Monday, May 9th, 2011

I think we are getting closer to spring, at least that is what they are saying. The signs are around us but the temps just don't seem to be here yet. The good new is I just heard Matt Zaffino say this is the first week in a long time that the freezing level will remain above 3000 feet. We should be in for some great conditions.

I did manage to get out and get some spring pictures last week. The trees are in bloom and the prairie perennials are are beginning to bloom as well. Who couldn't resist taking a picture of fresh dew on the grass too.

The course remains in top condition. We sprayed the greens on Wednesday and applied a light topdress on Thursday which should equate to some pretty nice putting conditions this week.The bunkers are getting a little hairy and we will work like mad to get to them. Our focus will be to start aerifying the fairways. I will be happy to get a couple of them completely done including the practice fairway around the chipping green.We will see how the week goes.

Congratulations to Mike Hall, he and his wife gave birth to a baby girl on the 30th. Her name is Mikala, Mike don't shoot me if I spelled it wrong, I found 15 different ways to spell it so I took the first listed. Be sure to congratulate Mike when you see him.

Thursday I  attend a First Green Foundation field trip at Glendale Country Club up in Bellevue. Steve Kealy, CGCS, Glendale's superintendent, is one of the driving forces behind the First Green Foundation. The First Green is an environmental education outreach program using golf courses as environmental learning labs. Golf course superintendents and/or local golf course representatives host students on field trips where they test water quality, collect soil samples, identify plants, design plantings, assist in stream bed restoration and are involved in the ecology and environmental aspects of the golf course. The students are also introduced to many other aspects of golf.

Steve dropped me a note last week and asked me if I wanted to come up and have a first hand look at how they host a large group of kids. We have been hosting 6th graders the past 5 years here at Stone Creek and taken them on a short birding field trips but we have never really offered a curriculum of any sort. I felt this would give me a great opportunity to enhance our program and offer more to a wider range of students.

The First Green Foundation has applied for a grant which will enable them to the expand to Oregon and educate superintendents and teachers alike in the benefits of the program. If so, I hope to become even more involved and provide a source for environmental education to the students of Clackamas County.

Jim Myers from the Plateau Club, Greg Hall from Fairwood Golf and Country Club and Craig Benson from Meridian Valley were also there to assist and lead discussions. What struck me was how simple the program was. There were over 50 students there and were divided into groups and were set to visit one of four stations every 25 minutes or so. The lessons included soils, water quality, storm water management and invertebrates. The lessons were simple and presented in a manner that was hands on and fun. I hope to have a full detailed account of my visit that I will share at a later time.

If anyone is interested or has any further questions I would be glad to talk. If you are looking for community outreach for your Audubon Certification this is the answer.

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