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Environmental and Health Benefits of Golf Courses

HAL Project No. TU07034

A Literature Review by F. R. Higginson and P. E. McMaugh

HAL PROJECT NO. TU07034 GOLF EXTENSION ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF GOLF COURSES A LITERATURE REVIEW by F. R. Higginson and P . E. McMaugh Turfgrass Scientific Services Pty Ltd 14 Carolyn Avenue Carlingford NSW 2118

Acknowledgements
The Australian Golf Environment Initiative is pleased to have as its partners the following organisations and individuals:

AGCSA

Principal Partners

corporate Partners

individual supporters
Peter Williams & Associates

CONTENTS INTRODUCTION REVIEW OF LITERATURE SPECIFIC TO THE GOLF INDUSTRY WATER QUALITY WATER USE COMPARED TO OTHER INDUSTRIES BIODIVERSITY VALUE CREATING AND RECREATING INDIGENOUS FLORA AREAS WETLANDS AND THEIR BENEFITS CARBON SEQUESTRATION CARBON FOOT PRINT OF GOLF COURSES SEDIMENT, NUTRIENT AND PESTICIDE MOVEMENT ASSOCIATED WITH GOLF COURSES GOLF COURSE CONSTRUCTION MANAGING THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS GOLF COURSE CONSTRUCTION REJUVENATION OF DEGRADED SITES: AESTHETIC, SOCIAL AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF TURFGRASS: SUGGESTED AREAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH: KEY REFERENCES

ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF GOLF COURSES A LITERATURE REVIEW HAL PROJECT N0. TU07034 GOLF EXTENSION by F. R. Higginson and P . E. McMaugh
INTRODUCTION Following the literature review undertaken by Higginson and McMaugh (2008), the Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association (AGCSA) requested an expansion of the review that is focussed principally on the environmental aspects (benefits or otherwise) of golf courses, and to identify any knowledge gaps for the industry. The key factors to be included were as follows; i. Water quality ii. Water use compared to other industries iii. Bio-diversity value iv. Creating or recreating indigenous flora areas v. Wetlands and their benefits vi. Carbon sequestration vii. Carbon foot print of golf courses viii. Nutrient and soil movement associated with golf courses ix. Golf course construction managing the environmental impacts x. Golf course construction rejuvenation of degraded sites. This study was undertaken to provide the golf industry with a focus for future research projects. It is important that the industry substantiate statements about the benefits of golf courses with data from scientific literature. The golf industry is also interested in the social and health benefits of golf but doubts whether there is much specific information related to golf courses. This aspect has also been covered in the review. REVIEW OF LITERATURE SPECIFIC TO THE GOLF INDUSTRY The objective of this extension to a previous research project funded by HAL is to review the scientific literature and provide recommendations to the golf industry, based on sound scientific principles that will identify future research areas required to alleviate any negative environmental impacts, and to suggest action to improve the general publics conception of golf courses. The seminal study of the environmental benefits of turfgrass was conducted by J.B. Beard in the early 1990s (Beard, J.B. & R.L. Green 1994). Beard (1994) presents similar information to the original 1994 paper (i.e. Beard & Green, 1994) but specifically re-interprets it for golf courses and their environment. Beard (2000) is a recent update also relating specifically to golf course environments, and was partially supported by the United States Golf Association (USGA). It is the authors view that information contained within these three publications is directly relevant to golf courses within the Australian context. They are considered to be key references for this review. The golf course industry has effectively responded to the environmental issues raised above in a very positive way. Environmental management programs for golf courses have become common practice in recent years (e.g.: Stubbs, D., 1995 & 1996; Australian Golf Union, 1998). The golf industry has also instituted programs of environmental accreditation, and the importance of these programs is recognised by an annual awards process. As well, the golf industry, through the AGCSA, has recently established a Water Management Initiative which aims to educate and inform turf managers of water saving options in turf applications. Golf courses can also consider certification under the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP). In joining the ACSP , courses become part of a network of golf courses dedicated to the goal of developing environmentally sound maintenance practices that enhance and continue to improve the wildlife habitat on their properties. The information generated as part of the process provides a form of insurance by documenting that the club is protecting the environment and enhancing the property so that future generations can continue to enjoy the property and its environmental benefits. It helps establish credible assurance that the club is handling chemicals,
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fertilisers, and fuel in a proper manner; that water is being used efficiently; and that water features and irrigation sources are properly managed to maintain good water quality. It also ensures that the club is providing a healthy habitat for a variety of wildlife species. Audubon International also provides a strong back-up support system, in which volunteer Audubon Stewards are available to assist courses with undertaking and implementing the program (Yarrington, F., 2006). As of June 30th, 2003, 2,010 courses throughout the United States and in 25 countries were enrolled in the ACSP , and a total of 390 golf courses (19%) had achieved the distinction of Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for their efforts to implement and document a full complement of conservation activities, including chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, water quality management and wildlife habitat improvement (Nus, J.L. (ed.), 2004). The golf course industry, particularly in Australia, has been very active in developing Environmental Management Systems (EMS), a voluntary, standardised, systematic approach to the management of environmental issues. Private industry (Environmental Business Solutions) in association with AGCSA has developed one of the most advanced programs in the world in applying the EMS concept to golf courses (Carrow, R.N. & Fletcher, K.A., 2007). WATER QUALITY Because of severe drought and a resulting shortage of municipalsupplied treated water (potable water), mandatory water restrictions have been in place within most of urban and rural Australia for the past four or five years. The impact of these longterm restrictions on use of potable water on parks, sports grounds, golf courses and public gardens has been estimated to have reduced consumption by 14 28%, and to have affected 75% of Australias population (Fam, D. et al., 2008). The shortage of available potable water has, in particular, driven golf clubs to seek alternative supplies of water to maintain greens and fairways in reasonable order for club patrons. There are many avenues here to explore, such as creek water and stored water from dams within the golf club, groundwater or bore water, urban stormwater, recycled water, and treated water from external sources such as sewage treatment works and other industrial sources. The key factor in all of these processes is water quality. Water quality guidelines are available within Australia for all forms of water (ANZECC, 1992), but to achieve these goals on the golf course requires expensive chemical or biological testing of water prior to and during its use. Beehag (1996b) has published a useful literature review of turfgrass tolerances to water quality. Quality issues reviewed include salinity (EC), pH, cations (sodium and potassium), anions (carbonate, bicarbonate, chloride, nitrate N, ammonia N and sulfate), and trace element levels (heavy metals and boron). In many cases, urban stormwater or on-site run-off water is often of adequate quality for irrigation, but the problem is that it is always available in large quantities when you do not need it. This means that it must be stored. On-site storage in lakes, ponds, reservoirs or dams is the obvious solution for golf courses as such features can easily be incorporated into the course design. An important point is to design these features in such a way as to ensure that they do not become a source of water quality problems themselves, through eutrophication (high nutrient levels) and consequent algal blooms, or the harbouring of mosquitoes (Cullen, P ., 1996). Two golf clubs in NSW have adopted a natural approach to managing high nutrient levels in their irrigation reservoirs (Harris, K., 2007). They have installed rafted reedbed systems, consisting of buoyancy rafts upon which a coir mat with pre-grown wetland plants is placed. Both clubs used this innovative system because there were very few other options available to them for managing the regular algal outbreaks at their reservoirs. To date, rafted reed beds have proved effective in controlling algal blooms at both sites and provide another tool for treatment of undesirable water quality. This is an area that the authors have selected as suitable for further investigation (refer recommendations section). Currently many clubs are considering using recycled water from sewage treatment works and sewage mining (i.e.: the technique of pumping raw effluent from a sewer main and treating it on site) to recycle large volumes of water and this is a trend that will become increasingly important in the future (Richardson, G., 1996; Thomson, A. & I. Beer, 1996).

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One example of sewer mining is the SMART system (Sewer Mains Access Reclaim Technology). This system has been developed to provide unlimited supplies of irrigation water, regardless of drought or water restrictions. The water produced contains valuable levels of fertiliser in the form of ammonia and nitrogen. The system extracts raw sewage from a sewer main and treats the effluent to a standard suitable for irrigation (Richardson, G., 1996). The cost effectiveness of such schemes remains a problem at this stage of development (Cullen, P ., 1996) but the potential is immense. Pennant Hills Golf Club was the first club in Sydney to introduce a sewer mining system as an alternative water source (Dahl, K. & Kirkby, R., 2008). The treatment process uses a membrane bio-reactor to remove solids and pathogens from sewage water. Water passing through the membrane can be used directly, or sent for further treatment by disinfection or salt reduction. One problem with the scheme has been the high sodium content of THE sewage, requiring the club to introduce a long-term gypsum application program, which includes monthly applications on greens, three-monthly on tees and surrounds, and six-monthly on fairways. The water reclamation plant was a multimillion dollar investment, but effectively ends the clubs reliance on potable water for irrigation. The high sodium (Na) concentration in sewage and other municipal wastewaters is a major problem. Research in New Zealand measured nutrient leaching and changes in soil characteristics of four contrasting soils irrigated with secondary-treated municipal wastewater (Sparling G.P ., et al., 2006). After four years of treatment, results indicate that leaching losses of N applied ranged from 22% for coarse-textured soils to < 5% for other soil types. Leaching losses of P applied ranged from 13% to < 1%. All irrigated soils, however, had a marked increase in exchangeable Na which reached 4 22% ESP (Exchangeable Sodium Percentage). Golf courses have a number of advantages over other areas for effluent reuse. Generally, they comprise relatively large areas of urban land; they consist of well established areas of perennial grasses, which are good water users; the management is usually intensive, thus any problems with a scheme would be quickly noticed and corrected as part of the monitoring process; and the managers generally have a good knowledge of soils and fertilisers and are highly competent irrigators (Thomson & Beer, 1996). For recycled water or effluent reuse, the increase in availability of water may require golf courses to upgrade their irrigation systems. Many courses have older hand-moved sprinklers for greens and tees and movable gun irrigators for fairways. These older systems may be used for effluent irrigation, but for efficient effluent reuse, conversion to a modern pop-up irrigating system should be considered. This has the potential for full automation via computer timers and can enable use of soil moisture monitoring devices that allow accurate assessment of the water requirements for the turfgrass, so as to avoid over-watering and possible contamination of groundwater (Thomson & Beer, 1996). The quantity of effluent applied should only be sufficient to meet the plants requirements. As well, the pathogen content in the effluent should be monitored to minimise health risks to players and workers on the course. For NSW, adequate monitoring systems required for effluent reuse are available (Hird, C., 1996). In-situ monitoring of soil moisture content has been regularly practised for the past two decades. Soil solution monitoring has made nowhere near the same progress (Falivene, S., 2008). There are three reasons why soil solute monitoring should be considered. Firstly, either through lack of water or the use of as little water as possible, leaching below the root zone has been reduced, enabling salt build-up within the root zone. Secondly, improvements in the application of fertilisers have not been matched by the ability to monitor and interpret nutrient levels in the root zone; and thirdly, increasing interest in using recycled water or effluent of lower quality requires some form of monitoring. Analysing soil solution provides a quick, easy and economical way to measure salt and nutrient levels in the soil throughout the season. Soil solution analysis is also a valuable environmental tool because it can be used to detect excess nutrients moving below the plants root zone. Golf course managers should investigate this tool as part of their environmental management programs (Falivene, S., 2008). This is an area identified as a possible future research program (refer recommendations section). As well, there are some highly innovative techniques being investigated, such as managed aquifer recharge. Managed aquifer recharge involves adding a treated water source, such as recycled water or captured runoff water, to underground aquifers under controlled conditions. Water stored in this way can be pumped and re-used when required. This technique is currently being trialled across the Swan Coastal Plain in Western Australia, and also in Adelaide (Dowie, A., 2007; Satterley, J., 2007; 2009). Natural aquifer recharge or aquifer regeneration is already in use as a significant water source in the Centennial Park/ Botany sands region of Sydney. This is an area identified as requiring further investigation (refer recommendations section).

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WATER USE COMPARED TO OTHER INDUSTRIES With recent severe water shortages, the general public within Australia and the USA is developing a negative environmental image of turfgrass (Robbins & Sharp, 2003). This is because turfgrass requires regular maintenance, involving mowing, fertilising and watering. These three practices utilise water, a limited resource, create greenhouse emissions (from diesel or petrol-powered machinery) and expose the environment to possible chemical pollution from fertiliser and pesticide usage. Golf courses, because they comprise large areas of managed turfgrass, are for the above reasons particularly targeted as having a negative environmental image. In an attempt to alleviate public anger, it is common to see golf courses with large signages advertising that the water being used is either bore water or treated re-cycled water. Unsubstantiated statements about excessive water usage are common in gardening books and the media (e.g.: Walsh, K., 2005) and can only have a negative impact on both the image and consequently on the sale of turfgrass. This negative impact is transported to the golf industry, simply because golf courses are envisaged by most members of the public as being just large areas of carefully managed turfgrass. Lawns have had bad press for years, but they dont have to be the resource drain they are often made out to be. A lawn is a place for passive and active recreation (such as golf), and can also have other environmental benefits (Higginson & McMaugh, 2008). Many of the solutions to turfs perceived negative environmental impact exist already, but they arent being publicised effectively. For example, simply by selecting slow-growing, drought-hardy lawn varieties can lead to a significant reduction in the need for mowing, fertilising and watering. The negative environmental image of turfgrass being a major user of water still persists. For example, a recent consumer survey (Turf Producers Australia Limited, 2007) indicates that misinformation and ignorance about the water requirements of turf is a major area of concern for landscapers. The general consumer perception is that turf uses huge volumes of water and ties up resources. This has led to a reduction in the use of turf for the residential market. Furthermore, Governments, via Regional Water Boards, are strongly promoting a water wise policy and this has been misinterpreted by consumers because of publication in the media and in books of scientifically unsupported statements (e.g.: Walsh, K., 2005). The water crisis in the golf industry has prompted clubs to pursue solutions including seeking alternative water supplies and improving the efficiency of water use. The use of reclaimed water is being successfully pursued (Neylan and Peart, 2006). However, the total golf area that will be maintained with reclaimed water will be relatively small. Some innovative approaches are currently being investigated, including managed aquifer recharge (MAR) and aquifer storage recovery (ASR) systems. Whatever the source of water that is used, efficiency of water usage is still a fundamental requirement (Connellan, G., 2007). In terms of gaining an understanding of where golf is currently positioned as an industry sector, it is valuable to have an appreciation of the total water usage within Australia. The majority of water that is used in Australia is used in agriculture and the greatest portion of that is used for irrigation. Agriculture accounts for 65% of all water consumed. There are very limited data available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on water used for recreational purposes, such as golf. The ABS defines the relevant water category as cultural, recreational and personal services. The category includes water used for parks, gardens, sports fields, golf courses and racecourses. The data for this category are included within a broader category other industries. In the 2000-01 survey report, cultural, recreational and personal services used 395,049 ML (395 GL) (Connellan, G.J., 2007). The water application rate for turf varies from around 3 ML/ha to 8 ML/ha. The reasons for the variation include turf species (for example, cool season and warm season grasses), evaporation rates, rainfall, effectiveness of irrigation application and the scheduling of the irrigation. An additional consideration for golf turf is the level of performance expected of the surface. Lush surfaces require higher volumes than surfaces that are maintained in an acceptable or moderate condition. The usage rate of a turf area is another consideration. High wearing areas require additional water to allow for ready regrowth and recovery (Connellan G.J., 2005).

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A water survey conducted by the Victorian Golf Association (VGA, 2005) provides comprehensive information on the nature of water use in that particular section of the golf industry. According to the survey, the average 18 hole golf course has approximately 20 hectares of turf, including the greens, and the average water application rate is 5 ML/ha. The lack of national statistics for the golf industry has been recognised and a national survey of water use patterns was conducted by Golf Australia and the AGCSA on behalf of the Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC, 2007). This survey provides the first detailed understanding of water use by Australias golf courses and highlights the value of the golf industry to the Australian economy. The document clearly illustrates that the golf industry is already a proactive water manager and has been an early adopter of efficient water management practices. The AGIC study has found that almost one third of golf clubs are currently under some sort of water use restriction. The study (AGIC, 2007) also found that there are about 1,000 18-hole equivalent golf courses covering some 58,000 hectares in Australia that have some dependency on water for the irrigation of grass playing surfaces. A typical 18hole equivalent course uses an average of 124 ML of water per year. Irrigated surfaces (20% of the course) receive an average of 10.7 ML/ ha, considerably higher than an earlier estimate by the Victorian Golf Association (VGA, 2005). An interesting observation, however, is that groundwater and recycled water accounts for almost 60% of the water used. This study determined that over 40% of golf clubs nationally have in place a formal water management plan (WMP) and that over two thirds of clubs either have or are currently exploring other water alternatives. In addition, golf clubs are also pursuing a number of shorter term practices aimed at using water more efficiently. These include: i. Use of wetting agents; ii. Less frequent watering; iii. Installation of more efficient irrigation sprinkler heads; iv. Use of in-situ monitoring of soil moisture content to aid irrigation systems; and v. Changing to less water dependent turfgrass types (conversion from cool-season to warm-season varieties). To address the issue that turfgrass is an excessive user of water, the golf industry has been very proactive in promoting positive attempts to address the problem; such as selection and use of drought tolerant or drought avoiding varieties of turfgrass and the use of controlled irrigation systems that apply water only when required by use of in-situ soil moisture monitoring systems or other irrigation scheduling techniques. Recent surveys conducted by the industry have shown very positive gains in using water more efficiently (VGA, 2005; AGIC, 2007). Irrigation Technology: The total irrigated area of a golf course needs to be assessed in terms of the courses water requirements. The golf course design should consider the amount of irrigated turf appropriate to the site, taking into account the environmental conditions and available water resources. Limiting the irrigated area of a golf course is an important water efficiency strategy. Victorian golf clubs have made significant advances in this area. In the VGA Sustainable Water for Golf Survey, it was reported that between a third and 40% of metropolitan and country clubs have reduced the irrigated area of their golf course as a means of saving water (VGA, 2005). The conversion to warm season grasses in southern Australia has seen a significant improvement in water use efficiency. Plant species suited to the local climate and soils should be selected wherever possible. A common measure of water use efficiency is the proportion of water used by the turf compared to the amount of water delivered to the turf area. Whilst the amount of water delivered can be measured, it is very difficult to actually measure the amount of water used by the turf. One measure of efficiency is the Irrigation Index (Ii) (Connellan G.J., 2005). This index compares the depth of water actually applied to the estimated depth of water required over the complete irrigation season. This simple measure enables the manager to assess how efficiently the irrigation system is performing, and how the performance compares with other sites. An irrigated area that is being well managed would have an Ii value of 1.0 or less. If the Ii value is greater than 1.0, it would suggest that there is some wastage of water. There are many factors that can impact negatively on the performance of turf irrigation systems. These include poor hydraulic (flow and pressure) operating conditions, incorrect nozzle sizing, and poor installation and maintenance. A key measure of performance of sprinkler irrigation systems is the uniformity of application. It is not possible to achieve high efficiency with sprinklers that have poor uniformity (Connellan G.J., 2007).

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With increasing restrictions on the use of potable water, managers of urban turf and landscaped areas must achieve greater water usage efficiency if open public spaces are to survive and be used. To achieve this, a logical and scientifically sound approach to irrigation in urban areas in Australia is about to be published (Connellan, G., 2009). This publication is based on the need to deliver specific landscape outcomes using principles of water sensitive urban design. The book promises to present the latest irrigation technology, including developments in applicators, distribution and control technology and environmental sensors, such as weather stations, soil moisture sensors and rain sensors. When published, this book should be a useful tool to golf course managers as the author is very well respected within the industry. Water management strategies currently exist that achieve significant savings in watering by utilising sophisticated computer-operated irrigation systems that monitor rainfall, evaporation and soil moisture levels simultaneously. As such systems can assess soil moisture content and status, sprinklers can be activated in areas when and where needed, and only with the requisite quantity. An example of this type of approach is a research project, funded by Horticulture Australia Limited (Pathan, Barton and Colmer, 2003; 2007; Barton L. & Colmer T.D., 2006), which evaluated a soil moisture sensor-controlled irrigation system for improving water use in turf. The cumulative volume of water applied at two sites in Western Australia to areas controlled by a soil moisture sensor was 25% less in summer than areas irrigated according to current recommendations of WA Water Corporation (during times without water restrictions). Use of the soil moisture sensor-controlled system saved 100 L of water from leaching per square metre during a summer period (November to April) of 154 days. This project effectively demonstrates the value of utilising some form of soil moisture sensor to control irrigation of turfgrasses. Although irrigation technology is strongly advocated as a means of improving water-use efficiency and can optimise watering regimes, it has also been shown to increase the incidence of soil water repellence on sandytextured soils. Soil water repellence can cause irrigation water to infiltrate unevenly into the soil surface, bypassing a proportion of the turfgrass roots causing localised areas of turfgrass death. A three-year research project is being conducted by the University of Western Australia aimed at maximising turfgrass water use efficiency for warm-season turfgrasses by decreasing the incidence and severity of soil water repellence (Barton L. & Colmer T.D., 2007). Barton L., Wan G. & Colmer T.D. (2008) summarise the experiments being conducted as part of this research program. Use of Wetting agents: Water repellence or hydrophobicity is a widely reported phenomenon in turfgrass soils and can reduce water infiltration to such an extent that even extremely long periods of irrigation are unsuccessful in wetting the soil. Localised dry spot (LDS) is a problem in turf caused by hydrophobic conditions within the rootzone. LDS is characterised by irregular water-stressed areas of turfgrass that leads to a deterioration in turf quality. Wetting agents or surfactants are one means of treating water repellent soils, together with core cultivation and thorough wetting. The sandy nature of turfgrass rootzones, particularly on golf greens and tees, tends to exacerbate the development of water repellency problems as water repellency is more of a problem in coarse-textured soils. A recent study in the USA investigated the effects of several wetting agents on sand-based rootzone hydrophobicity and putting green turf appearance (Leinauer B. et al., 2007a). The results indicate that all wetting agents tested had a positive response but some performed marginally better than others. For a summary of the research outcomes, see Leinauer (2007b). The above results differ significantly from that of Kostka & Bially (2005) where a synergistic reaction between different surfactant chemical groups gave large improvements in performance. Within Australia, there is an increasing use of wetting agents through venturi injection into standard irrigation systems with mounting overall beneficial effects. Obviously, this is an area requiring further research under Australian conditions (refer recommendations section). Within the USA, turfgrass has also been publicly criticised as being a high water user. To counteract this, and to scientifically examine the facts presented on both sides of the argument, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology hosted a workshop in 2006 (CAST, 2008). This workshop provided an opportunity for researchers, scientists, environmentalists and water specialists to join together to discuss the issues facing the turfgrass industry. The publication arising from this workshop (Beard & Kenna (Eds), 2008a) is an outstanding contribution to the field of water quality and quantity issues affecting turfgrass in an urban environment. In the Authors view, this publication is very important to the Australian turfgrass industry as the issues encountered and the responses by scientists to those issues, are the same as those being encountered within the Australian context. Some examples are:

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Water availability and conservation are a priority for the turfgrass industry. The first step is to select the correct turfgrass for the climate in which it will be grown. During the last 30 years, turfgrass scientists have determined the water use rates for all major turfgrass species. Turfgrasses can survive on much lower amounts of water than most people realise, and several turfgrass species have good drought resistance. Turfgrasses with deep, extensive root systems, coupled with decreased water use, are more drought resistant and have a greater water conservation potential. Water usage rates vary with species and cultivars, as documented by extensive research (Beard, 1989a; Feldhake et al., 1983; Huang & Fry, 1999). Selecting low water use and/or droughtresistant turfgrass species and cultivars is a primary means of decreasing water needs. A great deal of this information is available on the Internet through sources such as the Turfgrass Information File (Michigan State University, 2007). Plant selection and landscape design are key factors in urban landscape water conservation. Although water usage rates for turfgrasses have been extensively reported (see above), far less is known about the actual water use of ornamental plants, especially large trees, and even less about other shrubs and species used in mixed landscape designs. There are perhaps 12 major turfgrass species used extensively in urban landscapes throughout the USA and Australia, whereas the number of ornamental species may exceed several thousand. It may be this paucity of research on ornamentals and total landscape water use, compared with research that has enabled the precision irrigation of turfgrass that has led to restrictions on turfgrass or its removal in many water conservation programs (Beard & Kenna (Eds), 2008a. Specific cultural practices can be used to decrease water use and enhance drought resistance in urban landscapes, including mowing height and frequency, turfgrass nutrition and turfgrass irrigation. Secondary practices, such as soil cultivation, topdressing, wetting agents, plant growth regulators and pest management, also influence potential water conservation. The use of alternative water for irrigation is another means of conserving potable water in both high rainfall areas, and in regions of recurring drought. In dry regions of the country, and in highly populated metropolitan areas where water is limited, irrigation with municipal recycled water, untreated household grey water, or other low quality water is a viable means of coping with potable water shortages. Most pesticides currently used in turfgrass present relatively low risks of significant groundwater contamination. A healthy turfgrass provides considerable protection against leaching because of high levels of organic matter and associated microbial activity, serving to immobilize and degrade applied pesticides and nitrates. Nitrate leaching may present problems in some segments of the turfgrass industry where nitrogen fertilisation rates have not been lowered to account for turfgrass age and clippings return. Perceived environmental problems must not be addressed in isolation, but in terms of all of the interrelationships and with all stakeholders associated with these landscapes. The ultimate goal is to provide quality urban areas for activities and recreation while conserving and protecting our water resources and supplies.

A useful summary of the outcomes of the above workshop (CAST, 2008) is presented in Beard & Kenna (2008b). Breeding and selection of turfgrass varieties: There has been considerable research within the USA over the past 30 years to seek species and cultivars of turfgrass that are drought tolerant. Beard (1989a) has published comprehensive reviews of research carried out on water use rates and water stress of turfgrasses. Kim and Beard (1988) studied the comparative evapotranspiration (ET) rates and associated morphological characters of 11 warmseason turfgrasses representing 9 species. Significant differences in ET rates were found both among and between 10 warm-season turfgrass species (Taliaferro & McMaugh, 1993) encouraging selection and genetic development for drought tolerance and other physiological characteristics. Research in this area is still continuing, especially in the arid southwest of the USA (the fastest-growing region within the United States) where a field study is being conducted by the University of Arizona to determine water use rates (ET) of commonly used turfgrass varieties for this harsh environment (Kopec D. M. et al., 2006). Results for total consumptive water use indicate that some varieties utilise as much as 18% less water during summer than others, providing potential for selection and breeding of more water-efficient turfgrass varieties.

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Aldous (2000) provides a good summary of the size and extent of breeding and selection within the Australian (and New Zealand) turfgrass industry and lists the most important species currently being utilised, as well as some new species being considered as future possibilities. BIODIVERSITY VALUE Urbanisation significantly reduces the amount of habitat available for flora and fauna. Global estimates indicate that a possible 50% or more of all species could be at risk (Fam D., et al., 2008). Promoting urban biodiversity by the use of green space is a feasible option, and obviously, golf courses can and do play a major role in this area. Golf courses provide a habitat for flora and fauna in the urban environment as there is much less disturbance of the area than in busy urban streets. The conservation value of suburban golf courses in South East Queensland was assessed by investigating their capacity to support urban-threatened species of birds, mammals, reptiles and frogs. Terrestrial vertebrate assemblages were compared between golf courses and nearby Eucalypt fragments and with suburban bird assemblages. Biotic diversity varied among golf courses. While some golf courses had conservation value (supporting high densities of regionally-threatened vertebrates), most failed to realise that potential, supporting only common urban-adapted species. Golf courses were generally a better refuge for threatened birds and mammals than for threatened reptiles and amphibians. While species-specific studies are required to identify the ecological role played by habitats on golf courses and the potential for long-term viability, the results confirm that suburban golf courses can have local conservation value for threatened vertebrates. Given their ubiquity, golf courses present a significant opportunity for urban wildlife conservation. Whilst the the golf industry is making genuine attempts to improve its environmental management standards, it is important to ensure that those efforts target the needs of regionally threatened species (Hodgkison S.C., et al., 2007). In the United Kingdom, Tanner and Gange (2005) studied the diversity of vegetation (tree and herbaceous species) and three indicator taxa (birds, ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) and bumblebees (Hymenoptera, Apidae)) on nine golf courses and nine adjacent habitats (from which the golf courses had been created) in Surrey, UK. Although there are approximately 2,600 golf courses within the UK, occupying 0.7% of the total land cover, it is unknown whether this area represents a significant resource in terms of biodiversity conservation, or if it is significantly less diverse than the surrounding habitats. The main objectives of the Tanner and Gange (2005) study were to determine whether golf courses support a higher diversity of organisms than the farmland they frequently replace; and to examine whether biodiversity increases with the age of the golf course. Results showed that both birds and insect taxa had a higher species richness and higher abundance on the golf course habitat than on nearby farmland. While there was no difference in the diversity of herbaceous plant species, golf courses supported a greater diversity of tree species. Bird diversity showed a positive relationship with tree diversity for each habitat type. It was found that introduced tree species were more abundant on the older golf courses, showing that attitudes to nature conservation on courses have changed over time. Although the courses differed in age by up to ninety years, the age of the course had no effect on biodiversity, abundance, or species richness of any of the animal taxa sampled. It was concluded from this study that golf courses of any age can enhance the local biodiversity of any area by creating a greater variety of habitats than intensively managed agricultural or urban areas. As a consequence, golf courses have a very positive role to play in providing a habitat for flora and fauna populations. From a biodiversity point of view, Australian golf courses have made considerable progress in dealing with Avian, Amphibian and Macropod fauna. Despite the obvious emphasis on birds, frogs, kangaroos and wallabies, animal species that are easily identified by golf-playing patrons, there has been an almost total neglect of equally-important and beautiful insect populations, such as Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) and Coleoptera (Beetles), and also some reptiles, such as Squamata (skinks, lizards and snakes). Admittedly, some reptiles can be hazardous (such as some snakes and crocodiles), but skinks, lizards, monitors, geckos, dragons and goannas are generally harmless and can be encouraged to co-habit with humans in the appropriate environment. As well, there has been very little research done on the diversity of soil micro-flora and fauna in golf courses, other than those treated as pests (such
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as soil-borne insect, bacterial and fungal diseases). There are developing and emerging technologies becoming available where the principles of biodiversity are being used for insect and disease control. These are considered as areas requiring further research (refer recommendations section). CREATING AND RECREATING INDIGENOUS FLORA AREAS Martin (Martin, P .M., 2004) has reviewed the potential of Australian native grasses for use as managed turf. He points out that, as greater demands are placed on turf for high performance under increasingly difficult environmental conditions, opportunities are opening up for the addition of new species to the list and/or the transfer of unusual adaptive traits found in some native grasses to traditional turf species. He concludes that most of the Australian native species thought to have some turf potential (eg. Microlaena stipoides, Sporobolus virginicus, Agrostis aemula complex and Austrodanthonia) would not repay the effort required to make them commercially acceptable as recreational turfgrasses. They may, however, have an important role to play in environmental turf plantings such as landscaping, where tolerance to human traffic is not a major requirement. This is particularly relevant to golf courses for areas of rough, or where landscaping is a major consideration. Trees, whether native or introduced varieties, offer benefits to a golf course by providing an aesthetic view, shade, and habitat for native birds and other animals. They can also significantly increase the biodiversity of a golf course site. Research at the Australian National Universitys Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies (CRES) on biodiversity conservation in farmlands (associated with Landcare and Greening Australia plantings of native trees), in native forests, and in Australian plantation forests (whether native hardwood or introduced softwood) show significantly that any plantings of trees will have a positive benefit on biodiversity, particularly for birds, reptiles, amphibians, Monotremes (echidnas), Phalangerids (possums, gliders and koalas) and Macropods (kangaroos and wallabies). The biodiversity benefit to insect species and other invertebrates is also positive, but not as well documented (see Lindenmayer, D.B., 2009; Lindenmayer, D.B. & Hobbs, R.J., 2004; 2007). From a golf course managers point of view, the message is that any plantings of trees (whether introduced or native) or native shrub species will have a positive effect on biodiversity within the vicinity of the golf course. Trees, however, can also have an unfavourable effect on turf growth and on the game of golf (Oatis, D.A., 2006). Trees are valuable to many landscapes, both aesthetically and environmentally. Trees also provide shade, and golfers certainly appreciate shade on hot days. They also function as effective wind breaks in harsh, windswept environments. Trees, however, have some very negative aspects in that they shade turf, and turf does not perform as well in shady conditions. They are also a significant hazard to golfers in that falling branches can injure or even kill golfers, and they can act as very effective lightning conductors during electrical storms, creating another hazard for golfers as well. Tree roots compete very effectively with turfgrass for moisture and nutrients, and when they have surface roots, playability suffers and turf maintenance equipment may sustain damage as well. Trees located in high traffic areas create permanent traffic patterns that funnel traffic and concentrate wear problems. While the cost of planting trees is easy to calculate, the long-term costs of maintenance are impossible to compute and are rarely considered. Moderation is the best policy with respect to golf course tree plantings. Most courses can be improved by systematically removing undesirable, hazardous and unnecessary trees. Turf and playability can be improved and the relative value and quality of tree plantings can be increased at the same time (Oatis, D.A., 2006) (refer recommendations section). In golf course rough conditions, particularly on links-style courses, consideration should be given to the management and encouragement of native grasslands. Native grasslands in Australia are defined as vegetation communities in which grass plants are structurally dominant because the groundcover of woody plants is less than 10%. Native grasslands in their natural state contain a high diversity of other herbs, including sedges, rushes, lilies, orchids and forbs (broad-leaved herbs). About 700 species of native herbs have been identified in the grasslands of southeastern Australia, the majority of which are not grasses. The perennial grasses in native grasslands form the structural background of the community, yet this structure can fluctuate dramatically with the seasons and in response to soil moisture, temperature, grazing, fire, frost and management. Such communities have and encourage considerable biodiversity, and are easy to maintain in areas of low traffic, such as rough and borderlands between fairways (Eddy, D.A., 2002).
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Ornamental plantings are also an integral part of golf course construction and design. There is, however, a paucity of research on their use in golf courses. This is an area that the authors identify as requiring further investigation, particularly in association with Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA). As well, native shrubs are an important component of sand belt areas of both Sydney and Melbourne, and also in links-style courses and areas of rough. Together with ornamental plantings, these areas require further collaborative research in association with NGIA. (refer recommendations section).

WETLANDS AND THEIR BENEFITS Run-off from urban areas and golf courses is automatically presumed to contribute significantly to non-point source water pollution. This, however, need not necessarily be the case. Generally, golf course drainage directly discharges into surface water systems, whereas urban stormwater is managed in some way, albeit crudely, using direct discharge to surface waters or temporary storage in retention basins that eventually evaporate or drain to surface waters. A significant role that golf courses can play in urban stormwater management is to utilise the stormwater creatively, by incorporating in the golf course design a series of artificial wetlands that serve as both water hazards and water quality management tools (Reicher, Z.J., et al., 2005). The above study, conducted at Purdue University in the USA, used created wetlands on a golf course as stormwaterreceiving locations and as a means of improving water quality. Unlike most stormwater retention basins, a created wetland with active plant growth and anaerobic sediment activity will have a significant retention and degradation capacity for introduced materials. Wetlands are able to cleanse the run-off water of nitrate and phosphate nutrients, remove significant amounts of suspended solids and organic matter, and help remove heavy metals, trace elements, pesticides and pathogens by chemical, physical and biological processes. The wetlands water, once cleansed, can be returned to the golf course via the irrigation system. Results of this study (Reicher, Z.J., et al., 2005) using a 10ha wetland cell, indicate that over a 5 year period, the wetland efficiently removed an estimated 97% of nitrate/nitrite N plus ammonia N, and also removed 74% of P nutrient from storm events. Mass loading removal of dissolved solids was 59%, indicating that the wetlands were effective in removing dissolved solids during storms. However, mass loading removal of suspended solids was 0% for this study. Suspended solids passed through the system, rather than being retained for sufficient time to allow sedimentation. The use of artificial wetlands in golf course design is largely a means of storing and treating stormwater. The main issues to consider are: Sufficient catchment area to supply enough water; Safety of the water with respect to microbiotic contamination, especially aerosols that may affect staff and golfers (NRMMC,EPHC,AHMC, 2006); Design of the storage so that they look good but hold sufficient water to be effective; and Risk associated with people falling in mostly an issue when golf courses have open public access with minimal fencing (refer recommendations section). Various references are available to assist managers with aspects of managing wetlands on golf courses (Kenna, P .K. & M.P , Kenna, 1994; Libby, G., et al., 2004). There are many examples of the successful use of wetlands on golf courses as a means of collecting and treating stormwater, but also as an attractive natural hazard for golf play, and an area for increasing biodiversity within the golf course environment (eg: Bacon, P ., 2004; 2005a; 2005b; 2008). Wetlands offer considerable potential for increasing bird biodiversity on golf courses. In the south-western USA, the greatest diversity of breeding birds is normally found in riparian habitats (areas surrounding rivers or lakes). It is estimated that the bird diversity in riparian zones surpasses that of all other western lands combined (MerolaZwartjes, M. & J.P . Delong, 2005).
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This scenario is similar to Australias inland rivers and swamps, such as within the Murray-Darling Basin, where riparian zones act as an oasis for migratory and resident birds (Kingsford, R.T., 2006 (Ed.), Briggs, S., 1990). Golf courses can simulate these environments as part of their design, by providing a combination of habitat characteristics that are reminiscent of the riparian systems used by birds. The conservation value of golf course habitats has to be carefully planned, however, to exclude the more evasive or pest species of birds (such as the Sacred Ibis in South-Eastern Australia, which can quickly ruin a putting green) by increasing the complex vertical structure and diversity of plant species composition in the out-ofplay areas of the course, and in particular, by increasing the extent and usage of native plants (Merola-Zwartjes, M. & J.P . Delong, 2005). Wetlands also offer potential for increasing amphibian biodiversity on golf courses (Semlitsch R.D., et al., 2007). Amphibians are known to use man-made ponds, such as water hazards, sediment retention basins, or farm ponds. Golf course ponds can be managed in such a way as to promote amphibian abundance and diversity. Some key factors need to be considered, firstly, eliminating fish from ponds is a critical step as ponds without fish allow for greater amphibian abundance. The presence of fish eliminates most amphibian species through predation on eggs, larvae and juveniles, and through competition for food resources. Additionally, fish also can carry diseases that are associated with amphibian mortality, especially stock fish obtained from hatcheries. Man-made ponds are frequently stocked with fish to control mosquitoes or algae; however, amphibians can serve the same role in the aquatic environment. While common sense suggests that permanent ponds would be better for amphibians, the greatest amphibian diversity is actually associated with ponds that dry for a short part of the year. Pond drying increases amphibian diversity by eliminating fish and insect predators, as well as other large competitors. Finally, it is necessary to minimise the potential for frog ponds to be exposed to contaminants by increasing no-spray zones or vegetative buffers, which help by filtering contaminants from reaching the aquatic environment (Semlitsch R.D., et al., 2007). Golf courses provide one of the best opportunities for the clean-up of surface water run off from urban streets and hardscape areas, and there are numerous studies to show the effectiveness of cleaning water supplies by passing them through golf courses (Beehag, G.W., 1996; Scaife, D., 1996). Many of the studies of the benefits of turf as a whole, such as pesticide entrapment and water purification, have been carried out on golf course facilities. When the potential movement of water and dissolved nutrients from a golf course to surrounding areas is a concern, grass buffers, bio-swales, wet cells, and constructed wetlands can be useful tools in maintaining water quality. Increasing the residence time of the soil solution on the golf course is critical and can allow the grass root system, as well as other soil organisms, to effectively filter nutrients from the water before it leaves the golf course site (Miltner E., 2007). CARBON SEQUESTRATION Australian soils are generally, on World standards, very low in carbon. The usual range for organic carbon content in Australian soils is between 1 and 5% (CSIRO, 1983). Some unusual and rare soils, such as Alpine Humus soils, can accumulate up to 12% but most Australian soils are exposed to high temperatures and dry conditions which limit carbon accumulation. The effects of living organisms on soil organic matter and carbon are substantial. Of these, vegetation is the primary source of soil organic matter and thus the major influencing factor on the amount present. Grasses in general, and particularly turfgrasses, develop a dense root mass and an organic thatch layer that is ideal for storage of carbon in soils. The extensive fibrous root system of turfgrasses contributes substantially to soil restoration and improvement through organic matter and carbon additions (Beard, 1993). When people think carbon they usually think trees, but in reality 82% of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere is in the soil (Jones C., 2007). Healthy grasslands may contain over 100 times more carbon in the soil than on it, making a well managed perennial grass ley the quickest and most effective way to restore degraded land (Jones C., 2007).

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As stated above, grasses develop a dense root mass and an organic thatch layer that are both ideal for aiding the storage of carbon in soils. A study of historic soil testing records in the USA at Fort Collins, Colorado, (Y. Qian & R.F. Follett, 2002) estimates that golf course greens and fairways alone can sequester carbon (C) at average rates approaching 0.9 and 1 tonne per hectare per year, respectively. They concluded that C sequestration in turf soils occurs at a significant rate that is comparable to that reported for USA land that has been placed in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Conservation Reserve Program (Follett, R et al., 2001). The above researchers at Fort Collins report on historic data that indicates a strong pattern of soil organic matter response to decades of turfgrass culture. Total C sequestration continued for up to about 31 years in fairways and 45 years in putting greens. The most rapid increase occurred during the first 25 to 30 years after turfgrass establishment. A further paper by the same research team (Bandaranayake et. al., 2003) using CENTURY model simulations near Denver and Fort Collins indicate that turfgrass systems can serve as a C sink following establishment. Model estimates are that 23 to 32 Mg/ha (tonnes/ha) soil organic carbon were sequestered in the 0 to 20cm below the soil surface after about 30 years. These results compare very favourably with those estimated above from soil testing records (Qian & Follett, 2002). They conclude that this research indicates that turfgrass systems serve as a sink for atmospheric C for approximately 30 to 40 years after establishment at approximately 0.9 to 1.2 Mg/ha/yr (see Figure 1 below).

Figure 1 CENTURY-simulated soil organic carbon before and after establishment of fairway turfgrass in Fort Collins and Denver in three different soils (Bandaranayake, W0. et al., 2003). By extrapolating from published data on root dry matter under turfgrass swards, it is possible to obtain another estimate of the role that turf plays in carbon storage within soils (Boeker, 1974; Boeker & Von Boberfeld, 1974). These authors report root dry matter from 0 to 20cms under various turfgrass swards grown in the Rhine Valley, Germany. The results indicate that up to 11% of a cubic metre of topsoil can be comprised of organic matter derived from root material. This represents a very substantial addition of carbon to the soil, approximately 4.5% by weight in the top 20cm. Results are summarised in Table 1 below: Table 1: Results from Boeker & Von Boberfeld (1974)* Soil depth Root Dry Matter Organic Matter Organic Matter Organic Carbon Cm. Gm/1000 sq.cm. % by volume % by weight % by weight 0-5 110 11 7.81 4.45 5-10 3.5 0.35 0.25 0.14 10-15 2.0 0.2 0.14 0.08 15-20 1.0 0.1 0.07 0.04 *Assumes a soil bulk density of 1.4 gm/cubic cm, and an average C content in organic matter of 57% (Hazelton & Murphy, 1992). As these results were collected at two or three sampling dates, it is possible to estimate the rate of carbon sequestration. Averaging all of the Rhine Valley data in Table 1 provides a carbon sequestration rate of about 2.2 tonnes/ha/year. This is about twice the rate reported by Qian & Follett (2002) in Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado. There is considerable variation in the Rhine Valley data which appears to be very much species related. Results are compared in Table 2 below:

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The above data indicate that turfgrass is able to sequester carbon at about 1-3 tonnes/ha/yr. This agrees with a tropical study undertaken in the eastern plains of Columbia, which are treeless plains of the Orinoco Basin, where introduced pastures have been estimated to accumulate about 3 tonnes of carbon/ha/yr (Fisher, M.J. & Thomas R.J., 2004). A study in the USA, reported in the International Turfgrass Society Newsletter ( Novak, J., 2006), states that there are an estimated 40 million acres (i.e. 16.2 million hectares) of tended lawns in the USA, making turfgrass one of their largest crops and one that has a significant and positive impact on their economy, health and environment. It adds that lush lawns are a sink for carbon dioxide, pulling in greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere as they grow. It is estimated that 2% of the US land surface covered by lawns could account for about 5% of the carbon dioxide absorbed by all plants. Table 2: Estimates of Carbon Sequestration Rates by Various Authors. Authors Results reported Organic Matter Tonnes/ha/yr Qian & Follett. Soil test results Century Model 1.6 2.1 Bandaranayake et al Boeker & Von Boberfeld Poa/Festuca 3.2 Boeker, 1974 Agrostis/Table 1 0.7 Boeker, 1974 Festuca/ Table 3 4.6 Boeker, 1974 Lolium/Phleum/Poa/ Table 5 3.8 Boeker, 1974 Festuca/Table 7 5.4 Boeker, 1974 Festuca/ Table 8 6.5 Boeker, 1974 Lolium/ Table 9 2.4

Carbon Tonnes/ha/yr 0.9 1.2 1.8 0.4 2.6 2.2 3.1 3.7 1.4

In another estimate from the USA (Kent, S. et al., 2007), urban turf is estimated to cover 20 million hectares. Using Qian & Folletts (2002) estimate of carbon being sequestered under turf at about 1 tonne/hectare/year, US urban turf would be responsible for carbon storage of about 20 million tonnes/year. This figure compares favourably with a gross carbon sequestration rate of 22.8 million tonnes/year by urban trees in the USA (Nowak, D.J. & Crane, D.E., 2002). Another study of carbon storage and flux in urban residential greenspace (Jo & McPherson, 1995) reports much lower rates of carbon sequestration than those reported above. Total net annual carbon inputs from grass and other herbaceous plants were estimated to be between 0.2 and 0.3 tonnes/hectare/year, whereas trees and shrubs contributed between 5 and 8 tonnes/hectare/year. This study, conducted in north-west Chicago, indicates that great variations in carbon sequestration rates are to be expected due to variations in temperature and other climatic conditions. The value of large green spaces as carbon sinks with their combination of trees and turf cannot be underestimated in an urban environment. Many golf courses in Australia have in recent years become very much aware of their critical role as natural sanctuaries for wildlife in the urban environment (Australian Golf Union, 1998). Many clubs have been accredited through the world-wide Audubon Society Wildlife Sanctuary Accreditation Scheme, and more are in the process of gaining accreditation. Their role, however, in carbon sequestration is another positive environmental image that has not yet been exploited by the industry. There are a large number of golf courses within Australia of reasonable age with known dates of construction, and enough differences in soil type, to provide the basis of some very accurate data collection on turfgrass capture of carbon and on soil accumulation of carbon. There is the potential for some excellent short and long-term studies in this particular area (refer recommendations section). Accurate quantification of data on the role that golf courses play in carbon sequestration is in short supply.

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CARBON FOOT PRINT OF GOLF COURSES Jo & McPherson (1995) make a very important observation, namely that although urban greenspace helps reduce atmospheric carbon, it also contributes to carbon emissions through the consumption of energy by landscape management activities, such as mowing, pruning, irrigation and fertilisation. These activities can generate carbon either directly or indirectly. Direct release occurs, for example, when petroleum is used to mow grass or electricity is used to pump water. Indirect release occurs when the material or equipment used for maintenance requires energy in its manufacture or installation (such as fertilisers). The above study (Jo & McPherson, 1995) estimates that the annual carbon generation from using petroleum as the power source for mowing is about 0.15 tonnes/hectare/year (14.58 g/sq m/year), which is equivalent to 60% of the amount estimated to have been sequestered. The loss of carbon to the atmosphere via mowing is therefore a substantial component and combined with carbon release from irrigation pumps and pruning activities, nullifies the carbon storage capacity of grasses and herbaceous plants in urban green space. They conclude that the estimation of landscape carbon inputs and outputs for the study area indicated that soils and woody plants were carbon sinks, while grass was a net carbon source because of maintenance requirements, particularly mowing. There is great variability in the available data on whether turfgrass is a sink for carbon, or whether its maintenance nullifies the sink effect. Milesi, C. et al. (2005) report that the cost in carbon emissions due to fertilisation and operation of mowing equipment ranges from 15 to 35% of the sequestration. They state that for turfgrass, the gross soil carbon sequestration potential has to be discounted by the carbon emissions involved. At least two of the sources of emissions can be quantified in their model, namely emissions associated with N fertilisation (10% of the C sequestration potential), and emissions deriving from the operation of lawn mowers (between 5 and 25% depending upon management scenarios). Further reductions in the C sequestration potential that cannot be accounted for in their model are connected with irrigation practices, especially where pumping is involved, and with the disposal of lawn clippings in landfills (Milesi, C. et al., 2005). Another study, commissioned by the lawn mower industry sector (Outdoor Power Equipment Institute Inc. or OPEI), indicates that responsibly-managed lawns can reduce the carbon footprint from turfgrass (Sahu, R., 2008). This study states that perennial managed grassland systems, such as turfgrass with minimal disturbance (i.e. residential lawns, golf courses, parks, etc.) sequester the greatest amounts of carbon because their roots are able to grow deeper and access more carbon ( Sahu, sic.). It also states that, for an average managed lawn, turfgrass captures four times the amount of carbon from the air than the carbon output of a typical mower; and that for a well-managed lawn, turfgrass captures five to seven times the amount of carbon than the carbon output of mowing. These figures are substantially different than those of Jo & McPherson (1995) and Milesi et al. (2005) quoted above. Little data has been presented in the paper (Sahu, R., 2008) to support such claims, although the author makes the very good point that the largest amount of carbon intake occurs with the recycling of nitrogen contained in grass clippings. He advocates that grass clippings should be left on the ground to break down and recycle, and also advocates responsible watering as part of good lawn management. In other words, his proposed model for good lawn management minimises carbon loss from irrigation systems (not estimated above) and from emissions associated with N fertilisation (estimated at 10% by Milesi et al., 2005). The author concludes that the carbon sequestration of turfgrasses can be maximised by measures such as, cutting regularly and at the appropriate height, feeding with nutrients left by grass clippings, watering in a responsible way, and not disturbing grass at the root zone. This conclusion appears to be justifiable from available evidence but may not suit the management regimes of many turfgrass professionals. The utilisation of mulching mowers may well fit with this management scenario, but this needs more research to validate it. Turf can and should be playing a more positive role in the global warming debate. Most climate-change scientists now believe that global warming caused by human activities has already begun and 90% believe that countries should take immediate steps to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Turfgrass requires carbon dioxide to survive, and as it removes it from the atmosphere, it replaces it with oxygen as a result of the photosynthetic process. Grass is such an efficient carbon dioxide/oxygen converter that an area of just 15 square metres can generate enough oxygen to meet the needs of a family of four (Journal of Environmental Turfgrass 4:1, 1992).
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An article published in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH, 2008c) states that the enormity of the climate change problem means that anything good for the environment is welcome news. The huge tracts of land occupied by gardens, including turfgrasses, throughout Australia has a positive environmental effect because they store carbon. Because gardens act as carbon sinks, their numbers should be increasing rather than decreasing. Governments serious about alleviating the effects of climate change should be subsidising gardeners so they can maintain their lawns and garden beds. It further states that, New homeowners should be encouraged to create gardens rather than cover their backyards with paving tiles. Even lawns consume carbon dioxide. While homeowners are encouraged by some to remove lawns and replace them with paving because lawns consume water, it should be remembered that masonry prevents the exchange between living matter and the soil. Carbon sequestration cannot occur without a gaseous exchange between the atmosphere, living plants and the soil environment. Gardeners are being penalised with water use restrictions when in fact they are a very important consumer of carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, current carbon accounting schemes, such as the Kyoto Protocol, measure only livestock methane emissions and tree clearing and do not take into account carbon accumulation on the properties producing those emissions (MLA, 2008a). As a consequence, the amount of carbon being stored in grass, woodland or soil is not being fully accounted for. This may soon change as the Australian Government is expected to announce a new emissions trading scheme (MLA, 2008c). A new proposal for funding by MLA (2008a) aims to establish a propertyscale carbon budget that will allow landholders to estimate the carbon accumulation in vegetation and soil. This budget, when released, will also be useful for turfgrass producers, golf clubs, gardeners, and other large turf areas such as sporting fields. SEDIMENT, NUTRIENT AND PESTICIDE MOVEMENT ASSOCIATED WITH GOLF COURSES A dense, vigorous sward of turf (often as a monoculture) is the key goal of turfgrass systems used in sport. To achieve this is an extremely challenging task for turf managers, requiring the use of pesticides, fertilisers, and water to provide aesthetic, safe, and performance-acceptable venues. To provide modern playing conditions, certain management practices such as mowing have been intensified to achieve the desired condition. For example, modern golf course greens are mowed at a height of 2-3 mm and are designed to receive 50% of the play even though the total green area makes up less than 3% of the total playing area of a golf course. Even under intensive management, the goal of sports turf management is becoming more sustainable as turfgrass scientists and managers have identified management systems that are more efficient and requiring less inputs (Cisar, J.L., 2004). Although there can be potential environmental risks associated with turfgrass management, the overall benefits of turfgrass should not be underestimated. Healthy turfgrass provides considerable benefit to land surfaces in urban environments by providing resistance to insect and weed infestation (Beard, J.B., 1982). Its dense root system also enables an efficient use of applied nutrients and water, which in turn limits the need for unnecessary irrigation, fertiliser and pesticide applications (Beard, J.B., 1989b). Furthermore, it has a major influence in minimising diffuse pollution by sediments, pesticides and nutrients in surface waters (Petrovic & Easton, 2005). Research on various land use types compared with turfgrass indicates that sediment and nutrient losses from urban and turfgrass systems is considerably less than losses from agricultural and forest systems (see Table 3, adapted from Koehler et al., 1982). The same can be said for golf courses. Golf courses provide a large area of greenspace within a community that can be shown to have many environmental benefits. Table 3: Estimated Annual Contributions to Surface Waters from Selected Non-point or Diffuse Sources (after Koehler et al., 1982) Average load in million tons per year. Source Sediment Nitrogen (N) Phosphorus (P) Cropland 1870 4.3 1.56 Pasture and Rangeland 1220 2.5 1.08 Forest 256 0.4 0.09 Urban, including Turfgrass 20 0.2 0.02

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An Australian study looked at irrigation and fertiliser regimes on nitrogen (N) leaching from couch grass sod (Cynodon dactylon) in sandy soils of Western Australia (Barton, Wan & Colmer, 2006a & 2006b). This study concluded that N leaching from couch grass production on sandy soils will be low if irrigation regimes supply sufficient water for turfgrass growth without causing excess water to move beyond the rooting zone. Under well-managed irrigation regimes (i.e. 70% replacement of pan evaporation), they expect N leaching to be low for all fertiliser types as long as N is applied at a rate and frequency that matches turfgrass requirements. The risk of N leaching is greatest during the establishment of turfgrass, especially if this coincides with high rainfall. Higher irrigation rates (i.e. 140% replacement of pan evaporation) can be detrimental by enabling N leaching, and by decreasing root growth of the couch grass sod by up to 30%. Although there is an obvious direct relevance of this research to the Western Australian turfgrass industry, the study has considerable relevance to a large part of the Australian turf industry because of the importance of couch grass within the Australian context. This is particularly so within urban areas, such as sports fields, bowling greens, and golf greens where a similar sand-based growth medium to that of the standard USGA green (see Snyder & Cisar, 1997) is utilised. These sand-based growth media would be expected to perform similarly to Western Australias natural sandy soils. Cisar (2004) also reports on techniques being used within the USA to reduce nutrient leaching from sand-based soils. For modern sports play, turfgrass is often grown on coarse-textured soils such as sands that require routine application of nutrients from fertilisers, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus. Strategies used to reduce N and P leaching include regulations that limit the amounts of N and P applied, management systems that minimise offsite losses, and the use of slow or controlled release fertilisers. Other techniques used include applying lower rates of fertiliser frequently through the irrigation system (fertigation) and/or adjusting irrigation rates to replace only the amount of water used in evapotranspiration (ET) (Cisar, J.L., 2004). Surface run-off is important in transporting both dissolved chemicals and suspended sediment from turfgrass systems to surface waters. Although the volume of surface runoff and sediment loss from turfgrass systems is relatively low compared to other management systems (see Table 4 adapted from Gross C.M. et al., 1990), the volume of runoff from bare soil on turfgrass construction sites is considerably higher (19.2 vs. <1 tonnes/ha per year of sediment) (Daniel T.C. et al., 1979). Table 4: Average Annual Sediment Losses from Selected soils and slopes under Different Management Conditions (after Gross, C.M. et al., 1990) Annual Sediment Loss in tons per acre. Soil Texture/ % Slope Fallow Cropping Rotation Turfgrass Loam/4 41.6 19.7 2.7 0.3 Silt Loam/8 112.8 85.5 11.4 0.3 Silt Loam/16 151.9 84.1 25.3 <0.1 Fine Sandy Loam/8 20.3 28.1 5.5 <0.1 Sandy Clay Loam/10 64.7 25.8 10.8 <0.1 These results clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of turfgrass in minimising sediment movement from catchments to adjacent waterways. As nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus and other contaminants such as pesticides are transported primarily in eroded sediment (see Higginson & McMaugh, 2007), then turfgrass is highly effective in minimising their movement as well. A study in the USA looked at nutrient and pesticide losses from a small hillside seeded to turfgrass (Easton, Z.M. et al., 2005). The aim was to examine the relationship between runoff, hill slope hydraulics, and turfgrass growth. The research was conducted on a 6 to 8% hill slope on a sandy loam soil seeded to 80% kentucky bluegrass and 20% perennial ryegrass. The results indicate that it is imperative to assess site suitability prior to applying nutrients and pesticides. Certain areas simply pose a higher risk to ground and surface water contamination. In this study, upper slope areas produced less runoff and subsequently lower mass losses of nutrients and pesticides, when compared with lower slope areas which generally produced greater runoff and as a result greater mass losses of applied compounds. This was due to the compounding effects of lower soil infiltration and hydraulic conductivity on the lower slopes due to a finer textured soil, and a higher average soil moisture content. The higher overall water content at the bottom of the slope, due to runoff contributed from the upper slope areas, decreased infiltration rates and therefore increased runoff and leachate levels. Overall in this study pesticide losses were low. No compound had more than 0.5% of the applied amount lost in runoff. Nitrate and ammonium concentrations in the runoff were also low but at levels that could possibly pose a threat to aquatic organisms in some circumstances. Phosphate levels in runoff were lower than contaminant levels set by the EPA.

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The above study clearly demonstrates that it is best to avoid nutrient and pesticide applications in areas close to water bodies and/or at the bottom of slopes having a long expanse of upslope area to contribute to the overall runoff volume. In 1990, the United States Golf Association (USGA, 1994) began funding an environmental research program to quantify and document the impact of turfgrass management on the environment. The major objective was to understand and quantify the degradation and fate of turfgrass pesticides and fertilisers so as to be able to accurately predict or simulate their environmental impacts. Research programs were established at 12 universities within the USA. The results of this massive research program were published (Clark & Kenna (Eds.), 2000) by the American Chemical Society in 2000. This publication is a key reference for readers interested in the degradation and environmental fate of turfgrass chemicals and in the development of alternative pest control strategies using biological and biotechnical approaches. Among the topics of the 26 papers are: Turfgrass benefits and the golf environment (see Beard, J.B., 2000); Groundwater contamination potential of pesticides and fertilisers used on golf courses (see Branham, B.E. et al., 2000); Potential movement of nutrients and pesticides following application to golf courses (see Shuman, L.M. et al., 2000); Surface runoff of selected pesticides applied to turfgrasses (see Watschke, T.L. 1990 ; Watschke, T.L. et al., 2000); Mobility and persistence of pesticides applied to a USGA green (see Snyder, G.H. & Cisar, G.L. 1997 ; Cisar & Snyder, 2000); Environmental fates of fungicides in the turfgrass environment (Sigler, W.V. et al., 2000); The effect of salinity on nitrate leaching (see Bowman, D.A. et al., 2000); Best management practices to reduce pesticide and nutrient runoff from turf (Baird, J.H. et al., 2000); and Microbial strategies for the control of turfgrass diseases (Nelson & Craft, 2000). Results from the above study (USGA, 1994) reported for fertilisers suggest a very strong trend exists between the rate of nitrogen application and leaching losses of nitrogen as nitrate (see Figure 2). The relationship between soil type and subsurface loss of nitrogen agrees closely with previous research conducted on both turf and agricultural systems (see Figure 3). Regardless of the turf cover used, runoff concentrations of applied nitrogen did not appear to be different for different species of turfgrass. Results reported are consistent with those of other researchers, namely that runoff decreases with an increasing amount of soil vegetative cover. Turfgrass, due to its dense surface vegetative cover, not only attenuates surface losses of water but reduces the potential for surface and subsurface losses of nitrogen as well because of its dense surface layer and its underlying dense thatch layer. Phosphate concentrations in leachate never exceeded the irrigation water content of 1 to 2.5 mg/L. This is not surprising given the high affinity of phosphate for soil particle surfaces, which effectively decreases leaching potential (USGA, 1994). Loss of phosphate in both agricultural and turfgrass systems usually occurs through sediment loss and transport during construction or turf establishment (Higginson & McMaugh, 2007; USGA, 2001).

Figure 2: Effect of nitrogen application rate on subsurface nitrogen loss (USGA, 1994)

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Figure 3: Effect of soil type on subsurface nitrogen loss. Percentage nitrogen loss is averaged over studies reporting results for the various soil types. The range of values reported is represented with the I bar. (USGA, 1994) Periodic nutrient applications are an integral and essential part of establishing and maintaining high-quality turf on golf courses. However, these applications increase the potential for nutrients to be transported off-site in surface runoff or through subsurface drainage features. Runoff and nutrient loss research from turf has generally been conducted in small scale field studies and, to a lesser extent, in watershed studies. The general conclusions of the small scale studies indicate that with well maintained turf, the amount of runoff is small, and the concentrations of nutrients in the surface runoff are often below levels of major concern. However, while studies on a small scale are valuable, they may not represent the diversity and connectivity associated with a watershed-scale study (King K.W. & J.C. Balogh, 2006). Two such watershed-scale studies are summarised below. Generally, results from watershed-scale golf course assessments are consistent with those reported from small plot-scale studies. Nutrient loading, however, is often greater from watershed-scale systems than from plot-scale studies. The first of the two studies reported below (Miltner, E., 2007) has results consistent with plot-scale studies, whereas the second study (Starrett, S., et al., 2009) shows a greater than expected nutrient loading. A US study (Miltner, E., 2007) conducted in Washington State measured nitrate N and soluble P in soil solution at 36 sites strategically located around a golf course. The results indicate that even in fertilised fairways, soil solution concentrations of N and P were usually below water quality thresholds. Grasses proved to be extremely efficient in scavenging nutrients from the soil due to their dense, fibrous root systems. As soil solution moved down-slope through the monitored areas, concentrations remained low. In the few cases where nutrient concentrations increased in buffers and wet cells, there was no evidence that these higher concentration waters continued to move downslope or percolated deeper into the soil profile. This indicates that as the soil solution moved through these areas, where the rate of flow was lower due to gentler slopes, nutrients were likely to be removed from the water through uptake by plants or soil micro-organisms, or immobilized by other soil processes (such as absorption onto clay or other particles). Nutrient concentrations in native wetlands and lakes on the course were not impacted by the golf courses fertiliser maintenance practices. When the potential movement of water and dissolved nutrients from a golf course to surrounding areas is a concern, grass buffers, bioswales, wet cells, and constructed wetlands can be useful tools in maintaining water quality. Increasing the residence time of the soil solution on the golf course is critical and can allow the grass root system, as well as other soil organisms, to effectively filter nutrients from the water before it leaves the golf course site (Miltner E., 2007). A more recent study (Starrett, S., et al., 2009) investigated nutrient loading via surface water run-off from a new golf course in Kansas, USA, and compared this to the sites previous native prairie condition. The purpose of the study was to investigate the new golf courses impact on surface water quality during the construction phase and during golf course operations. The study began in 1998 and monitoring continued for nine years afterwards. Data analysis showed that the golf course construction phase had the greatest impacts on surface water quality, with average
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concentrations of 3.94 mg/L, 0.93 mg/L, and 2,955 mg/L for total N, total P , and sediment (TSS), respectively. This compared with 1.18 mg/L, 0.39 mg/L, and 477 mg/L for the pre-construction period. During operation of the golf course, sediment concentration was lowered significantly to an average of 550 mg/L, slightly higher than that of the native prairie condition. The average concentrations of total N and total P were 2.02 mg/L and 0.49 mg/L, respectively, much lower than those during the construction phase, but still 70% and 25% higher than those in the native prairie condition. Sources of nutrients in streams under native prairie condition and during construction are thought to be from the input of rainfall and sediment eroded from fertile topsoils. During golf course operation, fertiliser application is considered to be another source of nutrients in streams in addition to those mentioned above. Further analysis has shown that there are direct connections between fertiliser application and concentrations of total N and total P in streams. There are cases that clearly indicate that the amount and timing of the fertiliser application are to be blamed. For example, when a large amount of fertiliser is applied over a large area and a significant rainfall event occurs shortly after the application (Starrett, S., et al., 2009). Another major study (Snyder, G.H. & Cisar, G.L. 1997) looked at the mobility and persistence of turfgrass pesticides applied to a United States Golf Association (USGA) - type green. Because water percolation can be much more appreciable in a coarse-textured, man-made rooting media, leaching of pesticides from a USGA green is an obvious area for investigation. In the above study, two commonly used herbicides were investigated, namely Dicamba and 2,4-D. The results indicate that, although only 10% as much Dicamba as 2,4-D was applied, nearly 65% as much Dicamba was recovered in the percolate water over a 2-month period following application. Clearly, Dicamba was much more mobile than 2,4-D in the USGA green. Nevertheless, the average concentration of both herbicides in the percolate was well below maximum contaminant levels set by USA authorities (2.6 and 1.2 g/L compared to 70 g/L). Clearly, herbicide leaching from turfgrass grown on an ideal drainage media (such as that of a standard USGA green) indicates that herbicide leaching under normal turfgrass circumstances is not likely to be a major environmental problem. Golf course construction managing the environmental impacts The management of turfgrass systems in urban areas, including golf courses, generally require: Exposure of bare soil surfaces; Exposure of areas with disturbed soil structure; Vegetation planting, upkeep and maintenance; Irrigation; Pest management, and Fertilisation. These practices can intensify potentially adverse environmental effects, such as soil erosion, sediment and run-off water movement, losses of applied chemicals and nutrients, contamination of groundwater, leaching of pesticides and fertilisers, disturbance of adjacent ecosystems, and impacts on non-target plants and animals (Balogh, J.C. & Walker, J.W., 1992; Robbins & Sharp, 2003). As well, a recent review of the optimal use of turf in minimising soil erosion on construction sites (Higginson and McMaugh, 2007) has covered this area in specific detail. The golf course industry has responded to the above issues in a very positive way. Environmental management programs for golf courses have become common practice in recent years (eg: Stubbs, D., 1995 & 1996; Australian Golf Union, 1998). Golf course construction rejuvenation of degraded sites There is very little literature available regarding the use of golf courses to rejuvenate degraded sites. There are a number of very successful examples in Australia where this has occurred, particularly using old land-fill and quarry sites. Such holes in the ground created by old quarries can be effectively utilised for water storage and/or for the creation of spectacular golf holes, such as at Joondalup in Western Australia. Sutherland Shire Council in Sydney has successfully used a golf course to help rejuvenate a tip site at Menai. Terry

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Hills Golf and Country Club is another such example. Kooindah Waters at Wyong in NSW is a good example of creating wetlands on a degraded tip site and incorporating this into the natural wetlands and swamp in a responsible way to develop a housing estate and a golf course. West Lakes in Adelaide is another such example. The authors believe that this particular area has enormous potential for golf course design and construction, and provides an avenue to convert unsightly degraded lands into areas of useful and aesthetic value. The concept, however, lacks a clear set of design principles and lacks an authoritative historical survey of the efficacy and benefits achieved by designs to date. This is identified as an area requiring further research by the AGCSA in conjunction with AGIC (refer recommendations section). AESTHETIC, SOCIAL AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF TURFGRASS A recent consumer survey (Turf Producers Australia, 2007) has revealed that 72% of consumers considered it important to have a lawn/grassed area in their home and only 14% did not consider it to be important. The same survey revealed that 74% of consumers considered it important to have a lawn/grassed area in community areas, such as local parks and gardens, and only 8% did not consider it to be important. The benefits of local parks and gardens for passive recreation are immense, commonly being used to walk the dog, have family picnics, kick a ball with ones mates, or simply just to relax, go for a walk and enjoy the scenery. Golf courses and natural parklands provide the largest areas of open green space in most towns and cities. This is especially so in Australia where the availability of land has been relatively plentiful. These large open vistas provide social and health benefits not only to those who participate in the sport but also to those who live adjacent to these facilities and can enjoy their benefits in a passive way. There have been no specific studies of the health benefits directly attributable to playing golf, and this deserves a scientific investigation. As well, the detailed importance and value of golf courses in environmental protection and human well-being has not been evaluated in a thorough manner, and is certainly worthy of a much more intensive study. Health and wellbeing: Parks and nature are currently undervalued as a means of improving and maintaining health. Although most people are aware of the health benefits of sport and recreation, the range of other health and wellbeing benefits arising from contact with parks and nature are not as well known (Maller, C., et al., 2008). Contact with the natural world (through active interaction or even passive contemplation) has the ability to affect human health and wellbeing in countless positive ways. As evidence presented below clearly demonstrates, there are immediate and long-term favourable, emotional and physiological changes proceeding from contact with nature through animals, gardens, natural landscapes, and wilderness (Maller, C., et al., 2008). The implications of this research to the golf industry has not been specifically targetted but golf, as a leisure and sport, must play a major role in health and wellbeing of its participants. To our knowledge, there have been no specific studies of health and wellbeing derived from playing golf, and this is an area that should be targetted for research by the Australian Golf Industry Council (refer recommendations section). The Parks Forum (the peak body for park management agencies within Australia and New Zealand) has established a National Coordination Group for a Healthy parks, healthy people message (Maller, C., et al., 2008). The significance of this message is to communicate the many health and wellbeing benefits available from humans interacting with nature in park settings, and the implications of this for public health in general. For this Forum and its member agencies to be able to increase their understanding of the Healthy parks, healthy people message, and for them to be able to communicate it to governments and the community at large, it is essential that up-to-date information about the importance of parks and nature for human health and wellbeing be available. To enable this, a joint initiative between Parks Victoria and the NiCHE (Nature in Community Health and Environment) Research Group at Deakin University has revised and updated an earlier literature review (Maller, C., et al., 2002) to provide key information about the Healthy parks, healthy people message. (Maller, C., et al., 2008). This review (Maller, C., et al., 2008) cites Federal Government claims that the World Bank and the World Health Organisation predict that cardiovascular disease and poor mental health are likely to be the two biggest contributors to human disease by the year 2020 (Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 1999). Evidence cited in the review shows that parks and nature can be a significant contributor to reducing premature death and disease in these two fields. Promising evidence is also emerging that
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positive influences from park environments, and associated flora and fauna, enhance human wellbeing in relation to other health issues. The authors conclude that parks are one of our most vital health influences, and suggest that both the health and parks/environment sectors need to act more proactively in collaboration to enrich the role that parks play in improving and sustaining the nations health. In terms of health and quality of life, parks have been viewed mostly as venues for leisure and sport. Yet recent research shows that green nature, such as parks, can reduce crime, foster psychological wellbeing, reduce stress, boost immunity, enhance productivity and promote healing (Maller, C. et al., 2002). According to Maller et al. (2002; 2008), parks are a fundamental health resource, particularly in terms of disease prevention. The initial evidence documenting the positive effects of green nature on blood pressure, cholesterol, outlook on life and stress-reduction is sufficient to warrant its incorporation into strategies for the Australian National Health Priority Areas of Mental Health and Cardiovascular Disease. Maller and fellow researchers at Deakin University (Maller et al., 2002; Maller et al., 2006; SMH, 2008g) conclude that, There is a clear message for park managers to join public health fora, as not only do parks protect the essential systems of life and biodiversity, but they also are a fundamental setting for health promotion and the creation of wellbeing that to date has not been recognised. The extent to which turfgrass in parks contributes to these areas awaits specific investigation, although it can be reasonably implied that turfgrass, as an integral component of the park landscape, must play a major role in these health benefits. As well as the above Australian research, there are many examples of similar findings amongst overseas research. A United Kingdom study (Pretty, J. et al., 2007) concludes that regular contact with nature and green space enhances mental health and positively influences psychological wellbeing. The study also indicates that participating in regular physical activity generates many physical and psychological health benefits. They state that levels of physical activity have dramatically declined over recent decades and consequently health has suffered, such as obesity, coronary heart disease and type II diabetes. Therefore, the authors have hypothesised that there may be a synergistic benefit in adopting physical activities whilst at the same time being directly exposed to nature. They have called this green exercise (Pretty, J., et al. 2005). It is generally recognised that greenery filled public areas provide a comfortable and pleasant living environment for urban residents. A Japanese study (Takano et al., 2002) concluded that living in areas with walkable green spaces positively influenced the longevity of urban senior citizens. Walkable green spaces are defined in this study as greenery filled public areas that are nearby and easy to walk in, such as parks and tree-lined streets. The authors analysed the survival of 3144 senior citizens in Tokyo and concluded that, after controlling the effects of the citizens age, sex, marital status, and socio-economic status, the factor of walkable green spaces near their residence showed significant predictive value for the survival of urban senior citizens over the following five years (p<0.01). There must be some concern that changing demographics in some cities are seeing smaller inner city golf facilities being surrendered to urban development. The loss of large areas of green space in these situations needs careful review in terms of the social health benefits for these areas. Public aesthetic preferences: A different perspective of parks and green spaces is their aesthetic value rather than their health or wellbeing value. In this perspective, a recent Australian study looked at public aesthetic preferences in urban parks and the efficient use of water (Bitar, H., 2004). This study employed landscape visual assessment methods, web-based surveys and verbal rating scale techniques to measure public perceptions and preferences for various park environments. This study identified three dimensions underlying participants judgements of park landscapes, namely: Vegetation type (i.e., native/indigenous versus exotic) and degree of perceived naturalness, Vegetation density and spatial organisation, and Presence of water. Two predominant sub-groups within the public were identified, namely those preferring densely forested, natural looking landscapes that are dominated by native/indigenous vegetation (native lovers), and those preferring more formal, picturesque-style landscapes dominated by lush exotic types of vegetation (Exotic lovers). Turfgrass or lawn plays a prominent role in the second landscape type. Golf courses can and do provide both forms of landscape type. The implications of this research to the Australian Golf industry are that, even though there is an apparent drift
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towards native lovers as compared to exotic lovers in preferences for parks and gardens, the population tested was only small (n=148). Native lovers comprised 45% of the population and exotic lovers 33%. The message to the industry is that there is still a large proportion of the population that prefers European-type gardens comprising rolling lawns and trees, but that this group appears to be declining within the Australian context, particularly when water conservation issues are considered. Furthermore, this study did not include sports fields and parks designed for active forms of recreation, an area where turfgrass is still very much the preferred option when compared to its competitors, such as artificial turf and hard-surface areas (eg: asphalt, etc.). A recent survey (Turf Producers Association, 2007) showed that 60% of the population surveyed considered synthetic turf to be un-Australian, and only 14% disagreed with that view. SUGGESTED AREAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH 1. Various techniques to store and clean runoff water (Section 2.1; p.3) In many cases, urban stormwater or on-site run-off water is often of adequate quality for irrigation, but the problem is that it is always available in large quantities when you do not need it. This means that it must be stored. On-site storage in lakes, ponds, reservoirs or dams is the obvious solution for golf courses as such features can easily be incorporated into the course design. An important point is to design these features in such a way as to ensure that they do not become a source of water quality problems themselves, through eutrophication (high nutrient levels) and consequent algal blooms, or the harbouring of mosquitoes (Cullen, P ., 1996). Two golf clubs in NSW have adopted a natural approach to managing high nutrient levels in their irrigation reservoirs (Harris, K., 2007). They have installed rafted reed bed systems, consisting of buoyancy rafts upon which a coir mat with pre-grown wetland plants is placed. Both clubs used this innovative system because there were very few other options available to them for managing the regular algal outbreaks at their reservoirs. To date, rafted reed beds have proved effective in controlling algal blooms at both sites and provide another tool for treatment of undesirable water quality. This is an area that the authors have selected as suitable for further investigation. 2. Soil solution monitoring (Section 2.1; p.5) In-situ monitoring of soil moisture content has been regularly practised for the past two decades. Soil solution monitoring has made nowhere near the same progress (Falivene, S., 2008). There are three reasons why soil solute monitoring should be considered. Firstly, either through lack of water or the use of as little water as possible, leaching below the root zone has been reduced, enabling salt build-up within the root zone. Secondly, improvements in the application of fertilisers have not been matched by the ability to monitor and interpret nutrient levels in the root zone; and thirdly, increasing interest in using recycled water or effluent of lower quality requires some form of monitoring. Analysing soil solution provides a quick, easy and economical way to measure salt and nutrient levels in the soil throughout the season. Soil solution analysis is also a valuable environmental tool because it can be used to detect excess nutrients moving below the plants root zone. Golf course managers should investigate this tool as part of their environmental management programs (Falivene, S., 2008). This is an area identified as a possible future research program. 3. Managed aquifer recharge (Section 2.1; p.5) Some highly innovative techniques of using recycled water are currently being investigated, such as managed aquifer recharge. Managed aquifer recharge involves adding a treated water source, such as recycled water or captured runoff water, to underground aquifers under controlled conditions. Water thus stored can be pumped and re-used when required. This technique is currently being trialled across the Swan Coastal Plain in Western Australia, and also in Adelaide (Dowie, A., 2007; Satterley, J., 2007; 2009). Natural aquifer recharge or aquifer regeneration is already in use as a significant water source in the Centennial Park/Botany sands region of Sydney. This is an area identified as requiring further investigation (refer recommendations section). 4. The use of wetting agents and their beneficial effects (Section 2.2; p.8) A recent study investigated the effects of several wetting agents on sand-based rootzone hydrophobicity and putting green turf appearance (Leinauer B. et al., 2007a). The results indicate that all wetting agents tested had a positive response but some performed marginally better than others. The above results differ significantly from that of Kostka & Bially (2005) where a synergistic reaction between different surfactant chemical groups gave large improvements in performance. Within Australia, there is an increasing use of wetting agents through venturi injection into standard irrigation systems with mounting overall beneficial effects. Obviously, this is an area requiring further research under Australian conditions. As well, the AGCSA should look at
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preparing a definitive booklet or pamphlet on the topic of wetting agents that could be of benefit to the industry at large. 5. Encouragement of other fauna, such as beautiful and harmless insects, reptiles and amphibians, as part of biodiversity (Section 2.3; p.11) Australian golf courses have made considerable progress, from a biodiversity point of view, in dealing with Avian, Amphibian and Macropod fauna. Despite the obvious emphasis on birds, frogs, kangaroos and wallabies, there has been an almost total neglect of equally-important and beautiful insect populations, such as Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) and Coleoptera (Beetles), and also some reptiles, such as Squamata (skinks, lizards and snakes). Admittedly, some reptiles can be hazardous (such as some snakes and crocodiles), but skinks, lizards, monitors, geckos, dragons and goannas are generally harmless and can be encouraged to co-habit with humans in the appropriate environment. As well, there has been very little research done on the diversity of soil micro-flora and fauna in golf courses, other than those treated as pests (such as soil-borne insect, bacterial and fungal diseases). There are developing and emerging technologies becoming available where the principles of biodiversity are being used for insect and disease control. These are considered as areas requiring further research. 6. Hidden costs of maintaining trees (Section 2.4; p. 13) While the cost of planting trees is easy to calculate, the long-term costs of maintenance are impossible to compute and are rarely considered. Moderation is the best policy with respect to golf course tree plantings. Most courses can be improved by systematically removing undesirable, hazardous and unnecessary trees. Turf and playability can be improved and the relative value and quality of tree plantings can be increased at the same time (Oatis, D.A., 2006). AGCSA could provide some guidelines to golf course managers on the costs involved in maintaining trees. 7. The use of ornamentals and native shrubs to aid biodiversity (Section 2.4; p.13) Ornamental plantings are an integral part of golf course construction and design. There is, however, a paucity of research on their use in golf courses. This is an area that the authors identify as requiring further investigation, particularly in association with Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA). As well, native shrubs are an important component of sand belt areas of both Sydney and Melbourne, and also in links-style courses and areas of rough. Together with ornamental plantings, these areas require further collaborative research by AGCSA in association with NGIA. 8. Safety issues with wetlands and water bodies (Section 2.5; p.14) Whilst this subject is not directly related to the current review, and is more an O.H.& S. issue, it deserves a mention as the authors are aware that there have been some accidental drowning of staff trapped under equipment in water bodies. The subject requires further investigation, and appropriate advice, by AGCSA. 9. Survey of carbon sequestration on Australian golf courses (Section 2.6; p. 18) The role played by golf courses in carbon sequestration is a positive environmental image that has not yet been exploited by the industry. There are a large number of golf courses within Australia of reasonable age with known dates of construction, and enough differences in soil type, to provide the basis of some very accurate data collection on turfgrass capture of carbon and on soil accumulation of carbon. There is the potential for some excellent short and long-term studies in this particular area. Accurate quantification of data on the role that golf courses play in carbon sequestration is in short supply. 10. A study of the efficacy and benefits of using golf courses to rejuvenate land-fills, quarries and other degraded sites (Section 2.10; p.26) The authors believe that this particular area has enormous potential for golf course design and construction, and provides an avenue to convert unsightly degraded lands into areas of useful and aesthetic value. The concept, however, lacks a clear set of design principles and lacks an authoritative historical survey of the efficacy and benefits achieved by designs to date. This is identified as an area requiring further research by the AGCSA in conjunction with AGIC. 11. A study of human health and wellbeing benefits from playing golf and the influence of golf courses on community health in general (Section 2.11; p. 27) Parks and nature are currently undervalued as a means of improving and maintaining health. Although most people are aware of the health benefits of sport and recreation, the range of other health and wellbeing benefits arising

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from contact with parks and nature are not as well known (Maller, C., et al., 2008). Contact with the natural world (through active interaction or even passive contemplation) has the ability to affect human health and wellbeing in countless positive ways. There are immediate and long-term favourable, emotional and physiological changes proceeding from contact with nature through animals, gardens, natural landscapes, and wilderness (Maller, C., et al., 2008). The implications of this research to the golf industry has not been specifically targetted but golf, as a leisure and sport, must play a major role in health and wellbeing of its participants. To our knowledge, there have been no specific studies of health and wellbeing derived from playing golf, and this is an area that should be targetted for research by the Australian Golf Industry Council. Key References Australian Golf Union, 1998 Environmental Strategy for Australian Golf Courses. Published by AGU, ATRI and HRDC, April, 1998. Australian Turfgrass Research Institute Limited, 1996 Proceedings of Environmental Issues for Turf: A Symposium. Penrith, NSW, 1996. Balogh, J.C. & Walker, W.J. (Eds.), 1992 Golf Course Management and Construction: Environmental Issues. , 951pp, Lewis Publishers, Michigan, USA. Beard, J.B., 1973 Turfgrass: Science and Culture. , Prentice Hall Publishers, New York, USA. 672pp. Beard, J.B., 1982 Turf Management for Golf Courses. , Macmillan Publishing Co., New York, USA. Beard, J.B., 1994 Environmental protection and beneficial contributions of golf course turfs. In Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. Edited by A.J. Cochran & M.R. Farrally. Published in 1994 by E & FN Spon, London. Pp. 399-408. Beard, J.B., 2000 Turfgrass benefits and the golf environment. In ACS Symposium No.743 : Fate and Management of Turfgrass Chemicals. Edited by J.M. Clark & M.P . Kenna. Published by American Chemical Society in 2000. Pp. 36-44. Beard, J.B., 2001 Turf Management for Golf Courses, 2nd Edition. , John Wiley & Sons, 816pp. Beard, J.B. & Green, R.L., 1994 The role of turfgrasses in environmental protection and their benefits to humans.. J. Environ. Qual. 23(3): 452-460. Beard, J.B. & Kenna, M.P . (Eds.), 2008a Water Quality and Quantity Issues for Turfgrasses in Urban Landscapes. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Special Publication No.27, Ames, Iowa, USA. 298pp. CAST, 2008 Water Quality and Quantity Issues for Turfgrasses in Urban Landscapes. Proceedings of the Workshop on Water Quality and Quantity Issues for Turfgrasses in Urban Landscapes., Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 2006. Published by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, Special Publication No.27, 2008. Edited by James B. Beard and Michael P . Kenna. Cisar, J.L. & G.H. Snyder, 2000 Mobility and persistence of pesticides applied to a US Golf Association green: Pesticides in percolate, thatch, soil, and clippings and approaches to reduce Fenamiphos and Fenamiphos metabolite leaching. In ACS Symposium No.743 : Fate and Management of Turfgrass Chemicals. Edited by J.M. Clark & M.P . Kenna. Published by American Chemical Society in 2000. Clark, J.M. & Kenna, M.P . (Eds.), 2000 ACS Symposium No.743 : Fate and Management of Turfgrass Chemicals. Published by the American Chemical Society, Washington, DC. February,2000. 480pp. Connellan, G.J., 2009 Water Use Efficiency in Turf and Landscape Design. A forthcoming publication by Landlinks Press, due October 2009, 200pp.

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European Golf Association, 1995 An Environmental Strategy for Golf in Europe. Compiled by D. Stubbs for Ecology Unit, European Golf Association. European Golf Association, 1996 An Environmental Management Programme for Golf Courses Report on Pilot Project. Compiled by D. Stubbs for Ecology Unit, European Golf Association. Maller, C., M. Townsend, L. St. Leger, C. Henderson-Wilson, A. Pryor, L. Prosser & M. Moore, 2008 Healthy parks, healthy people The health benefits of contact with nature in a park context A review of relevant literature. Deakin University and Parks Victoria. 2nd Edition, March, 2008. 96pp. Michigan State University, 2007 Turfgrass Information Center (TIC) and Turfgrass Information File database (TGIF). Snyder, G.H. & J.L. Cisar 1997 Mobility and Persistence of Turfgrass Pesticides in a USGA-type Green. IV. Dicamba and 2,4-D. In International Turfgrass Society Reseach Journal Volume 8, Part 1, pp.205-211. Stubbs, D., 1995 An Environmental Strategy for Golf in Europe., European Golf Association Ecology Unit, Brussels, Belgium. Stubbs, D., 1996 An Environmental Management Programme for Golf Courses. , European Golf Association Ecology Unit, Brussels, Belgium. USGA, 1994 USGA Environmental Research Program Pesticide and Nutrient Fate 1991-1993 Summary. By United States Golf Association, New Jersey, USA. 438pp. USGA, 2001 Turfgrass and Environmental Research Executive Summary. By United States Golf Association, New Jersey, USA. 4. Other References cited: ACTEW, 2008b Grass Roots First Year Outcomes. From Grass Roots Live, a web-based portal. See www.actew. com.au/grassroots. Aldous, D., 2000 Advances in Turfgrass Science and Management in Australasia. Diversity 16 (Nos 1 & 2): 51-52. AGIC, 2007 Water and the Australian Golf Industry. Australian Golf Industry Council, Sandhurst, Vic. ANZECC, 1992 Australian Water Quality Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Waters. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, Melbourne, Australia. Bacon, P ., 2004 Bexley Municipal Golf Course Stormwater Collection, Storage and Reuse System. Woodlots and Wetlands Pty Ltd, Cherrybrook, NSW. Bacon, P ., 2005a Installation and operation of a collection system, storage pond and irrigation system on Bardwell Valley Golf Course. Woodlots and Wetlands Pty Ltd, Cherrybrook, NSW. Bacon, P ., 2005b Environmental Management Plan for Effluent Irrigation at Iluka Golf Course. Woodlots and Wetlands Pty Ltd, Cherrybrook, NSW. Bacon, P ., 2008 Concept Plan for Auburn Golf Course Water Supply. Woodlots and Wetlands Pty Ltd, Cherrybrook, NSW. Baird, J.H. et al., 2000 Best management practices to reduce pesticide and nutrient runoff from turf. By J.H. Baird, N.T. Basta, R.L. Huhnke, G.V. Johnson, M.E. Payton, D.E. Storm, C.A. Wilson, M.D. Smolen, D.L. Martin & J.T. Cole. In ACS Symposium No.743 : Fate and Management of Turfgrass Chemicals. Edited by J.M. Clark & M.P . Kenna. Published by American Chemical Society in 2000. Bandaranayake, W., Y. Qian, W. Parton, D. Ojima and R. Follett, 2003 Estimation of Soil Organic Carbon Changes in Turfgrass Systems Using the CENTURY Model. Agronomy J. 95 (3): 558-563.

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Barton, L. & T.D. Colmer, 2006 Irrigation and fertiliser management strategies for minimising nitrogen leaching from turfgrass. Agricultural Water Management 80 : 160-175. Barton, L. & T.D. Colmer, 2007 Identifying and Managing Water Repellency in Turfgrass grown on Sandy Soils. Horticulture Australia Ltd Research and Development Program, 2007 (three years). Barton, L., G.G.Y. Wan & T.D. Colmer, 2006a Turfgrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) sod production on sandy soils: I. Effects of irrigation and fertiliser regimes on growth and quality. Plant and Soil 284 : 129-145. Barton, L., G.G.Y. Wan & T.D. Colmer, 2006b Turfgrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) sod production on sandy soils: II. Effects of irrigation and fertiliser regimes on N leaching. Plant and Soil 284: 147-164. Barton, L., G.G.Y. Wan & T.D. Colmer, 2008 Managing water repellency ih turfgrass grown in sandy soils. Australian Turfgrass Management 10 (3) :44-46. Beard, J.B., 1989a Turfgrass Water Stress: Drought Resistance Components, Physiological Mechanisms and Species-Genotype Diversity. Proc. Int. Turfgrass Conf., Japan. 6: 23-28. Beard, J.B., 1989b Science shows turf can save water resources., Turf. Environ. 1(1): 5. Beard, J.B., 1993 The Xeriscaping Concept: What About Turfgrasses. In International Turfgrass Society Research Journal Volume 7: 87-98. Beard, J.B., 1994 Environmental protection and beneficial contributions of golf course turfs. In Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. Edited by A.J. Cochran & M.R. Farrally. Published in 1994 by E & FN Spon, London. Pp. 399-408. Beard, J.B. & Kenna, M.P ., 2008b Water Issues Facing the Turfgrass Industry. USGA Green Section Record 46 (6) : 9-17. Beehag, G.W., 1996a Implementation of a Pollutant Monitoring Program. pp 98-115 in Proceedings of Environmental Issues for Turf: A Symposium, Australian Turfgrass Research Institute, Concord West, NSW. Beehag, G.W., 1996b Water Quality and Tolerances of Turfgrass Cultivars. pp 224-243 in Proceedings of Environmental Issues for Turf: A Symposium, Australian Turfgrass Research Institute, Concord West, NSW. Bitar, H., 2004 Public Aesthetic Preferences and Efficient Water Use in Urban Parks. Melbourne University PhD Thesis, January 2004. Boeker, P ., 1974 Root Development of Selected Turfgrass species and Cultivars. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Turfgrass Research Conference. Pp.55-61. Boeker, P . & O. Von Boberfield., 1974 Influence of various fertilisers on root development in a turfgrass mixture. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Turfgrass Research Conference. Pp.99-103. Bowman, D.C., D.A. Devitt & W.W. Miller, 2000 The effect of salinity on nitrate leaching from tall fescue turfgrass. In ACS Symposium No.743 : Fate and Management of Turfgrass Chemicals. Edited by J.M. Clark & M.P . Kenna. Published by American Chemical Society in 2000. Branham, B.E. et al., 2000 Groundwater contamination potential of pesticides and fertilisers used on golf courses. By B.E. Branham, E.D. Miltner, P .E. Rieke, M.J. Zabik & B.G. Ellis. In ACS Symposium No.743 : Fate and Management of Turfgrass Chemicals. Edited by J.M. Clark & M.P . Kenna. Published by American Chemical Society in 2000. Briggs, S., 1990 Waterbirds. In The Murray. Chapter 23, pp 337-344. Published by Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra, ACT. Carrow, R.N. & Fletcher, K.A., 2007 The Devil is in the Details Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and golf courses. USGA Green Section Record 45 (5) :26-31.
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Oatis D.A., 2006 The Truth about Trees. USGA Green Section Record 44 (3): 22-25. Pathan, S.M., L. Barton & T.D. Colmer, 2003 Evaluation of a soil moisture sensor to reduce water and nutrient leaching in turf. Project TU02006, Horticulture Australia Limited, Sydney, Australia. Pathan, S.M., L. Barton & T.D. Colmer, 2007 Evaluation of a soil moisture sensor to reduce water and nutrient leaching in turfgrass (Cynodon dactylon cv. Wintergreen). Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 47 :215-222. Petrovic, A.M. & Z.M. Easton, 2005 The role of turfgrass management in the water quality of urban environments. International Turfgrass Society Research Journal 10 (Part 1) : 55-69. Pretty, J. et al., 2005 The mental and physical health outcomes of green exercise. By J. Pretty, J. Peacock, M. Sellens, & M. Griffin. International Journal of Environmental Health Research 15 (5): 319-337. Pretty, J. et al., 2007 Green exercise in the UK countryside: Effects on health and psychological well-being, and implications for policy and planning. By J. Pretty, J. Peacock, R. Hine, M. Sellens, N. South & M. Griffin. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 50 (2): 211-231. Qian, Y. & R.F. Follett, 2002 Assessing Soil Carbon Sequestration in Turfgrass Systems Using Long-Term Soil Testing Data. Agron. J. 94 (4) 930-935. Reicher, Z.J., et al., 2005 Managing Runoff with Constructed Wetlands. By Reicher, Z.J., E.A.Kohler, V.L.Poole & R.F.Turco. USA Green Section Record 43(4): 19-24. Richardson, G., 1996 Sewer Mining; an Alternative Water Source. pp 216-223 in Proceedings of Environmental Issues for Turf: A Symposium, Australian Turfgrass Research Institute, Concord West, NSW. Robbins, P . & J. Sharp, 2003 Producing and consuming Chemicals: The moral economy of the American lawn. Economic Geography 79: 425-451. Sahu, R. 2008 Technical Assessment of the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Managed Turfgrass in the United States. Research report presented to the Green Industry & Equipment EXPO, Louisville, Kentucky. Organised by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute Inc. (OPEI), Alexandria, VA. Satterley, J., 2007 Waterwise Golf Club has Local Schools Excited. Turfcraft International . Issue 112 (Jan/Feb.). pp. 9-10. Satterley, J., 2009 Waterwise Golf Club uses VIP Control System. Turfcraft International . Issue 125 (Mar/Apr.). pp. 6-10. Scaife, D., 1996 Camden Lakeside Country Club A Case Study in Environmental Management. pp 291-296 in Proceedings of Environmental Issues for Turf: A Symposium, Australian Turfgrass Research Institute, Concord West, NSW. Semlitsch, R.D. et al., 2007 Using Golf Courses to Bolster Amphibian Communities. By R.D. Semlitsch, M.D. Boone & J.R. Bodie. USGA Green Section Record 45 (4) : 7-11. Shuman, L.M., A.E. Smith & D.C. Bridges, 2000 Potential movement of nutrients and pesticides following application to golf courses. In ACS Symposium No.743 : Fate and Management of Turfgrass Chemicals. Edited by J.M. Clark & M.P . Kenna. Published by American Chemical Society in 2000. Sigler, W.V. et al., 2000 Environmental fates of fungicides in the turfgrass environment. By W.V. Sigler, C.H. Taylor, C.S. Throssell, M. Bischoff & R.F. Turco. In ACS Symposium No.743 : Fate and Management of Turfgrass Chemicals. Edited by J.M. Clark & M.P . Kenna. Published by American Chemical Society in 2000. SMH, 2008c Take a Bough, Green Thumbs. By Cheryl Maddocks in The Sydney Morning Herald, January 5-6, 2008.
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SMH, 2008g The Benefit of Nature on Nurture. By Thea OConnor in the Sydney Morniing Herald, May 21, 2008. Quoting a recent review by Dr Mardie Townsend of Deakin University. Sparling, G.P . et al., 2006 Nutrient leaching and changes in soil characteristics of four contrasting soils irrigated with secondary-treated municipal wastewater for four years. By Sparling, G.P ., Barton L., Duncan L., McGill A., Speir T.W., Scipper L.A., Arnold G., & Van Schaik A. Australian Journal of Soil Research 44 (2) : 107-116. Starrett, S., et al., 2009 Long-Term Monitoring of Nutrient Loss in Runoff from a Golf Course. By S. Starrett, Yunsheng Su, T. Heier, J. Klein, J. Holste & M. Paloma. USGA Green Section Record 47 (1): 6-8. Takano, T., et al., 2002 Urban residential environments and senior citizens longevity in megacity areas: the importance of walkable green spaces. By T. Takano, K. Nakamura & M. Watanabe. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 56: 913-918. Taliaferro, C.M. & P . McMaugh., 1993 Developments in Warm-Season Turfgrass Breeding/Genetics. In International Turfgrass Society Research Journal Volume 7: 14-25. Tanner R.A. & Gange A.C., 2005 Effects of golf courses on local biodiversity. Landscape and Urban Planning 71 (2-4) : 137-146. Thomson, A. & I. Beer, 1996 Irrigating Turf with Effluent Case Histories. pp 191-206 in Proceedings of Environmental Issues for Turf: A Symposium, Australian Turfgrass Research Institute, Concord West, NSW. Turf Producers Australia Limited, 2007 Trade and commercial audience research findings. June, 2007. VGA, 2005 Sustainable Water for Golf Report. The Victorian Golf Association, Burwood, Vic. August, 2005. Walsh, K., 2005 Waterwise Gardening. 3rd Edition. 176pp. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia. Watschke, T.L. et al., 2000 Surface runoff of selected pesticides applied to turfgrasses. By T.L. Watschke, R.O. Mumma, D.T. Linde, J.A. Borger & G.W. Hamilton. In ACS Symposium No.743 : Fate and Management of Turfgrass Chemicals. Edited by J.M. Clark & M.P . Kenna. Published by American Chemical Society in 2000. Yarrington, F., 2006 The Benefits of Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Certification. USGA Green Section Record 44 (2) :34. Appendix 1: Summary of TU07034 Report (Higginson, F. R. & P .E. McMaugh, 2008): The initial study of environmental, social and health benefits of turfgrass was published by J.B. Beard & R.L. Green in 1994. This literature review is aimed at bringing that study up to date, expanding on its base, and attempting to relate the findings within the context of the Australian turfgrass industry. With recent severe water shortages and the fear of climate change, the general public within Australia and the USA is developing a negative environmental image for turfgrass (Robbins & Sharp, 2003). This is because turfgrass requires to be maintained regularly, involving mowing, fertilising and watering. These three practices utilise water, a limited resource, create greenhouse emissions (from petrol mowers), and expose the environment to possible chemical pollution from fertiliser and pesticide usage. Areas in this study specifically targeted for review include potentially adverse environmental impacts of growing turfgrass, such as soil erosion, sediment movement, and contamination of surrounding areas with fertiliser and pesticide leachates; aesthetic, social and health benefits of growing turfgrass; water usage by turfgrass; heat sink effects of turf use; carbon sequestration capacity of turfgrass; and turfs use on sporting fields, with special reference to surface quality and heat stress. Since 1994, there have been major developments in most areas investigated within this review, but particularly in the management of pesticide and nutrient leaching from turfgrass (Clark J.M. & M.P . Kenna (eds.), 2000) and in water usage by turfgrass (Beard J.B. & M.P . Kenna (eds.), 2008). A major research program funded by the United States Golf Association, and undertaken within twelve universities across the United States, has significantly improved
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the knowledge and management of pesticide and nutrient movement from turfgrass environments to the extent that the problem is now a readily manageable one (Clark J.M. & M.P . Kenna (eds.), 2000). This information is directly relevant and transferable within the Australian context. In the area of water usage by turfgrasses, there have been vast improvements, both within Australia and the USA, in the selection and breeding of new varieties and types of turfgrass with drought avoidance or drought tolerant characteristics. The use of these new varieties, in conjunction with improved irrigation technologies that apply water only when it is required by use of in-situ soil moisture monitoring systems, has led to savings of up to 40% in water usage by sports fields in both Queensland and the ACT (ACTEW, 2008b; DPI&F, 2008). Both within Australia and overseas, there has been a considerable increase since 1994 in the amount of research undertaken by social and health scientists in assessing the value and benefits derived from urban green space in improving the public health and mental well being of city dwellers (Maller C.M. et al., 2002; Pretty J. et al., 2007). There is a lack of specific research related to the role that turfgrass plays within urban green space, but this is generally implied within the overall context of the research. Turfgrass, as an integral component of the park landscape, must play a major role in these health benefits. Research on heat amelioration effects and on carbon sequestration by turfgrasses has not developed as much as the three previous fields. Enough is known, however, to make intelligent estimates of benefits provided by turfgrasses in these two areas. More research is needed in both areas. Most estimates indicate that grasses can be considerable sinks for storing carbon (Qian, Y. & R.F. Follett, 2002) but if these grasses require to be managed, as turfgrasses generally do, then the benefits of carbon sequestration by turf are partially nullified by the management processes, particularly mowing, fertilising and irrigating (Milesi, C. et al., 2005) which generate carbon emissions. Research on the use of turf on sports fields has progressed significantly in recent years. The selection and improvement in turfgrass varieties used for amenity purposes has increased the opportunity for improved performance with reduced usage of water. As well, in the USA, new agrichemicals being used with increased specificity at lowered rates of active ingredients are enabling turfgrass systems to be maintained in a more effective manner without contamination of groundwater (Cisar, J.L., 2004). In Australia in recent years, the number of new agrichemical introductions has been low. Those that have been introduced have relied on new active ingredients with much softer chemistry. The regulatory authorities have actively encouraged a safer, environmentally friendly approach by phasing out many less desirable, older products. Despite these improvements, community concerns over shortages of water and contamination of natural resources has led to restrictions on the management tools available to turf professionals. Such restrictions have raised the option that turf for sports purposes be replaced with artificial or alternative landscapes to reduce inputs of water and chemicals. The newer generation of synthetic turfs (termed the third generation) are far superior to previous types (Meyers, quoted in Fresenburg & Adamson, 2005). One of the major advantages of synthetic over natural turf is the greater wear resistance of synthetics, enabling more intensive use (Loch, D.S., pers. com.). One very significant area where synthetic surfaces have not made up ground on natural turf is temperature. On a hot summer day, unshaded synthetic turf absorbs sunlight and becomes much hotter than natural turf. Excessive heat on players then becomes a workplace health and safety issue (Fresenburg, B. & C. Adamson, 2005). Furthermore, the cost of utilising and managing artificial turf surfaces far exceeds natural grass playing fields (Fresenburg, 2006). In summary, claims that turfgrass utilises excessive water and contaminates the environment with chemical residues are difficult to justify when one considers the amount of progress in these two areas illustrated in published scientific literature. The turfgrass industry has responded very positively to overcome these perceived negative environmental impacts. Together with the very positive benefits to public health and mental wellbeing of greenspace and turfgrass demonstrated by social and health scientists, and the very positive heat amelioration effects of turfgrass in the urban environment, the turfgrass industry in Australia is in a strong position, based on published scientific literature, to respond to any negative environmental criticisms that it may receive. Furthermore, the overall carbon sequestration potential of turfgrass and related greenspace is another environmental benefit that can be utilised by the industry in a positive manner.

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