Earth Day, there are so many ways to help our planet. This year, I have embarked on many different programs that will reduce our inputs. I would like to mention a few of these
1. I recycle all trash from the golf course and our operation. We have our 3 yard dumpster dumped twice a month in season. Honesty, I have never added up the total pounds per year but a 3 yard dumpster is quite large. We can fill up 3 large yard type trash bags a day in the summer on the golf course.
2. I have motion lights in all the common areas at the golf maintenance facility. This year, I replaced the outside lights that were always on with motion lights. Tracking our electric bill we save close to 30 dollars per month.
3. Our fescue conversion program. What a daunting task but this is going to save a lot of inputs over the course of the year. So far we have converted 12.5 Acres around the golf course. I have also removed close to 30 irrigation heads. I have converted 15 full circle irrigation heads to part circles. Each sprinkler has a 36 gallons per minute nozzle. These old rough heads were run on average for 12 minute a night, up too 5 days per week. So simple math shows us saving up to 65,000 gallons of water per week over the golf season 1.3 million gallons of water with a run time savings of 600 hours I am sure I could figure out the energy impact this has but I will save that for a later date, I am sure it is substantial. Also, this 12.5 Acres will not be fertilized. Another major impact to our environment we are saving on average 62.5 pound of Nitrogen used on the golf course. You can easily put a dollar amount on this by subtracting the total amount of fertilizer bags needed over the year. This amount at the current fertilizer prices it is around $1500.00. This actually pays for the seed we purchased in the first year. Also, something that you may not think of but these new fescue areas are basically buffer strips now around the course. There will be a big impact to the conversion program and in not just the beauty it will add to the course.
4. We have streamlined our maintenance movements around the golf course. Always working forward around the golf course after break backwards. This saves fuel over the course of the year in that we are not wasting time driving around the course. Always trying to maximizes efficiency.
5. Our new rough and fairway mower can be run on bio-diesel. I have not made the step to make my own diesel but this may be a possibility down the road. I have done some research on this and it seems like this may be something I will be looking into. I will say that we do many different things to save fuel. Keeping the mowers sharp reduces the friction between the reel and bedknife this in turn allows the engine to run more efficiently and saves fuel over dull mowers.
I am sure there are more things that I have forgotten. I am always thinking of new ways to run our golf course efficiently and try to reduce our impact on the environment. Our golf course is a great habit for many animals also. this year I have seen an increased population of turkeys, bluebirds and ducks. We have 2 owls that have returned this spring over on 12 and 14. I also saw my first woodpecker on 12 the other day. One creature that we prefer not to have around are the geese. My dogs have been very diligent and working very hard to keep the geese from nesting this spring. I have 2 pesky geese that attempt to nest these have been quite a challenge. Thinking about different techniques to help my dogs from drowning I purchased a RC motor boat to aid in their work. Seems to be working at this time and hopefully we will not see any of those cute babies this year.