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Niakwa CC Commits to Obtaining Audubon Certification

The Niakwa Country Club Turf Team is working toward certification of the Course under the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf. The ACSP is “an environmental education and certification program that helps golf courses protect the environment, preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf, and gain recognition for their efforts. “

Certification under the program reflects Niakwa Country Club’s recognition of the golf course as an important green space in an urban environment. The program involves preserving and enhancing habitat for native plants and animals and practicing sound environmental stewardship in all management practices.

To date 100 of the top golf courses in Canada are certified under the ACSP program. The Turf Team, led by Jon McMorris, Shane Bell, and Daphne Stapley, with support from our Course Superintendent Shawn Major, hopes to attain Certification in time for Niakwa’s Centennial in 2023.

The Turf Team has already achieved certification from the Audubon Society in several key Categories. These include: Chemical Use Reduction and Safety; Water Conservation; and Environmental Case Study. The remaining Certification categories include: Water Quality Management; Wildlife and Habitat Management; and Outreach and Education.

To support the Turf Team in its efforts to obtain Certification in these Categories, a group of Niakwa Members has formed a support committee. The Support Committee is chaired by Rob Sproule, with Members, Al Kowalec, Karen Yamada, Cory Frank, and Dave McMillan.

The Committee will be assisting the Turf Team with Member liaison and communications, community outreach and education, fundraising, project assistance, and tracking, and recording wildlife.

To date, the Committee has created a website, www.NatureOfNiakwa.ca , started construction of cavity bird boxes and bat boxes, developed a partnership with Save our Seine, and has begun fundraising with a $2500 profit from fundraising for a bench in memory of Dave Farlinger.

Audubon Certification will be a significant achievement for Niakwa. Enjoying the game of golf in harmony with the natural environment enhances the experience for all.

Niakwa Partners with Save our Seine

As part of Niakwa Country Club’s effort to obtain certification under the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf, Niakwa Country Club has entered into a partnership with Save Our Seine River Environment Inc. www.saveourseine.com The word ‘Niakwa’ comes from an indigenous term for ‘winding river’. The Seine meanders for two kilometers through our property.

Save Our Seine is one of the most prominent and successful non-profit environmental groups in the province. The organization’s mandate is “to preserve, protect, enhance, restore and repair the Seine River greenway, to raise public education & awareness of and improve public access to the Seine River greenway, and to work in partnership with governmental, business, and other non-profit organizations for stewardship planning of the Seine River greenway.”

This mandate is perfectly in tune with the objectives of the Audubon program. auduboninternational.org/acsp-for-golf/

Opportunities for cooperation include:

  • Coordination of environmental projects
  • Knowledge sharing and technical support
  • Shared resources for weed removal and native tree and shrub planting
  • Coordinated public outreach
  • Assistance and cooperation in funding projects

Niakwa draws water from the Seine for our irrigation ponds. The Club is committed to the responsible use of that resource through water conservation and through careful management of water quality. Preserving and enhancing the natural habitat along the Seine is good for the environment and enriches the golf experience of Members and guests.

Friends of Farlinger Raise $2500

Niakwa Country Club Members recently raised $2500, to support Audubon Society Certification, in memory of Dave Farlinger. Dave’s friends and associates got together to buy a memorial bench and contributions far exceeded the cost of the bench.

As Chair of the Course Committee, Dave made a significant contribution to the design and installation of the slit drainage that is so important to the condition of our course. As a civil engineer with extensive experience in flood control, and government relations, Dave managed the building of the dike on the 13th hole. His ability to steer the approvals process through multiple government departments was critical. Dave’s memorial bench will be placed on the 13th tee.

Dave Farlinger

Dave was a committed environmentalist and the profit from his bench donations will be used to help fund several projects that are part of Niakwa’s Audubon Certification efforts. These projects include a monarch butterfly habitat preserve near the 12th tee monarchsintherough.org and the development of beehives in the waste area left of the 5th green.

The Audubon Certification Committee will be raising additional funds in the future, but if any Member wants to make a contribution in Dave’s memory, please e-mail Wade Nybakken. A contribution can be charged to your account.