|Jacobsen President Mr. David Withers and|
TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau with our GEO
As with most things that mean something certification with GEO is not something that is easily achieved, but that is not to say that it can not be done or should not be sought after. It took us about two years to complete our certification but we have had a few projects going on during that time. The thing that I like about the GEO certification process is that they look not only at what you are doing now but how have you changed your operation practices over a period of time. This allows you to see if you have changed and are just treading water or have you changed your practices and continue to make improvements. The certification process is broken into six different categories; Nature, Water, Energy, Supply Chain, Pollution Control, and Community.
The "Nature" section of the certification, as you can guess, deals with how the golf course interacts with the natural surroundings and inhabitants of the golf course. What are we doing to enhance the property for the benefit of the environment? What changes in our management practices and policies have we made to lessen our impact on the environment and the surrounding? What environmental programs or practices have we put in place to create sustainable and suitable habitat for wildlife?
|One of the many wildlife inhabitants of our course|
The content of our Nature certification section can be viewed here
|Converting our greens irrigation from full circle to part circle|
heads has reduced our usage of irrigation to water greens
The content of our Water certification section can be viewed here
|A view of one of our fully electric Jacobsen Eclipse 322|
The content of our Energy certification section can be viewed here
|Proper equipment like the Toro ProCore 648 allows us to|
properly maintain our soil structure for better turf
The content of our Supply Chain certification section can be viewed here
The "Pollution Control" section of the certification deals with how we are protecting the environment from direct or accidental contamination from fuel, chemicals, fertilizer, or other substances. Have we created vegetative buffer strips around our water ways to protect them? Are we mixing our chemicals and fertilizers on impervious surfaces? Are we storing our chemicals, fertilizers, and oil products in a safe and secure manner?
|Vegetative buffer strips around all of our waterways helps|
to protect the surface water from contamination
The content for our Pollution Control certification section can be viewed here
The "Community" section of the certification covers how we are involving and including our community in our environmental programs and practices. How are we communicating our environmental activities and programs to the general public? Are we reaching out to include the public in our projects and our property with the hopes that they will implement some of our programs on their property? How are we promoting our environmental programs with the media to help improve the image of the golf course industry? How are we making sure that the general public views the golf course as a positive entity within the community rather than a negative environmental polluter?
|Members of the Friends of Harrison Bay State Park who|
monitor our eastern blue bird houses
The content of our Community certification section can be viewed here
Our certification process was very enlightening and educational. We had the pleasure of working with Mr. J. Russell Bodie, M.A. of The Smart Group as he was assigned to carry out our GEO onsite verification. Mr. Bodie was great to work with and his Verification Report can be viewed here
It is an honor for us to be included in the current group of only six golf courses in the United States which are GEO Certified. The other courses are Broken Sound Club of Boca Raton, Florida, Highlands Country Club of Highlands, North Carolina, Mirimichi of Millington, Tennessee, The Ritz Carlton Golf Club of Orlando, Florida, and The Venice Golf and Country Club of Venice, Florida.
Environmental promotion and protection is important and can be very enjoyable. We hope that each course will institute some environmental programs or practices in their operating standards. Working with organizations such as Golf Environment Organization makes the process that much more enjoyable and easier. Utilizing these environmental organizations for their knowledge and inputs can give you ideas and methods to improve your course, as they have ours.