The Eastern Golf Club has adopted an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system where instead of simply trying to eradicate a pest, the IPM approach considers all information and experience available, accounts for multiple objectives and considers all available preventative and curative options. Based on these foundations decisions are implemented to achieve optimum results. In general terms the goal of the IPM is to provide safe, effective, economical, environmentally sound, and socially sensitive outcomes.
The fundamentals that define the IPM program at The Eastern Golf Club include:
- Identify the pest(s) that are the source of the problem. This is not always as simple as it may seem. Correct pest identification is required to identify optimum solutions.
- Understand the biology and economics of the best and the system in which the pest exists.
- Monitor pests and natural controls. What are the signs? What are the symptoms? Where does the damage occur? When does the damage occur? What environmental conditions are present at the time of the damage?
- Establish economic or aesthetic injury thresholds. Pest management systems are to be based on potential damage from pest infestations, status of natural enemies, and the weather. Actions are taken only when the potential damage is sufficient to justify action. It is essential that threshold levels be determined for each pest identified as they are often site specific are directly impacted by other course management systems and users.
- Select an appropriate strategy of cultural, mechanical, biological, and/or chemical prevention or control techniques.
- Cultural practices include habitat modification and adapting operating procedures so that pest damage is reduced and natural control is enhanced. Choosing plant varieties that are resistant to pest injury is a cultural control. Cultural methods are essentially preventative measures that reduce the extent of the pest problem and include; Appropriate turf cultivators, good fertility management, aerating compacted soils, improving drainage, thatch control, raising mower heights, good irrigation management, minimising shade and improving air movement.
- Biological controls are predators, parasites, and diseases that attack pests. Measures can be taken to conserve naturally occurring populations. In some situations where naturally occurring biological controls are not effective, they can be introduced from outside sources.
- Chemical control involves selecting a pesticide with the lowest toxicity to humans and non-target organisms and using it in such a way to prevent or minimize undesirable environmental effects. The lowest effective amount of pesticide is applied from carefully calibrated spray equipment.
- Evaluate the pest management program and improvement when possible. This requires keeping, maintaining and reviewing records on a regular basis.
We ensure that the maintenance of our course is always with a view for long term improvement and this belief is an ingrained philosophy of our course staff and commitment to the long lasting improvement of our course. The flow on from having a long-term sustainability outlook on the course is that we use minimal pesticides (including herbicides, fungicides and insecticides) on our course. These chemicals are often short-term fixes to course related issues, which can cause severe damage of the Club’s most valuable asset, our golf course. However the long-term approach of sustainability has allowed our course to develop its own immunity to the local environment and its challenges throughout the seasons.
Long considered the ‘the most advanced EMS in the world for golf’, e-par® Group’s unique approach to integrated site compliance and best practice while integrating innovation, technology and iPhone and iPad Applications has been a revolution for the sports turf and recreation industries. In 2009, with the approaching nationalisation of work health and safety in Australia, the e-par Group identified an opportunity to further support its member community through the provision of practical, effective and compliant Safety Management Systems (SMS) and onsite training. The result? Membership platforms and deliverables that synchronise with other areas of systems compliance and training throughout the workplace, integrate efficient use of technology, reduce the paperwork and streamline risk management across the site. Formally recognized and awarded for environmental excellence by government agencies, The Eastern Golf Club is proud to be implementing the e-par systems and building upon our own research as a leader in environmental stewardship.
yering – tier two risk assessment
The Club’s investment into setting a new environmental benchmark has seen support from the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne Water and the Commonwealth of Australia through our referral under the EPBC Act. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places — defined in the EPBC Act as matters of national environmental significance.
The undertaking of a Tier 2 Risk Assessment is the first of its kind in Australia for a golf course development. A Tier 2 Risk Assessment analyses the proposed pesticide usage at The Eastern Golf Club and makes use of a customer designed hydro-logically based quantitative fate and transport pesticide models to predict likely concentrations of pesticide residues in storm water runoff from the golf course. The report identifies appropriate water quality objectives for the protection of the identified beneficial uses which are the protection of aquatic life in the river and the protection of potable water supply. A comparison is made between predicted environmental concentrations and the target water quality objectives (concentrations) to determine the extent of compliance with the target hazard quotients.
The club employees a team of Horticulturalists to ensure that the natural vegetation is maintained, extended and enhances the natural beauty of the surrounding nature reserve.
The team have clear objectives to;
- Re-introduce rare species back into the local area including, but not limited to, yarra gum, buxton gum, lomandra filliforms.
- Enhance the existing natural landscape through non-uniform planting. The careful selection of species will allow the team to accomplish this.
- Revegetation of areas are to improve flora and fauna diversity and to replenish the bush with new life. The planting of indigenous stock is important to us as we want to encourage the growth of these species in and around our course.
- As the site was previously used as farm land the need for pockets of natural bushland will very important in order to retain the natural feel and beauty of the site.
With the planting of native species and very large re-vegetation areas, this will create an animal corridor which is something we are looking for as this will represent not only the Australian bush but also our nature reserve on the hill; and creating natural habitats for the local fauna. With the planting of local and indigenous species we are also able to create a seed bank which is important for the future when we want to start growing our own plants which are taken from cuttings from around our course, Yering Gorge Cottage precinct and nature reserve. Not all areas will be heavily planted as the design of the course still needs to be enjoyed; but having that bush/rustic/farm look complemented by the dynamics of golf is what we are aiming to achieve. The end result will be as if the golf course has been carved out of the natural bush and farmlands.
2019 AGCSA Claude Crockford Environmental Award
We are exceptionally proud that our horticulturalist, Bivek Inderjeeth, achievements in the area of environmental management have been recognised with the awarding of the SyngentaTurf sponsored 2019 AGCSA2 Claude Crockford Environmental Award at this year’s Australian Golf Course Superintendents’ Association (AGCSA) annual Turfgrass Conference, held last week.
One of the association’s most prestigious awards, Bivek’s recognition is well deserved and reflects the incredible work that he has undertaken to ensure that the vision and responsibility of the Board and Management have regarding our environmental sustainability; and our custodial responsibility of our 600 hectares of private nature reserve, wetland ponds and three kilometres of the Yarra River will ensure our spectacular eco-system will be enjoyed by generations to come. Through the implementation of our Bushland Management Plan, incorporating the reinstatement of endangered and native vegetation to the area; encouraging wildlife habitat; and the ongoing development of an enhanced eco-system that is seeing bird life species return to the area, the club – as a whole – is striving to deliver an exceptional, and sustainable, environment.
Well done to Bivek, Course Superintendant – Jay Infanti, and the entire team for the outstanding work you are doing in this area.
About the Award
In these times of heightened environmental awareness and regulation, the AGCSA Claude Crockford Environmental Award, sponsored by Syngenta, takes on great significance. With golf courses now under increasing public and legislative scrutiny, environmental management and responsibility has become a primary concern for the modern day superintendent.
The man who this award is named after was a champion of the environment, and the legacy Claude Crockford left at Royal Melbourne Golf Club continues in this award which recognises excellence in golf course environmental management.
This award has become one of the most sought after at the annual presentation ceremony and always attracts a highly competitive field of nominees. Winning the AGCSA Claude Crockford Environmental Award provides a huge fillip for the superintendent and his or her crew, and is something that the entire club can take pride in.