Hi and Welcome. We hope that this is the first of many blogs relating to all things green here at the Whistler Golf Club.
Since 2005 the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the business community and local residents have been following a strategic plan working towards a sustainable future. Whistler 2020 is an sustainability-based approach to planning. Whistler2020 uses such an approach – to inspire, align and guide our resort community toward a shared vision of sustainability and success. Drawing on local and external knowledge, Whistler2020 informs decision-making, optimizes use of limited resources and provides a framework for aligning community efforts in a common direction.
I-shift is a new Whistler2020 take action challenge that helps to accelerate Whistler’s progress toward its shared vision of success and sustainability. It is comprised of two parts: i-Shift Business and i-Shift Citizen, each targeted toward motivating cultural and behavioural shifts within Whistler. The programs are being facilitated by the Whistler Centre for Sustainability (WCS) and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Department of the Environment.
Here at the Whistler Golf Club we have made the decision to boost our environmental improvement program to the golf course, the facility and the day to day operation. These improvements will be implemented through I-shift and the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses.
To become recognized as a fully certified golf course through the Audubon program we must get certified in Environmental Planning, a case study and five key environmental quality areas which include: Wildlife and Habitat Management, Chemical use Safety and Reduction, Water Conservation, Water Quality Management, and Outreach and Education. In 2010 we received our certificate of recognition in Environmental Planing. 2011 we received certification in Wildlife and Habitat Management and Water Conservation. This year we will be working towards certification in Water Quality.
Operationally we are working towards a goal of zero waste through our extensive recycling and composting program. In 2011 we reduced our contribution to the landfill by 20%. It’s a start, and we look to improve again in 2012. We have significantly reduced our water consumption by installing a $1.2 million state of the art irrigation system in 2007. In 2011 we were able to reduce of hydro consumption by 12%. Lastly we are working with the Canadian Turf association in the testing of organic fungicide’s this year. Test plots were installed on three greens with three different types of organic and regular fungicides. We are excitied to see the results this Spring.
Lastly we continue to work with the Get Bear Smart Society to ensure the Whistler Golf Club remains a place that Whistler’s bears can graze in early season of fescue grasses and dandelions and return for the berry crop later in the summer. We continue to work on educating our guests on how to help the bears avoid human food and conflict.
Please stay tuned as we work towards communicating our efforts to becoming a I-shift business and Audubon certified.