Get in the game

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The STMA’s Environmental Committee chair Jimmy Simpson reveals why recognizing industry efforts to be environmentally responsible is important.

What exactly is our environment and why is it important to us? We have all asked ourselves these two questions at some point in time. Webster’s Dictionary provides us with the following definitions: “1: The circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded. 2a: The complex of physical, chemical and biotic factors (such as climate, soil and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival.”

As a sports turf manager, the environment plays a fundamental role in everything we do at our facilities. As the decision makers with regard to which products go into our environment, it is of the utmost importance that we make sound agronomic choices. The decisions made should yield the very best outputs in relation to turf grass performance, with the least amount of environmental inputs. This is otherwise known in our industry as a best management practice, or BMP.

Since June 2016, the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) has been proud to encourage and provide the Environmental Facility Certification. This certification program was the culmination of many years of dedicated hard work by the Association’s Environmental Committee and by Association staff. Many working in the sports turf industry have waited for this certification, as we all strive to institute the BMPs into our daily routines. This certification provides a way for sports turf managers to exemplify their facility’s commitment to protecting and improving the environment in which we all work, live and play.

The Environmental Facility Certification Program is open to all members of the agronomic community. At the time of writing, 38 facilities, both foreign and domestic, had entered the program. Of those, 18 domestic facilities and two international facilities have distinguished themselves by earning this certification.

For those of you who wish to get into the environmental game, it is very easy to apply for the program. Many sports turf managers are already doing the work [that constitutes this program]and now it is time to validate those efforts. Are you hooked yet? If so, head over to www.stma.org and select the Environmental Facility Certification Program from the home page.

The initial part of the program involves an electronic survey that is scored and graded based upon the answers. Once that section is passed, the process then moves into an attestation phase. After passing this phase, the facility then becomes certified – the process really is that simple. So, take this opportunity to get into the environmental game and showcase all your significant efforts to protect the environment that we all need to coexist.

Jimmy Simpson, Environmental Committee chair, STMA

July 11, 2017

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