First Green 2015 Highlights and Looking Forward to 2016

14.04.06-First.Green.logoThe past year was one of the most exciting in First Green history. Read on for a summary of 2015 highlights and some things to anticipate for 2016. We’d also like to thank all First Green supporters for their 2015 contributions!

U.S. Open Comes to Washington
In June, the United States Golf Association (USGA) held its marquee event, the U.S. Open, at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. As golf fans throughout the Pacific Northwest embraced the Championship, First Green shared its hands-on activities with over 500 kids at the community kick-off event held at Chambers Bay. As the week unfolded, the USGA put a spotlight on First Green, posting a First Green field trip video on their home page and featuring First Green in a TV Campaign airing during and after the Championship. These activities increased awareness of First Green at the national and international levels, and resulted in inquiries from the public and golf industry.

First Green is excited to work with the Western Canada Turfgrass Association (WCTA) to bring First Green to Western Canada. First Green was launched in British Columbia via a demonstration event held May 2014 at the Vancouver Golf Club.  More recently, a highly successful second event took place Friday, October 2, at the Redwoods Golf Course in the Township of Langley, BC with special guest, the Honourable Mary Polak, BC Minister of Environment, attending. In 2016, First Green will continue to work with Canada to expand the program. We’ll also work with State golf associations and GCSAA chapters. [Mary Polak photo and field trip article]

Thank you, GCSAA!
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) field staff are helping First Green to expand its reach. Thanks to the GCSAA’s willingness to involve its staff in mentoring superintendents in hosting field trip, First Green can point to a First Green program or the beginnings of a program in each of the nine GCSAA regions. Superintendents, please reach out to your regional representative before your first field trip, and he may be able to lend a helping hand. See our next newsletter for a First Green update from GCSAA field staff.  

First Green Expands Education
First Green continues to expand its web-based resources to reach more superintendents. First Green conducted its first two webinars in 2015. First, Karen Armstead and Cathy Relyea presented, "Partnering with Golf Courses," to National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) members in June. In November, Karen and Cathy presented a webcast, “Hosting a First Green Field Trip,” to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. In addition to the webinars, First Green created several videos -- Calculating the Square Footage of an Irregular Space, Technology on the Golf Course, and Engaging Students on a Field Trip.

First Green Presents to International Association of Golf Course Administrators (IAGA)
In November, First Green presented to a gathering of state golf association executive directors and staff at the IAGA annual conference in Monterey, Calif. Karen Armstead, First Green executive director, and Troy Andrew, Washington State Golf Association executive director, shared with a full room the benefits of First Green. First Green is now holding discussions with at least four state associations interested in rolling out First Green in their states.

Experience a Field Trip at 2016 Golf Industry Show
First Green will be conducting a seminar at the Golf Industry Show (GIS) in San Diego on Monday, February 8 (8 am - 3 pm), that includes a field trip with Sunnyside Elementary School to Bonita Golf Club and hands-on learning labs that demonstrate the tools and resources available to host STEM* field trips on the golf course. This interactive workshop will teach attendees how to launch a First Green local field trip program on their home course. The workshop offers superintendents an opportunity to expand local community involvement through hosting students and teachers. Current superintendents with experience hosting this program will lead learning labs and provide real-world insight. For more information about the seminar (#1049-01), go to the GIS website. * STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Upcoming Events
• Offering a workshop at the Golf Industry Show in San Diego, Calif. (February 16-11, 2016)
• Presenting at the Western Canada Turfgrass Association annual meeting in Whistler, BC (Feb. 23- 25, 2016)

Did You Know?
• First Green is an innovative environmental education outreach program using golf courses as environmental learning labs – the only program of its kind. We have extensive resources for golf course superintendents, including online lesson plans.
• We have 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.  

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First Green Foundation
12440 Main Street
Bellevue, WA  98005
Phone: (425) 746-0809