Nationally Recognized Golf Course Superintendent Now Using EcoMIGHT
After six years of award-winning, nationally recognized success for golf course sustainability, Shannon Easter, director of golf maintenance at Broken Sound Club, went looking for the next environmentally friendly step to continue the momentum.
“Broken Sound Club wants to be a good steward of our natural resources and our environment,” Easter explained. “Golf clubs, in general, have been saddled with a negative image regarding sustainability. When we started this effort years ago, we wanted to put in place things that would help us be much more environmentally friendly for future generations.”
The Boca Raton, Florida, golf resort started its sustainability effort by replacing styrofoam cups with corn-based cups, planting wildflowers, and establishing treatment-free beehives on its course. From a waste management standpoint, 96 percent of everything used on the golf course is recycled. All of the food and landscape waste is placed in an on-site digester that transforms waste into compost.
Easter and Broken Sound Club have been a recipient of the Environmental Leaders in Golf Award for three years running, receiving the overall award in 2016 and 2018 and recognized in 2017.
“We want to keep the momentum going at Broken Sound,” Easter said. “Our next frontier was reducing the amount of chemical herbicides required to keep our turf in good condition. We discovered a new non-selective herbicide called EcoMIGHT that is naturally organic and safe to use around people, animals, and aquatic life.”
EcoMIGHT is one of the only professional strength herbicides on the market that has earned the U.S. EPA’s minimum risk exempt designation. Unlike conventional, natural and organic products that could contain toxic ingredients, minimum risk exempt products can only contain about 50 natural, non-toxic ingredients listed by the EPA in both their active and inert ingredient lists.
“We use EcoMIGHT everywhere we used to use Roundup,” Easter said. “What we noticed was that EcoMIGHT had a great residual effect. In the past, someone was spraying Roundup every day somewhere on our property. After three or four weeks, another treatment would be required. EcoMIGHT keeps weeds at bay for nearly twice that long, which means less product used overall as well as reduced labor costs for Broken Sound.”
World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in March 2015 that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” More than 13,000 lawsuits have been filed against a major glyphosate manufacturer and glyphosate-based products continue to draw public scrutiny.
“For me, it’s about keeping our members, their families, and our community safe and healthy,” Easter said. “We already have so many potentially cancer-causing things in our world. If we can replace one with something that effectively kills weeds to the root, is cost-effective, and far safer for our families, I think we need to do so. I want my grand kids to be able to see their grandkids grow up.”
Besides continuing to test and use EcoMIGHT at Broken Sound in new and creative ways, Easter shares that the course will continue with other efforts as well. Broken Sound has established bird and bat houses on its property and has replaced spraying for mosquitoes with introducing mosquito predators. The course will be installing solar panels on a parking garage to generate renewable energy as well.
Read More: About Needham Golf Course