Just finished up the renovation work on our native landscape bed along the teeing area of hole #1. The planting bed is comprised of plants native to our area and is funded by The Iris Fund. We originally built this bed in the winter of 2008 to improve the aesthetics of our first hole, to provide nesting and food sources for birds and insects, and to promote the benefit of using native plants in landscape plantings to our guests. I invite you to view: Bear Trace at Harrison Bay Native Planting Bed Presentation to get a better understanding of how we have improved the golf course through the use of native plants. We only had a few small areas in the planting bed which needed to be filled in so the project was not as intense as the first time.
Mitch Sivley amending the soil for new plants
Our renovation project started out with the need to improve the soil structure of the planting bed to help the plants better root and survive. We purchased some landscape/topsoil mix and tilled it into the areas. Our plants were purchased from a local nursery to ensure climatic compatibility. Our native planting bed has been a great success since it was established and has brought a great amount of attention to the use of native plants so we only had a few small areas to renovate. We added two more 'Forest Pansy' Red Bud trees to fill in a void near the driving range, Black Eyed Susan, Sage Salvia, Emerald Blue Phlox and Emerald Pink Phlox. We finished the project by adding a coating of brown mulch made from recylced wooden pallet products. This mulch is great for the environment because it is made from by products of the wooden pallet manufacturing industry. Old pallets or scraps from the creation of new pallets are chipped and then painted twice. The pallets are kiln dried during the creation process which makes the wood last for a long time, we have been able to get over four years from a coating of mulch. The process also reduces the need to burn the by products or add them to landfills and also eliminates the need to cut down any trees for mulch. It's a "Win Win" for everyone.
The Iris Fund is a great program which gives citizens of Tennessee an opportunity to support Tennessee State Parks through the purchase of a specialty license plate featuring the Tennessee irisis. Money gathered from the sale of these specialty license plates allow State Parks to improve their parks and the environment through landscape projects to establish/re-establish native trees, shrubs, and flowers, to establish/re-establish wildlife habitat, to control erosion and stabilize stream banks, or to remove unnecessary areas which are being highly maintained and establish these areas in native grasses, thus providing wildlife habitat and reducing the need for funds to be spent on these areas for fuel, manpower, chemicals, and water.
I encourage anyone interested in supporting the Tennessee State Parks to consider purchasing an Iris Fund specialty license plate. The funds will be put to use at a State Park near you to better your experience and improve our environment.
To all of those who have purchased Iris Fund license plates in the past---Thank You!!!