Minnesota latest state to step up with BMP guidelines for golf courses

Minnesota GCSA leads the development of statewide best management practices with grant from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America

Lawrence, Kan. (March 27, 2018) – A collaborative effort by members of the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association and related organizations in the state and region has resulted in publication of four manuals focused on best management practices (BMPs) for Minnesota golf courses.

Although the foundation for the Minnesota BMP initiative began more than nine years ago, the Minnesota GCSA manuals were developed in part by using the BMP Planning Guide and Template created by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and funded and supported by the USGA.

The affiliated chapter received an $8,750 BMP grant that GCSAA funded through the association’s Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) in part by PGA Tour. The BMP grant program provides funding through the EIFG to chapters for developing new guides, updating existing guides or for verification programs. GCSAA’s goal is to have all 50 states offer established BMPs by 2020.

Jack MacKenzie, CGCS, Minnesota GCSA executive director, said that while superintendents in the state were the drivers of the movement, the project drew the attention of other entities that made the final creation a truly collaborative effort.

“It really opened the door to a growing relationship with our allied associations in Minnesota,” MacKenzie said. “The BMPs were the catalyst to get together, and now we meet on a regular basis.”

In addition to the University of Minnesota, other organizations that contributed to the BMP initiative included Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Golf Association, Upper Midwest Chapter of the Club Managers Association, Minnesota Chapter of the Professional Golfers Association and the Midwest Chapter of the Golf Course Owners Association.

Of the four documents that encompass the BMPs, the “Best Management Practices Water-Use Efficiency/Conservation Plan For Minnesota Golf Courses” has drawn particular attention from the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

“Golf is the first industry to really step up and support the Department of Natural Resource’s reaction to a recent judgment against them,” MacKenzie said. “Nine local metro courses met with a representative of the DNR. He put the newly created BMP water document on the table, and he said, ‘this is what we’re working with, this is good.’”

To see the Minnesota GCSA BMP documents and to learn more about GCSAA’s BMP program, visit www.gcsaa.org/bmp.