Nalls earns national award for advocacy efforts

Jay Nalls, golf course superintendent at Norbeck Country Club in Rockville, Md., has been selected to receive the 2012 Excellence in Government Relations (EGR) Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

A 10-year GCSAA Class A member, Nalls spearheaded a group effort among golf course superintendents in Maryland to help lawmakers draft policy to help clean and protect the Chesapeake Bay. The action came in response to an Executive Order (No. 13508) by President Obama in January 2009 calling for the federal government to lead a renewed effort to restore the bay.

The award will be presented at the 2012 GCSAA Education Conference during Celebrate GCSAA! presented in partnership with Syngenta, Feb. 28. The conference (Feb. 27-March 2) will be held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show (Feb. 19-March 1) at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“We congratulate and thank Jay for his tireless efforts in helping to reach a positive resolution for the golf industry and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” said GCSAA President Bob Randquist, CGCS. “The outcome is a case study for those who want to be engaged in the legislative process. Using data and sharing golf course nutrient management practices with lawmakers, Jay provided a basis for drafting the final policy. A by-product of the effort was the highlighting of golf courses as community assets.”

Nalls was the government relations committee chair for the Mid-Atlantic Association of Golf Course Superintendents (GCSAA-affiliated chapter) when the green industry came together to address the Executive Order. He communicated with a variety of stakeholders to make sure they understood how golf courses could be impacted and what efforts they could take to proactively address state and federal actions. As an active member of GCSAA’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Stakeholders Group, he helped to guide the association’s efforts in addressing the issue. Nalls attended regular public meetings sponsored by the Maryland Department of Environment, made several trips to the state capital to testify to committees, and held a series of conference calls with the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

Nalls’ efforts were rewarded May 19, 2011, when Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the Fertilizer Use Act of 2011. The law is designed to reduce nutrients washing into the bay from non-agricultural sources, and give golf course superintendents access to the resources they need to manage golf courses.

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