Message from the WCTA President – April 2020
Dear WCTA Members and Colleagues,
On March 18, we sent you the following note, “During the Covid-19 concern, the WCTA will be sending essential communications only. Hopefully this concern is short lived, but as an association, we want to remain proactive and will continue working on member initiatives and support wherever possible during this difficult time.”
Since then, there has been a massive amount of information coming from all levels of government, health officials, the media, industry associations and others, as the COVID-19 pandemic quickly evolves.
Keeping up with, filtering and understanding this information is challenging and time consuming. Like everyone and as much as possible, the WCTA Board and staff have been monitoring the situation as it progresses.
There have been many questions about how government recommendations and mandates affect our industry, financial assistance for businesses and workers, worker safety, layoffs and operational concerns like minimal maintenance programs.
There have also been questions about the WCTA’s position on the issue, in particular whether or not golf courses and sportsfield facilities should be open during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The WCTA’s primary concern is the health and safety of our members. We recognize and support government authority in this matter, understanding that as the situation changes, the one constant is that we all must adhere to orders/mandates from Provincial Health Offices and regional health authorities, along with other authorities such as Health Canada.
Whether or not your facility has been mandated to close or has the option to remain open, we want to stress that everyone must follow safe practices to ensure the health and safety of all those in our workforce and in our communities.
To help with this, the WCTA has been participating very actively with the Allied Golf Association of BC. Brett Finlayson, BCGSA representative and WCTA Executive Director, Jerry Rousseau, have been tasked by the AGA-BC Board to develop ‘COVID-19 Protection – Best Practices for Responsible Operation of Golf Courses’, aimed at providing a comprehensive resource for golf maintenance personnel. These BMP’s will make up one of three modules, the others covering food & beverage and clubhouse operations plus the resource will include a section for common best practices spanning all departments.
We expect these protocols will help us quickly develop a similar document for sportfield managers, ensuring all WCTA members are provided information that will help ensure safe practices at their facilities while establishing a very high standard throughout the turfgrass management industry.
Moving forward, our plan is to resume semi-normal communications and association functions starting with our post-conference e-newsletter that would have normally been circulated a few weeks after the show. In addition, staff is working on the April/May Turf Line news issue with distribution anticipated for early May.
I hope you are staying safe and healthy during these unprecedented times and I look forward to resuming our normal daily routines. If you have any questions or comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.