Located in the heart of the Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba, Clear Lake Golf Course boasts beautiful grounds and stunning views, sitting on the east end of Clear Lake and surrounded by boreal forest of the national park. But this impressive 6, 309 yards golf course offers golfers more than rolling landscape, excellent greens and breathtaking views. It is one of the most environmentally sustainable golf courses in Canada.
Setting up shop in a national park comes with a lot of perks - picturesque views, frequent wildlife sightings and clean, crisp, pristine air. But it also requires Clear Lake Golf Course to operate in an environmentally responsible manner to minimize the impact of its operations on the lake and the surrounding forest, which is what Superintendent Greg Holden and his team have been successfully doing for the past 25 years.
Running a Sustainable Golf Course
Expectations for golf course superintendents are high. Greens and fairways are expected to be pristine and experimentation is often avoided, because anything less than perfect often results in a superintendent losing their position. Traditional golf course superintendents expect immediate results, something they have grown accustomed to using chemical and synthetic products. But with two creeks running through the golf course, Clear Lake Golf Course has chosen to reduce its use of chemicals as much as possible, using products that are the least toxic to reduce its impact on the surrounding ecosystems.
“I’m not much of a golfer, and thought at the time that this would be an opportunity to elevate my skills,” explained Greg when he recounted how he started his career as Clear Lake Golf Course superintendent. In 1993, the Clear Lake Golf Foundation was awarded the bid to manage Clear Lake Golf Course with the long term goal of being as organic as possible, using methods that fit in and work with nature’s biology. “The strong commitment to using a sustainable management was the challenge, not elevating my golf game,” Greg recounted when explaining his vision of running the golf course as sustainably as possible. Developing a sustainable soil-turf management program has meant a lot of experimentation with different products over the years, some worked, but many did not.
Developing a Sustainable Soil Turf Management Program
Finding the Right Organic Fertilizer
Over the past 25 years Greg has gone through dozens of suppliers and different organic fertilizers. It wasn’t until he came across EnviroPerfect Solutions booth at a tradeshow in 2015 and met owners and operators, Tim and Susan Penstone, that Greg finally found the right organic granular product for Clear Lake Golf Course.
“I’ve tried many things over the years and EnviroPerfect’s organic granular fertilizer is the best that we have ever found. It is the nicest granular product we have come across in 25 years - not kidding”.
Greg was looking for a custom blend of organic granular fertilizer, one without phosphorus, which has been linked to blue-green algae. EnviroPerfect was able to provide a custom 9-0-3 organic granular fertilizer product, helping Greg deliver a beautiful golf course while protecting the surrounding watershed.
“EnviroPerfect’s organic granular fertilizer slow release provides beautiful, natural dark green colour, without a flush of growth. The odor is much better too. My stinky reputation is getting better with EnviroPerfect’s products - we will be moving into using more EnviroPerfect product on fairways and greens next season”.
More Than a Salesperson
Greg’s journey to develop a sustainable soil turf management program for Clear Lake Golf Course over the past 25 years meant that he has dealt with many different suppliers and spoken with many companies about both organic programs and products. When asked what makes EnviroPerfect Solutions stand out, aside from the excellent product and service, he pointed to the knowledge behind the company.
“You don’t see many organic management booths at conferences. You definitely have to seek them out. It was Tim and Susan’s knowledge about the biology behind their products and programs that made them stand out. They were - and still are- willing to share their knowledge and information. It’s a sharing thing in this community. They share information. Tim and Susan have great knowledge and are willing to share and listen to what I have to say as well. Now after using EnviroPerfect’s products and seeing how great they are I want to use a larger quantity next year. I am so happy with the whole thing”.
Continuing the Environmentally Sustainable Journey
Greg’s environmentally sustainable soil turf program with Clear Lake Golf Course came to the end of it’s 25-year contract last year - but don’t worry, the golf course has received a 10-year extension. That means at least 10 more years of growing the sustainable soil turf program, with Greg’s assistant for the past 11 years, Craig Atkinson, taking over superintendent duties as Greg retires. But Greg will still be working to support the program’s continued growth and evolution. EnviroPerfect Solutions is proud to be a part of Greg’s program, providing custom organic products to help him meet his goals and sharing our soil health knowledge to help him succeed, because Greg and Clear Lake Golf Course are showing the world that it is possible for golf courses to have beautiful grounds while taking care of the environment and the golfers who enjoy the tranquility of playing 18-holes.
Greg Holden has been named CGSA/Bayer Superintendent of the Year, congratulations Greg!
SoilPerfectRX Test Crops Deliver
However, Minish Farms was surprised when they took off 75-80 bushels/acre of wheat from their field treated with humics and fulvics applied in the SoilPerfectRX Program, compared to the non-treated field yield of 60-65 bushels/acre. They were happy to find that these results extended to the lentil test plot with lentils grown in the SoilPerfectRX treated field yielding 5-7 bushels/acre more than non-treated, conventional fields.
Humics and Fulvics
Minish Farms saw first hand how humics, fulvics and the support of EnviroPerfect Solutions can give you a little extra in an extreme growing condition like drought - conditions that are becoming more common for farmers these days.
Want to Know More?
Want to know more about how humics, fulvics, and EnviroPerfect Solutions SoilPerfectRX Soil Care Program can can reduce costs, improve your yields and give you a little extra in extreme growing conditions like drought?
Sign up for our Free Webinar: Get Better Performance and Better Soil with Humics and Fulvics- November 1, 2017
Dog, man’s best friend but certainly not a lawns’. With summer just beginning and your spring clean up beginning to show promising results, dog urine burn spots are a serious concern for many pet owners or some very unhappy neighbours.
Lawn burn is caused by the high levels of nitrogen in dog urine, so when our furry friends relieve themselves on grass it is like pouring concentrated nitrogen fertilizer on your lawn - ouch.
There is a lot of information on the interweb on how to handle this lawn problem – from pouring water over the area after your dog has urinated, changing their diet, to feeding your bestie supplements to decrease their nitrogen output. These are all viable options. Realistically most pet owners already understand, with great power comes great responsibility, mainly cleaning up after your dogs’ daily business.
But what about fixing and minimizing the long-term damage on your lawn – without harming your favourite poop machine with chemical fertilizers?
SoilPerfect RX VIE is a soil amendment that has shown great promise on burn spots, neutralizing the pH and creating an environment suitable for seed germination. It’s 100% safe for you, your family, your dog, and the environment.
Treat your dog spots with VIE (apply it liberally at a setting of 7-8 on your fertilizer spreader), add some seed and cover with ¼” of top soil. Give your lawn a good water, sit back and relax with your pup(s).
Try to keep your dog off the lawn while the seed germinates to give the new grass a chance to set down roots and make your lawn their forever home.
After enjoying the long summer days, when the leaves begin to turn, the days become cooler and you start your fall clean up, over-seed the dog spots again, and treat the areas with VIE if you think it is necessary.
But wait, the best news has yet to come!
We have found that our clients using SoilPerfect RX VIE have less damage from their dogs’ urine spots over the years. We are always happy to hear that our products are working effectively while keeping your pets, your family, and the environment safe.
More Questions? Contact our lawn and soil care experts to see how we can help!
| By Katie Penstone
EnviroPerfect Solutions is excited to add another voice to our blog, although you may find some similarities in her writing style to Susan’s blog. But we promise she comes by it naturally.
As the only child of EnviroPerfect owners and founders Tim & Susan, Katie has literally eaten, slept and breathed the EnviroPerfect “way” her whole life. So, despite her taking a completely different educational route than her parents’ suggestions, she has finally come full circle and combined her studies with her upbringing to find her passion – environmentalism and green economy.
Holding a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from MacEwan University, Katie began her career path working with the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party and the Alberta Provincial Government, looking to make change from within, because she hoped it would be more effective than standing on the front lawn with a “Save the Planet” sign.
Katie was one of 10 bright individuals selected to participate in the 2014 Government of Alberta’s internship program, working in the Premier’s Offices of Communications and Correspondence, honing her skills to manage information, develop messaging and effectively communicate.
After the Alberta 2015 Provincial election shakeup, Katie received an offer to work for a successful business consulting firm in Saskatoon, SK, an opportunity she jumped at, excited about the prospect of learning more about business through practical experience. Working as Communications Manager for Morris Interactive, Katie was able to work with many different companies from many different sectors, both public and private, assisting clients in their communications, marketing, public relations, and other business needs.
Katie has now moved again, settling down in Ottawa, Ontario to follow her passion of environmental politics and the success of a green economy, hoping to be able to make a positive change in this great world of ours, or as newly elected French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron put it, “Make our planet great again”.
Stay tuned for Katie's first post, coming next week!
*If your a pet owner, you may find this one of interest!