Nestled between lakefront cottages and the Lefroy airport, Big Cedar Golf and Country Club has been in operation since 1931. As a previous participant with the Audubon International program for golf courses, Big Cedar golf continues to apply many of the environmental practices advocated through the program. Recommended practices relate to “environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, water quality management, outreach and education.” Transparency is such an important part of sustainability and Big Cedar golf staff are willing to answer any question about their environmental practices.
In a response to increasing costs, Big Cedar Golf has embraced efficiency. Key to improving efficiency is documentation and tracking; but while efficiency saves money it also benefits the natural environment. Here is a summary of some of the initiatives in place.
At Big Cedar Golf, energy use is closely monitored. Efforts to increase efficiency have included a number of retrofits. Lighting was upgraded to accommodate LED bulbs, appliances are energy efficient, and a new heating and air conditioning system was installed. Replacing the golf cart fleet with carts that use single cylinder engines resulted in a 30% reduction in fuel use. Big Cedar Golf is closely watching the market for solar panels to see if that solution would be a good fit for the course.
Similarly, water use is closely tracked. Fully automated systems allows watering to be directed specifically to only the areas that need it. Over-watering is discouraged, not just for economic and environmental reasons, but also because it encourages disease. Of interest, in the past there has been some discussion of the use of wastewater from the nearby water treatment plant as a source of irrigation water for the course. This would allow the water to fully filter into the ground, and would allow residual phosphorus to act as a fertilizer for the golf course grass. At this time, this solution is not entirely feasible, but remains a consideration for the future should conditions change. To find out more about this practice locally, read about irrigation practices at The Nottawasaga Resort. At Big Cedar Golf, other water conservation/protection measures include the installation of low-flow toilets, selection of cleaning materials that have low toxicity, and planting of 2,500 trees on the property to increase naturalized area and reduce the need for maintenance and water.
Waste is minimized and recycling is hand separated by staff—leading to approximately 40% of waste being diverted. Cooking grease is collected for recycling, and the installation of hand dryers has reduced paper towel waste. Food is prepared on demand, which reduces food waste.
In addition to being a great location for individual golf games, leagues and tournaments, Big Cedar will host your event, wedding, or memorial.