Your Green Life: "Golfing Green"

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

During the summer season golf courses across the Northland use various fertilizers and pesticides to keep their course looking green, but in this weeks "Your Green Life" Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson will show us a golf course in the Northland that has put the environment as a priority in their practices.

In the past few years at Apostle Highlands Golf course in Bayfield, WI they've done several things to help protect the natural environment, while also keeping the golf course fun, yet challenging to play.

"We've begun to leave buffers around the wetland areas which leaves nesting areas for water fowl and sorts, also it establishes as a natural buffer zone or filter to keep any fertilizer inputs or chemical inputs from reaching our wetlands" said golf course superintendent Rob Ganson.

Here at Apostle Highlands golf course, they have switched from using a formal turf to natural native grass. This allows the wildlife to take root back in the areas with the native grasses and wildflowers.

"Every year from year to year we see an increase in wildlife using these different areas we see coyotes raising young on the course, we see bear and deer on a nearly daily basis, there are a lot of ducks raised on the course" said Ganson.

With these native grasses present, the golf course has also taken a large step by reducing their fertilizer use and according to superintendent this has limited the amount of input of phosphorus to the surrounding environment.
With all of these changes in the past few years, Apostle Highlands received the coveted "Travel Green" award by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

"We are one of the first five golf courses in the state and we are at the forefront of this travel green" says Apostle Highlands Golf Pro Barry Hansen.

After receiving this title, Apostle Highlands has continued to decrease the amount of fertilizers and also began to capture rainwater and store it for later use. These changes have proven to be more environmentally friendly, but how have the golfers responded?

"They have noticed the changes in the fact that we have areas that are not maintained and they think it's much more beautiful" said Hanson.

Even though these changes have also made the golf course more difficult to play, it still is a win–win situation for both golfers and the environment.
In Bayfield, for Your Green Life I'm Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson, The Northlands Newscenter.

To find out which other golf courses and locations have received the Travel Green certification visit: www.travelgreenwisconsin.com