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GCSAA: 2012 Environmental Leader Awards

Founded in 1926, the GCSAA is a professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. They provide education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 72 countries.

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) announces the winners of the 2012 GCSAA/Golf Digest Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA).

The Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards recognize golf course superintendents and their courses for overall course management excellence in the areas of resource conservation, water quality management, integrated pest management, wildlife/habitat management and education/outreach.

Categories are judged on sustainability, criticality, originality and technology implementation/use, by an independent panel of judges. Winners are selected from three national categories (public, private and resort courses), and an international winner, with an overall winner selected from those four.

''This year's winners are to be commended for their commitment to environmental stewardship on the golf course,'' GCSAA President Sandy G. Queen, CGCS, said. ''It is evidenced by our overall winner that the idea that golf courses can be compatible with the environment, and in many cases enhance it, is seen around the world.''

2012 ELGA National Winners:

International & Overall: Steven Tierney, MG, Golfpark Nuolen, Wangen, Switzerland

National Private: Matt Shaffer, Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Association of GCS

National Public: John Anderes III, CGCS, Queenstown Harbor Golf Course, Annapolis, Maryland, Eastern Shore Association of GCS

National Resort: Joshua Kelley, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Grande Lakes, Orlando, Florida, Central Florida GCSA

About the Winners
Tierney, a 22-year GCSAA member, is superintendent at Golfpark Nuolen, in Wangen, Switzerland. Tierney oversaw a water-farming project that featured seven miles of drains to divert run-off into irrigation ponds. The facility no longer needs water from nearby Lake Zurich, and it has saved the course $20,000 per year in electricity. The new maintenance facility, due to open in 2015, will be almost completely self-efficient from solar panels and deep-drilled pilings to utilize natural heat. The local wildlife benefits from a tunnel built underneath the main road leading to the golf course. Constructed by Tierney and his crew, the tunnel allows amphibians to safely take advantage of the course's natural areas.

Shaffer, a 32-year GCSAA member, is a GCSAA Class A superintendent at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He oversees operations from the facility's two-year-old turf care center, which earned a Green Building Award from Associated Builders and Contractors for its many water- and energy-saving features. Shaffer and his team utilize a full-service integrated plant management program (IPM) that follows their motto of ''the strongest turf starts with good soil science.'' With philosophies such as these, Merion has been named a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, and Shaffer's efforts will showcased to the world when the course hosts the 2013 U.S. Open.

Anderes, a 20-year GCSAA member, is a certified golf course superintendent and director of golf and grounds at Queenstown Harbor in Maryland. Among the land he stewards at Queenstown Harbor are the 273 acres that were donated to the Maryland Environmental Trust/Eastern Conservancy for natural preservation. The facility, owned by The Brick Companies, uses a combination of solar and purchased kilowatts of wind energy, along with its fleet of electric golf cars, to be able to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Regular groundwater testing and dedication to an IPM program are all part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary's business model.

Kelley, a seven-year GCSAA member, is assistant superintendent at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida, where GCSAA Class A member Andy Ragsdale is director of grounds. The club has 33 acres set aside for habitat, and Kelley has overseen installation of butterfly gardens, blue bird boxes, owl boxes, wood-duck boxes, bat boxes and purple marlin houses. Beehives are also in the mix, which are not only used to monitor the environmental impact of golf course management activities, but also to supply honey for the resort's restaurants. The facility uses 100 percent reclaimed water to irrigate the course; and have used various management practices to make drastic water use reduction in the last three years.

For more information about GCSAA please visit

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August 23, 2019, 1:43 pm PDT

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