Editor, The Spotlight:
Since 1998, the (Colonial Acres Golf) Course has been in environmental programs such as Audubon International, Governor Pataki’s Pollution Prevention and Unit, EPA Performance Track, and NYS Environmental Leaders, to help in maintaining an environmental co-existent property while reducing maintenance costs. In 1997 the course spent just over $10,000 in fertilizers, plants protectants and Category III pesticides. This was when the course was at a 70 percent synthetic pesticide to a 30 percent biological-natural organic-plant protectant product use. Since that time the products used have been reversed to a 90 percent biological-natural organic base-plant protectant and 10 percent synthetic pesticide product use.
Since 1997 product costs have increased 52 percent. Over the last 4 years the course has averaged a $2,800 savings per year. Other savings of note are a reduction in turf care by naturalizing 3 acres of in play areas which have led to an annual savings of $1,053. A reduction in energy use has also been in place and our NYSEL goal was achieved this past year with a reduction from 10,408 kWh to 7,823 kWh use. This was in result to a reduction in irrigation use, which is 100 percent runoff water, over a 4-year period by running the pumps less and an improved heating system in the maintenance shop. These are just a few of the on going environmental projects that go on at the course.
So it is not Audubon, or EPA or NYS Environmental Leaders programs that has hurt us. It has been a lack of amenities such as bathrooms and a few minor adjustments that can help us get out of last year’s loss. Remember last year there were 77 days of rain that equaled out to 33” of rainfall.
I’ve been in the golf course maintenance all my life. I can’t remember a season weather-wise as bad as 2011. The previous 3 years we either turned a profit or broke even. Things are looking better this year. I was told that March and April were good months for the course.