Imagine a world where our planets natural environment is balanced. Conservation is maintained and supports healthy lifestyles for generations to come. It may be challenging, but it’s not impossible.
While the planet has taken a hit over the past few decades, many have taken strides towards creating a better planet where the environment is cared for, and that essential balance is restored.
Environmental sustainability is about ensuring we as human beings maintain our planet, conserve natural resources and protect our ecosystems, to support the well being of current and future generations. That doesn’t mean that life must stop. We just have to do things differently, and that starts with finding ways to enjoy our time, outside, in ways that can benefit the environment, instead of harm it.
The debate surrounding golf courses and their impact on environmental suitability has been ongoing for some time. Some say it damages environments, and others say it helps preserve them. Maintaining a golf course is hard work, but in the end, it can actually do a lot of good. The extensive maintenance provides safe spaces for natural areas and animals, serving as a protected area without the classification. When building a golf course, the environment must be considered. To minimize their negative impact, golf course ownership, usage and maintenance should be a mindful practice.
Royal Ashburn Golf Club
Royal Ashburn Golf Club located in North Whitby, was purchased by the Paterson family in 1959 with a vision of turning the 225 acres of land into a golf facility of its time. Since it first opened, the 18-hole course has become one of the top 50 public courses in Canada. The course incorporates creeks, trees, ponds and extensive green space, providing valuable environmental space. It also serves as a beautiful venue for events and weddings. In 2009 Royal Ashburn unveiled is wetlands conservation area which was the first of its kind undertaken by a golf course. To this day Royal Ashburn is focused on preserving the land. They are conscious of the products they use and opting for more natural products and avoid overusing and blanket spraying.
“It’s important to our family to give back to nature and to the community,” said David Paterson of Royal Ashburn. “Our family has always placed great importance on environmental conservation and felt very strongly that the wetlands area was a wonderful way to promote conservation amongst young people.”
Royal Ashburn raised over $250,000 at their past Wetlands Tournament for Conservation. These tournaments supported many classrooms and students in visiting the wetlands area accompanied by an educator from Ducks Unlimited Canada at no expense to the school or students.
Royal Ashburn is truly the pride of their community
Bathurst Glen Golf Course
Bathurst Glen Golf Course in Richmond Hill takes environmental impacts into consideration in every aspect of their operations. Owned by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Bathurst Glen strives to achieve the highest possible standard of environmental management in categories such as Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Chemical Use Reduction, and Water Conservation. They’ve actively run native planting projects including: 560 native trees and shrubs planted in 2007, and 405 native trees and shrubs planted in 2008. They also naturalized their 12 acres of manicured turf, and have installed over 60 nesting boxes across the course. Further, they protect environments and the bodies of water that run through their course by reducing their use of chemicals.
As well, Bathurst Glen Golf Course has reduced their water consumption by 20% through the incorporation of evapotranspiration in their irrigation process. They have improved water quality by installing a closed-loop equipment washing system, water quality testing of all water bodies three times annually to monitor the health of water features, and increased their turf height around water bodies to 3.5 inches to create a natural buffer zone.
The par-63 offers a wide fairway measuring at roughly 4,500 yards from the back of the trees. They offer family golfing, a driving range, learning centre, and the opportunity to golf on a course that puts environmental sustainability first.
Courses like these help show the positive environmental impacts a golf course can make when environmental suitability is at the forefront.