Kwantlen Campus News January 2015: Experience Life Beyond the Classroom

15.01.17-Mark.StoklosaBy Mark Stoklosa, 2nd Year KPU Turf Student

Students in the Kwantlen Turfgrass Management Program have the opportunity to involve themselves beyond the classroom by attending industry events, participating in field trips, and/or joining the Turf Club. The Turf Club is a group organized by the turf students that host social and fundraising events. A portion of money raised from these events goes towards the expenses and fees required to attend the WCTA Conference, as well as a yearly donation towards the Western Canada Turfgrass Research Fund.

The major fundraising event of the 2014/2015 school year was the Annual Turf Club Golf Tournament hosted by Redwoods Golf Course. The event was a huge success raising $2,500, and it would not have been possible without the support of all of the sponsors, golfers, and generosity of Redwoods Golf Course.

Shortly following this event, the Langley Lawnbowling Center was aerated and topdressed by members of the turf club to support local seniors and their participation in social activities. This was also accompanied by a lawn bowling event the previous night.

15.01.17-LLB.KPULangley Lawn Bowls gets royal treatment from Kwantlen turf students. Image credit Stan Kazymerchyk

Recently, the Turf Club raised $1,000 towards conference expenses from poinsettias sales in December; a big thank you to friends, family, faculty and golf courses supporting this fundraiser. The Turf Club’s final fundraising initiative of the year is the Golf Raffle. Golf courses across B.C have donated rounds of golf as prizes for the raffle. A suggested donation of $10/ticket can win a round of golf for four players, with all donations going towards the Western Canada Turfgrass Research Fund.

The goal is to raise $5,000 and the turf club is looking for support from industry members! Aside from fundraising and social gatherings, students are exposed to the field and real world environments outside of the classroom.

15.01.17-Kings.KPUStudents check out equipment with Mike Kiener of Kings Links. Image credit Stan Kazymerchyk

The first outing was at Kings Links where Mike Kiener explained his philosophy of sustainability in relation to minimal inputs to the turf. Mike explained there are many ways to approach maintaining a golf course and the traditional lush green look does not have to be a standard image; especially progressing into the future where resources may be minimal due to budget constraints.

15.01.17-Hooper.KPUJason Hooper, Superintendent of Quilchena Golf Club, reviews his use of turf technology with students. Image credit Stan Kazymerchyk

The second golf course field trip was at Quilchena. Jason Hooper had a similar approach like Mike; believing that managing greens more efficiently will help superintendents understand the conditions of each green better. He uses tools like the POGO and TDR Moisture Meter to help micromanage the greens environment to give the turf exactly what it needs.

Another highlight of the school year was the MS Fundraiser at the Royal Oak Golf Club hosted by Greg Kowalski. Students had the opportunity to attend a two day professional development day and listen to three speakers: Steve Loveday from Turf Fuel, Dave Doherty from ISTRIC, and Doug Soldat from the Department of Soil Sciences in Wisconsin, Illinois. The talks were a wealth of knowledge and the connections formed between superintendents and members of the industry were by far a great experience.

15.01.17-KPU.Design.classTurf students designing their 9 hole golf course. They will then compose an irrigation system and complete management plan for their course. Image credit Stan Kazymerchyk

15.01.17-Tab.KPUTab Buckner from the Township of Langley shares his Sportsfield Management experience with first year class. Image credit Stan Kazymerchyk

15.01.17-Hunt.KPUGary Hunt talks fertility at Terralink HQ. Image credit Stan Kazymerchyk

The extra-curricular activities mentioned in this article are ways students step outside the realm of the classroom and experience real interaction with members of the organization. Moving beyond life in the classroom and becoming familiar with new situations is a great way to enhance the learning experience while attending school. Taking advantage of these opportunities shows passion and determination in regards to the growth of one’s career. A sincere thanks to the turf managers and industry members who spend time with us, I am looking forward to meeting you all at the conference in March!

Editor's note:  On behalf of the entire WCTA membership, a special thanks goes out to KPU Turf Club students and their lead instructor, Stan 'Kaz' Kazymerchyk, for their tremendous efforts over the years in raising funds for turf research, assisting at the annual conference and trade show and doing a fantastic job representing the turf industry in general.  I've been tremendously impressed with the students year after year and take comfort in knowing the  industry will be so well looked after by subsequent generations of highly trained and well rounded turf managers.