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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release: March 30, 2012
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402

DEM AWARDS CERTIFICATION TO FIVE RHODE ISLAND GOLF COURSES FOR THEIR COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES

PROVIDENCE - Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit recognized five Rhode Island golf courses for their commitment to employing "green" environmental practices during an event sponsored by the RI Turf Grass Foundation. The five golf courses – one public and four private clubs – participated in the Rhode Island Golf Course Green Certification program and were the first courses to be awarded certification.

The self-certification program, which began in 2010, is designed to reduce environmental impacts at golf courses from water usage, application of chemicals for fertilization and pest control, energy consumption, solid waste and air emissions. The program is jointly sponsored by DEM, the Coastal Resources Management Council, and the RI Golf Course Superintendents Association. The three organizations are working together to help the golfing industry keep Rhode Island's land, air and water resources healthy, and at the same time cut operating expenses and increase revenue.

DEM provides the industry with training and a self-certification workbook with a comprehensive list of sustainable environmental practices. The workbook includes sections on a host of topics including water and energy conservation, water quality management, wildlife and habitat management, waste management, and chemical use. Using the workbook, golf course superintendents conduct self-assessments of their courses and operations and receive points for environmental initiatives they undertake.

"DEM is very pleased to be working hand in hand with Rhode Island's golf superintendents to help the environment," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Employing sustainable practices in their operations can reduce a facility's environmental impact and its costs. I salute the Green Certified golf courses! They are showing the way when it comes to being responsible corporate citizens."

"The Rhode Island Golf Course Superintendents Association is very excited to have helped develop and promote the green golf initiative with DEM and the Coastal Resources Management Council," said John LeClair, CGCS, past president of the RI Golf Course Superintendents Association. "Since the beginning of golf the environment has always been important to those managing courses and that has not changed. Today's modern methods and related science have improved and ensured that sustainable practices are even more attainable today. We are happy to support and promote this joint undertaking with our state agencies. We hope that others will follow in working to enhance the environment through sustainable practices which leads to an improved business model for all facilities."

The Green Certified public and private golf courses are as follows:
  • Meadow Brook Golf Course - Simon Harootian, superintendent
    Meadow Brook Golf Course, a public golf course located in Richmond, was the first facility to enter the green certification program. Meadow Brook is committed to water conservation as demonstrated by the design and grading plan of the course's irrigation ponds to maximize collection and storage of storm water, and has worked to protect wildlife habitat by naturalizing out-of-play areas and expanding the Meadow Brook stream buffer.


  • Alpine Country Club - Scott Gabrielson, CGCS, superintendent
    Alpine Country Club, a private club in Cranston has reduced its reliance on fertilizers and pesticides through a program of using compost and natural fertilizers. This effort has significantly reduced operating costs, reduced irrigation requirements, and will improve the water quality of the club's irrigation ponds.


  • Shelter Harbor Golf Club - Michael Dachowski, superintendent
    Shelter Harbor Golf Club, a private club in Charlestown is a leader in employing golf course sustainability practices. The club has installed a state-of-the-art irrigation system, adopted and implemented an environmental policy, and demonstrates a strong commitment to water and energy conservation both on the golf course and in the club house.


  • Sakonnet Golf Club - Kirk A.Whiting, CGCS, superintendent
    Sakonnet Golf Club, a private club in Little Compton has demonstrated a keen commitment to preserving wildlife habitat on its facility. Significant areas on the golf course are dedicated to providing habitat including irrigation pond buffers and out-of-play areas. Water is conserved through careful monitoring of course conditions, fertilizer needs, and soil cultivation practices.


  • Point Judith Country Club - Brett R. Johnson, CGCS, superintendent
    Point Judith Country Club, a private club in Narragansett is undertaking a significant effort to reduce its reliance on municipal water supplies. New irrigation ponds are being added that will store more water and provide new habitat at improved pond edge buffers. Point Judith Country Club is also supporting local farms and fishermen through its commitment to purchase locally grown and harvested foods.

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