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New York creates 2nd edition of BMP guidelines for golf courses

Best Management Practices
Best Management Practices

A collaborative effort by golf course superintendents from seven affiliated chapters of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) in New York State, Cornell University and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has resulted in the publication of “Best Golf Course Management Practices for New York Golf Courses Second Edition.”

New York was one of the first states to publish BMPs for golf courses when the First Edition was produced in 2014. The updated Second Edition was developed in part by using the BMP Planning Guide and Template created by the GCSAA and funded and supported by the USGA. The seven GCSAA-affiliated chapters involved in the effort were the Central New York GCSA, Finger Lakes Association of GCS, Hudson Valley GCSA, Long Island GCSA, Metropolitan GCSA, Northeastern GCSA, and Western New York GCSA.

The Metropolitan GCSA received $17,000 in BMP grants that GCSAA funded through the association’s Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) in part by the PGA Tour. The BMP grant program provides funding through the EIFG to chapters for developing new guides, updating existing guides, or for verification programs. GCSAA’s goal is to have all 50 states offer established BMPs by 2020.

“We wanted golf course superintendents around the state to have the ability to easily create BMPs for their own facilities. By updating our state BMPS using the GCSAA tool, we developed a straightforward way for them to utilize that information to create their own facility-specific BMPs,” said 25-year GCSAA member Ken Benoit, CGCS. Benoit is a retired superintendent who was chairman of the New York BMP steering committee and currently serves as executive director of the New York Golf Course Foundation.

The guide consists of 11 sections: site analysis; planning, design, and construction; turf irrigation; water quality management and monitoring; nutrient management; cultural practices; integrated pest management; pesticide management; pollinator protection; maintenance operations; and landscape.

The BMPs not only cover issues golf course superintendents face but have also helped establish dialogues with government entities in the Empire State.

“Historically, our relationship with the DEC didn’t have much depth. We hoped that by partnering with them during the BMP process, we could begin to build a meaningful relationship,” Benoit said. “Since the creation of the BMPs, our relationship with DEC has grown beyond our expectations. It’s become a real partnership.”

To read “Best Management Practices for New York Golf Courses Second Edition” and to learn more about GCSAA’s BMP program, visit www.gcsaa.org/bmp.

About GCSAA and the EIFG

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 19,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org, or find us on Facebook or Twitter. Visit our industry-leading magazine at GCMonline.com.

The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at www.eifg.org, or find us on Facebook.

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