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SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Colorado Golf Carbon Project

Applewood Golf CourseColorado has 248 golf facilities comprising more than 20,000 acres of highly managed land and an economic impact in Colorado of $1.2 billion dollars per year. The first of its kind research has been done and published from Colorado State University and the USDA/Agricultural Research Service in Colorado documenting the sequestration of carbon in measurable amounts at Colorado golf facilities. Preliminary assessments of golf facility emissions of CO2 or Carbon Footprint have been done at Cornell University.

The purpose of the project is to determine the carbon footprint of Colorado’s golf facilities annually. To do this, the carbon sequestered from all sources and the carbon emitted from all sources on an annual basis at Colorado’s golf facilities will be ascertained. These results will be published in an academic, high quality, peer-reviewed journal. The documented sequestered carbon will be used to create marketable offsets as a self-sustaining funding mechanism for this and future projects to improve conservation and environmental stewardship at Colorado’s golf facilities. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate the eco-system value of the carbon sequestered at the facilities, and mobilize that into dollars through the creation of carbon credits to be invested in research and environmental stewardship for golf facilities in Colorado, and to demonstrate that that business model works.  The money will distributed to the Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents Association, who intends to invest the money into Colorado State University, in cooperation with the USDA/ARS for the project to determine the carbon footprint, both sequestration and emissions, of golf courses in Colorado.  We hope that others will participate including all of the companies that earn a part of their living through golf, such as the travel industry, equipment suppliers (both golf equipment and golf maintenance equipment), clothing suppliers, television networks, print media, fertilizer, as well as the environmental movement. 

At present Colorado’s golf organizations have endorsed the project, and Dr. Ron Follett of the USDA/ARS and Drs. Yaling Qian and Tony Koski of Colorado State have begun working on their portions of the project. The present number of facilities signed up is 5, with more on the way.  There are currently more than 1,000 acres assigned. The initial outreach was made to Audubon International-affiliated golf courses of which there were 44 and the next group of 40 invitations is ready to go out. Applewood Golf Course and Breckenridge Golf Club were the first 2 courses to enroll in the Carbon Sequestration Program.

Joe McCleary Superintendent of Saddle Rock Golf Course, Yaling Qian and Tony Koski of Colorado State University,  Ron Follett of the US Department of Agriculture, Mike Kenna of the United States Golf Association and Ron Dodson of the International Sustainability Council and President of Audubon International has been instrumental in the launching of the project.

Audubon Lifestyles became a supporter of the Colorado Golf Project in fall of 2009, and recognize the actions of taken place .  Participants of the Colorado Golf Project have earned the option to earn credit towards their total score during the audit portion of the Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Golf Facility Program. Crispin Porter + Bogusky will publicize the good work of the project to gain further support and recognition for the effort.  


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

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.com

The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org  

The Reserve at Lake Keowee
www.thereserveatlakekeowee.com

The Old Collier Club
www.theoldcolliergc.com

The Rim Golf Club
www.therimgolfclub.com

Golfpreserves
www.golfcourseproject.com

Coke
www.coke.com

 

Energy Star
www.energystar.gov 

The Village of Blume
www.taylorpropertiesgroup.edu 

Taylor Properties Group
www.taylorpropertiesgrp.com  

Nike
www.nike.com

National Geographic
www.nationalgeographic.com 

American Society of Golf Course Architects
www.asgca.org

The United States Golf Association (USGA)
www.usga.org

    

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