PROVIDENCE – The golf course at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick was awarded certification for its commitment to employing "green" environmental practices at a recent event sponsored by the RI Turf Grass Foundation. Managed by the Department of Environmental Management's Division of Parks and Recreation, the golf course was recognized by the Rhode Island Golf Course Green Certification program.
The self-certification program, which began in 2010, is designed to improve environmental impacts at golf courses by effective management of water resources, responsible use of chemicals for fertilization and pest control, along with reduced energy consumption, solid waste and air emissions. The program is jointly sponsored by the Coastal Resources Management Council, RI Golf Course Superintendents Association, and DEM's Office of Customer and Technical Assistance. The three organizations are working together to reduce environmental impacts, and at the same time cut operating expenses and increase revenue.
"DEM is proud and excited that the golf course at Goddard Park is now green-certified," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "The Department is working to keep Rhode Island's land, air and water resources healthy by employing sustainable practices at Goddard and other state recreational facilities managed by DEM."
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.
The 60-acre golf course at Goddard is a low-maintenance course that uses integrated pest management, fertilizer reduction, and water conservation strategies. In addition to these sustainable practices, a plan to improve wildlife habitat in the buffer and out-of-play areas will soon be implemented at the golf course. Goddard Memorial State Park has conducted an inventory of resident wildlife and devotes more than 20 percent of its course to wildlife habitat.
"The Rhode Island Golf Course Superintendents Association congratulates the Goddard Park Golf Course on joining the ever-growing list of RI green-certified golf courses," said Association president Mike Whitehead. "The commitment to being an environmentally friendly business is extremely important to our members, and by achieving green certification status, golf courses like Goddard Park help elevate our status as responsible stewards of the green spaces we manage."
The golf course at Goddard Memorial State Park is the sixth course in the state to be recognized by the Rhode Island Golf Course Green Certification program. Other green-certified golf courses are Meadow Brook Golf Course in Richmond; Alpine Country Club in Cranston; Shelter Harbor Golf Club in Charlestown; Sakonnet Golf Club in Little Compton; and Point Judith Golf Club in Narragansett.