First Green Demo Event Planned for Oct 2 with Special Guest, Environment Minister Mary Polak

14.04.06-First.Green.logoThe Western Canada Turfgrass Association (WCTA), in partnership with the First Green Foundation, has launched the first program in Canada that brings environmental education to grade 5 and up students using golf courses as environmental learning labs.  A demonstration event will take place starting at 10:00am, Friday, October 2nd at the Redwoods Golf Course in the Township of Langley, BC with special guest, the Honourable Mary Polak, BC Minister of Environment.

So what happens when you bring kids to a golf course to learn science?  THEY LOVE IT!

First Green is an innovative environmental education outreach program using golf courses as environmental learning labs, allowing students to perform hands-on experiments and tests, all within the focus of their schools’ environmental science and/or environmental horticulture curricula. In outdoor labs lead by the golf course superintendent, students test water quality, collect soil samples, identify plants, do math activities and work with local issues such as stream-bed or owl-nest restoration.

“The best part about First Green is that it can happen at any golf course and there are golf courses in practically every community in our province,” stated WCTA President Trevor Smith.  “This makes the program accessible to kids everywhere, not just those in larger centres.”

The First Green program is based on the STEM learning concept, an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math.  The inaugural event held on Canadian soil, and the first international First Green event ever, took place in May 2014 at the Vancouver Golf Club, host of the 2012 and 2015 CP Canadian Women’s Open.  Watch video

15.08.20-Kennedy.first.greenVancouver Golf Club Superintendent, Dave Kennedy, delivers a science lesson to Heidi Gawehn’s grade 8 class from Pitt River Middle School

First Green was featured in a Public Service Announcement by the United States Golf Association (USGA) during the US Open Golf Championship held this past July at Chambers Bay Golf Course, just south of Seattle, introducing the unique program to over 200 million viewers from around the world.  The PSA will also run throughout the summer on all FOX network broadcasts of USGA Championships.

Closer to home, Elizabeth Buckley School in Victoria, BC, has shown interest in First Green as they prepare to open the first ‘STEAM’ school in Canada.  An ‘A’ has been added to include arts as part of their curriculum matrix. 

“EBS is very interested in exploring a partnership with the appropriate association which delivers the First Green program in BC,” stated Chloe Elias of the Elizabeth Buckley School adding, “EBS could be one of the first schools in the province to pilot the First Green program and promote the program through the school system.  The program is a particularly good fit.”

The WCTA is very pleased, in association with the Allied Golf Association of BC, the Redwoods Golf Course and the First Green Foundation, to sponsor this intimate demonstration event as we prepare to launch the program throughout western Canada.  The program relies on Superintendents for its delivery and we invite all interested golf course personnel to attend!

About First Green:
First Green is an innovative environmental education outreach program that uses golf courses as environmental learning labs – the only program of its kind. First Green provides extensive resources to golf course superintendents, including online lesson plans.

First Green has been providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning since 1997.

Golf course superintendents and/or local golf course representatives host students on field trips where they test water quality, collect soil samples, identify plants, design plantings, assist in stream bed restoration, and are involved in the ecology and environmental aspects of the golf course. The students are also introduced to many other aspects of golf.

Supporters of First Green include the United States Golf Association (USGA), Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), Washington State Golf Association, Pacific Northwest Golf Association, the Northwest Turfgrass Association, Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association, local golf clubs, public and private school systems, and individual contributors who assist the organization through monetary grants and participation in field trips.

A tax-exempt non-profit, First Green was founded in the State of Washington in 1997 and is expanding nationally. For more information, or to view First Green introductory videos, please visit

Media contact: 
Cathy Relyea, Director of Communications
Phone: 425.373.9915 | Email: 

About the WCTA:
The WCTA is a 700+ member, not-for-profit industry organization based in western Canada and interested in further education, research, advocacy and the exchange of information related to turfgrass management.  Members represent a diversity of sectors such as golf courses, school boards, municipalities, sod farms, nurseries, landscapers, lawn bowling greens, mechanics, horticulturists and industry suppliers.

The organization is actively involved in the promotion and support of research, education and discussion in professional turfgrass management. 

Media contact: 
Jerry Rousseau, Executive Director, WCTA
(604) 869-9282