Fairwood Country Club in Renton hosted a golf tournament to benefit First Green on September 22. Thirty-two golf course superintendents, golf professionals, and First Green supporters raised money for First Green scholarships. First Green began awarding scholarships and grants in 2002. The scholarship program was created to encourage environmental education and support students and teachers actively involved in programs to support the environment.
Also playing were Ben Grinspan, president of the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA); Paul Ramsdell, president of the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association (WWGCSA); and Bill Meyer, president of the First Green board and co-founder of First Green. Ramsdell and Meyer are also WSGA Board members.
Tournament winners were (from left to right): PJ Potuzak (Supt Bear Creek CC), Chad Wortinger (Asst Supt Bear Creek CC), Kyle Young (Asst Supt Glendale CC), Josh Cheney (2nd Asst Supt Glendale CC) The winning score was 21 under par; the best two scores from each foursome were counted each hole.
First Green is an innovative environmental education outreach program using golf courses as environmental learning labs. 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.
Over 8,000 students in Washington State have participated in the program. A total of $110,000 in student scholarships and teacher grants has been provided since 2002. Teachers, students, parents, golf course members and golf course superintendents who are involved in the program all share a great sense of excitement in the use of Links as Labs.