Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Operation Pollinator Wildflower Plots Established

Another environmental project that we are happy to be involved with at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is the Operation Pollinator program supported by Syngenta.  For many years golf courses have been accused, sometimes correctly but many times incorrectly, of damaging or destroying the habitats of natural pollinators such as bees and butterflies.  In an effort to raise the awareness of the need and importance of these pollinators to golf courses, and the world in general, Syngenta began Operation Pollinator in Europe several years ago.  With the overwhelming success of the program in Europe they have begun the program in the US.

We chose two areas on our golf courses, which have already been converted from daily high maintenance to low maintenance naturalized areas, to be used for this project.  These areas are to the left of the first tee complex and between the tenth green and eleven tee complex and will encompass about 15,000 square feet.

The process of preparing the area between 10 and 11 began with mowing down of the naturalized area with our frontdeck mower.

The next step was to blow off the clippings.

The area was then mowed down with a triplex mower down to 1/4" and blown off again.

After mowing the area down we allowed the area to "green" up and then applied RoundUp to the entire area.  After a few days we used our John Deere aerifier to prep the ground pulling 3/4" cores from the ground.  The area was then coated with a layer of sand and drug with a steel drag mat to prepare the soil for planting.

We used 1/2" rebar and flat washers to build rope stakes that we placed around the planting areas.  Hopefully this will let the golfers know that they are not supposed to drive in these areas (but time will tell).

We purchased our wildflower mix from American Meadows and hope that the mix will provide us with many years of native pollinator wildflowers and will most of all provide the native pollinators the food, habitat, and breeding ground that they need to survive and regain their population.

I think this is a great program, and I like the fact that Syngenta is supporting this project without making any money off of it.  I would especially like to thank our Syngenta rep, Jason Whitecliffe, for introducing us to this project and for his support in getting it off the ground.

If you would like information about the project, contact your local Syngenta sales rep or visit http://operationpollinator.com/golf/.

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