BELLA VISTA -- The Joint Advisory Committee on Golf met via Zoom on Wednesday while freezing temperatures kept the courses and most other amenities closed.
Golf Maintenance Director Keith Ihms introduced Wendy Barnes, who has been spearheading the project to make Berksdale an Audubon International recognized golf course. It was a multi-year project that dealt with wildlife, water, chemical safety and education. It began when the course was still 18 holes.
Barnes described the project as a "softening of the edges." For example, weed eating is no longer done to the edge of each pond and that helps with aquatic health and erosion and is also safer for mowers.
The result is an increased diversity among wildlife, insects and even vegetation. Milkweed has been seeded to help monarch butterflies.
It's a continuing process, she said, and the course will continue to improve. More signage will go up, including information signs about the project.
Barnes said golf courses have positive environmental impacts that are not always appreciated. For example, water samples reveal that Little Sugar Creek water quality improves as it passes through Berksdale.
Once again, Golf Operations Director Darryl Muldoon reported that rounds were up in January. Rounds have been up for most of the last year.
Muldoon said shotgun starts won't begin until at least July because of covid 19 restrictions. Groups will continue to play with tee times.
Golf professional Alex Sanford said the first tournament of the year, The Sweetheart Open, originally scheduled for Feb. 13, was postponed because of the cold weather predicted. It will take place on March 6.
Lynn Atkins may be reached by email at [email protected]