Dedicated to greenspace protection, Innisfil Creek Golf Course operator Nick Torkos stresses that golf course operators care a great deal about the natural environment. He speaks with pride about the work at Innisfil Creek to leave the watercourse in as natural a state as possible, to take steps to protect water quality, and to attract animal life.
His staff are all well-educated (as is the industry standard). At Innisfil Creek three staff members have earned IPM certification and all are sent for regular educational upgrading. Chemicals are expensive, thus in addition to reducing any impact on the environment, IPM practices help reduce costs for course operators. Healthy turf needs fewer inputs, and soil testing helps operators determine exactly what the turf needs to remain healthy. Topdressing with sand encourages strong root growth.
At Innisfil Creek, water is treated as the scarce commodity it is and ponds on the property are used to capture as much rainwater as possible. Natural processes are then used to filter and clean this water, as the quality of the water affects turf health and evaporation rates.
Innisfil Creek is located on the floodplain, therefore the course operators collaborated with the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority to reduce flooding and maximize water infiltration in the South Innisfill Creek area (an area protected by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans). Next time you golf at Innisfil Creek, see if you can determine where the spillway and water filtration channel (covered in rocks and vegetation) slows down flow, reduces erosion and flooding, increases infiltration and furthers source water protection.
Both golfers and golf course operators enjoy the presence of animal life and Innisfil Creek has its share, including swans and herons. In addition to land care practices, Innisfil Creek replaced light bulbs in club facilities with LED bulbs in 2016. Innisfil Creek has a mission is to work in conjunction with the land. Nick sums it up this way: “we want to be models for land care,” “I have confidence in the work golf course owners are doing to lead source water protection.”