Josh Morrisey, City of Spokane Parks & Recreation, Marketing Assistant, No Phone Number Available
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 4:41 p.m.
To say that bees are important would be an understatement. In fact, one third of food we eat as humans is made possible by honey bees. In the spirit of protecting our local bee populations, the City of Spokane took a big step by banning neonicotinoid pesticides in 2014. This year, Head Superintendent Mike Greene from Downriver Golf Course decided to take it a step further.
“One of the things I decided to challenge myself to pursue this year was to do a better job highlighting the environmental community that the course already provides and develop new strategies to further benefit the community,” Greene said. “In 2017, we are using fewer and reduced risk pesticides, compost tea and beneficial microbes to fight diseases and developing more pollinator habitat. I ran this idea past Golf Committee and Park Board this winter and they welcomed it.”
Halfway through work on the pollinator project, the Downriver crew were notified that they were awarded a $2500 grant from the Bayer Corporation’s “Feed a Bee” program, allowing them to fully realize their vision.
The team at Downriver planted approximately 50,000 sq. feet of wildflowers and a small vegetable garden. The wildflowers are northwest native and the garden is primarily pumpkins which will be grown and used to decorate the course for its annual Halloween Open golf tournament. Beehives were moved onto the course in late May (no, they don’t bother golfers).
Greene sees the pollinator project as just one example of how golf courses provide benefits to the communities surrounding them beyond just a beautiful place to recreate with the sport of golf.
A few benefits Greene would like to highlight:
Parks and Recreation Director Leroy Eadie says that pollinator projects like the one at Downriver could end up at other city courses in the future and sees it as a great example for other communities.
Coincidentally, this week is national pollinator week. Swing by for a round at Downriver this summer to see what all the buzz is about!
See the Spokesman Review’s article about Downriver’s pollinator project.