Broadcast Audubon

Sustainable Golf & Community Project

(Glenmont, New York) – Dale Ezyk, PGA professional at Colonial Acres Golf Course and Ronald G. Dodson, Chairman of the not-Colonial Acresfor-profit, International Sustainability Council & Audubon Lifestyles (ISC-Audubon) announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes a Strategic Partnership between the golf course and ISC-Audubon for the creation of a Sustainable Golf & Community Club, using Colonial Acres as the pilot facility.

According to Dodson, “A Sustainable Golf & Community Club is an economically viable golf facility, which provides benefits to the local economy, environment and society in general.” He also said, that for nearly 30 years, he has worked to motivate the golf industry to think and act beyond golf and to develop business plans that are aimed at providing community-wide benefits, and to not just focus solely on golf. “Golf courses are not only businesses that provide recreational oriented open space, they also provide many other positive attributes, including wildlife habitat, water quality management, carbon sequestration and the like. However, a sustainable golf facility can and should also become engaged in other important activities that are aimed at delivering, to the extent possible, important components associated with sustainable communities.”

Phase one of the project will include an assessment of the present management and operation conditions of Colonial Acres Golf Course. At the same time an effort is being made to reach out to people of the region who are involved in social, environmental and economic components of sustainability to introduce the Colonial Acres and ISC-Audubon team and the general goals and objectives of creating a Sustainable Golf & Community Club.

Ezyk said, “The golf industry has been saying for many years that it is important to grow the game. But, in fact the game has not been growing. The stated reasons for this lack of growth include; Golf takes too long to play; Golf is too expensive; and Golf is too hard for beginners to take up the game. We believe that Colonial Acres Golf Course is exactly the type of golf facility that addresses all three of those concerns.”  As a 9-hole, par three golf course, Colonial Acres doesn’t take too long to play, it is designed and managed to be open and accessible to beginners, women, families and anyone else who wants to become involved in golf, and it is very affordable to play the course.  In addition Colonial Acres, under the stewardship of course superintendent Pat Blum has won nearly every existing environmental award and certification that is offered. These recognitions include, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the U.S. EPA as well as Audubon.  The land on which Colonial Acres Golf Course is located is actually owned by the Open Space Institute, (OSI) which is one of the largest and most active not-for-profit land trusts in the Northeast. OSI has an operating agreement with the Town of Bethlehem, New York and the Town has a management agreement with Ezyk to run Colonial Acres as an independent business.

Dodson summed up by saying, “I believe that we have embarked on a journey that could very well set the stage for a new chapter in community sustainability and for the future of golf.”

SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Two Big Benefits of Using Organic Fertilizers

Organic FertilizerThe U.S. Department of Agriculture sets the regulations by which fertilizer products obtain certification as “organic”.

The use of organic fertilizers is currently the topic of hot debates in most gardening, lawn care, and commercial recreation circles. Many who support the use of synthetic fertilizers exclusively believe that while organic fertilizers may be naturally derived they do not have enough advantages to use over chemical fertilizers. On the contrary, we believe that organic fertilizers do have many advantages.

There are two tremendous benefits to using an Organic Fertilizer.

1) Plant Growth
Organic fertilizers provide nutrients necessary for plant growth, with the benefit of being slower-acting and gentler than chemical fertilizers, so that you are less likely to overfeed and chemically burn your plants. Organic fertilizers are not in a form that is immediately absorbed by plants, but rather must be first broken down by soil bacteria and fungi into forms that plants can absorb. This means that, unlike chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizers are not easily washed away in a heavy rainstorm or irrigation session, and that the plants get the benefit of nutrients for growth more evenly over a longer period of time rather than all at once.

2) Soil Improvement
Organic fertilizers help improve soil structure and nutrient content over time. While chemical fertilizers simply add water-soluble chemicals which are either absorbed by the plant roots or leach away, potentially polluting water resources, organic fertilizers add organic matter that helps the soil to retain moisture and nutrients. Sandy soils in particular can benefit from the addition of organic fertilizers, or from the use of organic matter like well-rotted compost and manure used as a soil fertility additive or mulch. These latter organic matter fertilizers have the added advantage of often being free from livestock farms, poultry farms or wood-processing facilities which compost their discarded bedding and wood chips.



Some Additional Benefits of Organic Fertilizers

Slow Release of Nutrients
When fertilizers are mixed into the soil, the nutrients are absorbed from the soil by the roots of the plant. In synthetic fertilizers, these nutrients are in ready to use form and when mixed into the soil, can be immediately absorbed by the roots and hence, the plant. There is however a real danger that the roots absorb more nutrients than necessary, causing the roots and plant to burn up. On the other hand, organic fertilizers do not contain nutrients in an easily usable form. When they are mixed into the soil, the microorganisms like bacteria that are in the soil, have to work on the fertilizer, break it up and release the nutrients. This is a slow process and so there is no danger that too many nutrients are ever available to the plant. As such there is low chance for a ‘plant burn’ when organic fertilizers are used.

Long-term Benefits to the Soil
Chemical fertilizers are manufactured with the sole purpose of helping the growth of a plant. As a result while they may contain a better balance of all the major nutrients that a plant needs, they also contain certain harmful elements that can cause acidity in the soil. This can kill the helpful microbes that live in the soil and studies indicate that long-term use of chemical fertilizers can cause great damageto the soil. On the other hand, since organic fertilizers need these microbes to work on them to release the nutrients, they end up stimulating the growth of these microorganisms, ensuring long-term fertility of the soil.

Long-term Benefits to the Environment
Synthetic fertilizers also tend to release many chemicals into the soil that contain nutrients helpful to soil but may also contain elements that are not easily biodegradable. These may go on to contaminate our lands and our water. On the other hand, by definition, organic fertilizers almost always have only biodegradable contents.

Cheap and Cost-Effective
Organic Fertilizers can be produced at home or on farms by using a mix of cow, sheep, chicken, and horse manure along with wastes like leaves and dead plants. This is a great way of getting rid of waste from your garden or farm and certainly a cheaper alternative to purchasing chemical fertilizers.

When lawns and gardens are sprayed with chemical fertilizers, one has to be careful that the family members, especially kids and pets who often play on lawns, do not ingest the harmful chemicals. However, there is no preventing from local wildlife from being affected. Organic fertilizers can be a safer alternative.

As with all things,  there is no one size fits all, and in many instances the use of a synthetic fertilizer may prove to be more effective. However, if you take the time to learn about your specific needs and truly understand the needs of your lawn, turf, garden or management zone you will have a healthy, safe, water and energy efficient landscape in no time!   





References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles 
The International Sustainability Council 

Sustainable Demonstration Project Blog

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games

Scotland Yards Golf Club

Audubon Outdoors

Love and Dodson

Green World Parth

Turf Feeding Systems

The Dodson Group      

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This Issue of the SustainAbility Newsletter sponsored in part by:

The Dodson Group

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Sponsors are a critically important part to the success of ISC-Audubon. As a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating sustainability, we offer all of our programs to our members free of charge, and are publicly available for download on our website.

ISC-Audubon is proud to extend the opportunity to select businesses and organizations to become sponsors of our sustainability education and advocacy programs. As a sponsor, your business or organization can realize significant value.

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A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

Read more

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