Thursday, September 5, 2013

Water-friendly Golf in Mendham Township

MGTC Superintendent Chris Boyle (left) with GSWA
Executive Director Sally Rubin (center) and
GSWA Director of Water Quality Programs
Laura Kelm (right). Chris gave a tour of MTGC
that highlighted the many environmentally-sensitive
golf course management practices in place there.
Credit: GSWA, Carlos Pomares
In June, Great Swamp Watershed Association staff members were invited to tour the Mendham Golf and Tennis Club (MGTC) to assist in the club’s recertification in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP). The ACSP promotes environmentally sound practices for land management and natural resource conservation on golf courses. Chris Boyle, the golf course superintendent, pointed out many of the measures in place at MGTC to protect the local environment and provide wildlife habitat.

Wherever possible, streams are surrounded by natural areas to provide habitat and protect waterways from stormwater runoff. Nest boxes for swallows, blue birds, wood ducks, and a thriving martin population are located throughout the property. Watering needs are determined on a daily basis using the club’s own weather station, and a portable soil moisture meter is used to target watering on dry areas. Soil tests and visual inspections determine the type, amount, and location of fertilizer usage. That fertilizer is applied in one of two ways: through the irrigation system or spot-applied at specific locations.

MGTC already conducts periodic water quality monitoring, but they also remain open to working with GSWA to improve on the location of monitoring site and increase testing frequency. GSWA’s recent State of the Streams report has shown that golf courses can have a negative impact on water quality. We are pleased to see a local golf taking steps to improve the environment and minimize impacts to water quality.

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