As a means to highlight the value of turfgrass, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) – and its philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) – have become Silver Partners in a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Turfgrass Federation at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
Dubbed “Grass Roots,” the initiative is “committed to helping citizens, including national decision-makers, understand new and emerging science underlying our nation’s beautiful lawns, athletic fields and gardens,” according to National Arboretum Director Colien Hefferan, Ph.D.
The multi-year project will feature exhibits, symposia, workshops and demonstrations – directed to audiences ranging from children to policymakers – to showcase the value of turf to the environment and the importance of research to continue to leverage that value. The groundbreaking and exhibit opening will be at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 15, at the National Arboretum as GCSAA educator member Frank Rossi, Ph.D. at Cornell University, will deliver the keynote address. GCSAA will have representation at the event in the form of staff and members.
“We congratulate the Department of Agriculture, the National Turfgrass Federation and the other supporters in the creation and exhibition of Grass Roots,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “GCSAA and the EIFG are pleased to join the effort because it dovetails well with our programming in terms of research, advocacy, communication and education around the subject of turfgrass. We believe this effort will be enlightening and lead to better decision-making that ultimately benefits communities.”
According to Hefferan, the interactive outdoor exhibit will highlight the results of turfgrass research and communicate that managed turf landscapes are essential in conserving soils, retaining and filtering water, offering a venue for socialization/recreation and enhancing the aesthetics of a property. The exhibit will be thematically linked over the nearly 450 acres of the National Arboretum by displays and gardens. Learn more about the projects.
“We’re pleased to have GCSAA and the EIFG as a partner in this project,” Hefferan said. “We know that golf has played a vital role in advancing the value of turfgrass through research, development of best management practices, education and advocacy. It is no secret that some of the very best turf managers are GCSAA members. We look forward to highlighting the vital role GCSAA and its members have played and will continue to do so in turf management.”