizing, documenting, and implementing BMPs at the facility level remains an important step for superintendents to demonstrate their commitment to natural resource protection at their facilities. Although the facility BMP template is available to the state’s superintendents via the GCSAA’s on-line tool, efforts need to be continually undertaken to encourage and assist superintendents to utilize this resource. This task provided superintendents the opportunity and guidance for creating their own facility BMP document in a classroom setting, using available GCSAA resources.
These in-person workshops were designed to introduce superintendents to the facility BMP template and help guide them through the development process. Under this task, we developed a workshop curriculum, and collaborated with all five GCSAA chapter superintendent associations in scheduling the workshops. The combined attendance for the five workshops totaled nearly 100. NYSDEC and GCSAA credits were made available to most attendees.
We incorporated the following content into each workshop:
- A short review of the importance of BMPs.
- Introduction to the facility BMP template and process.
- Hands on instructions for using the GCSAA on-line tool while attendees create their document on-site.
- All participants had the opportunity to leave the workshop with a completed golf facility BMP document.
- We surveyed participants following each workshop to evaluate the workshop and revise, if needed, for future offerings.
Because these documents are ever evolving, the New York Golf Course Foundation (NYGCF) informed participants that the NYGCF will continue to be available for all workshop attendees by phone or email to assist with specific issues and questions as they arise.
Task 2: Assist Individual Superintendents in the Development and Adoption of Their Golf Facility BMP Document
Under this task, we utilized the help of a leading expert to personally assist 5 superintendents, from around the state, in completing the development and adoption of a golf BMP document at their facility. By representing golf facilities in various regions of the state, we hoped to create a sense of inclusivity which allows for greater impact during the promotional phase of the task and lead to greater overall participation in the BMP adoption process. Completing each document was accomplished by utilizing the NY BMP document template located on the GCSAA BMP tool.
Each completed document includes personalized details pertaining to the selected facility such as inclusion of photos, specific details regarding the facility property and personalized professional graphically designed cover for each document. Because these documents are ever evolving, the New York Golf Course Foundation (NYGCF) informed participants that the NYGCF will continue to be available by phone or email to assist with specific issues and questions as they arise. The completed documents will continue to be used as examples for promotional material via the foundation’s social media platform to help incentivize NY superintendents to participate in the BMP adoption process. In addition, a written article describing the undertaking has been submitted to each of the 5 Golf Course Superintendent of America Association (GCSAA) chapters to be used in their member newsletter or other promotional materials as desired.