It looks like the last truly warm “Bonus Days” for golf are this week. Please call to make a tee time and remember it gets dark early!
We will be blowing the irrigation system out this week, so if you do come out for a round of golf, please be aware of water and air flying out of the ground. We will do our best to work around you but sometimes will not be in an area where you are.
Another project we have been busy with (besides leaf removal and mulching) has been the renovation of 3 pond. If you recall, this pond over the years has become overrun with undesired vegetation, mainly cattails, along its eastern bank. These cattails have caused several key issues affecting the health of the pond, including lower dissolved oxygen levels, clogging the waterfall pump intake, and destabilized the pond bank by creating a desired habitat for muskrats, who in turn have burrowed holes in the liner and led to a daily need of 15,000 gallons to be pumped in to maintain proper levels. The goal of our project all along has been to totally restore this pond back to a beautiful native habitat and reduce our footprint and impact on water resources.
Elcona was very fortunate to receive a grant from the Fairways Foundation to help cover costs of this project. The Fairways Foundation directly funds local and global projects that advance the conservation of our natural resources. These projects will help to preserve the environment we live and work in whilst encouraging education and stewardship not only within our own industry but also within wider communities. I was introduced to this foundation in 2019 and over the last few years have followed their wonderful support of projects like our opportunity. I am very appreciative of their support of our club and look forward to achieving the final results of our project next April.
The first step of this project was to dry the pond so that equipment can work safely and find out just how deep the pond was and how much muck was needed to be removed. Mother Nature, old bentonite that was used to line the pond in the 60’s and hidden irrigation valves made this a tedious process but overall we were able to get 95% of the water out within a week. A large excavator was rented first to rid some of the old liner and muck to create drainage avenues for the water to naturally be removed, while pumps were used to move the water from the pond to a natural area about 200 feet away. A small pod of cattails was set off to the side to be replanted as a more manageable habitat for ducks to nest each spring.
Overall about 17 dump truck loads of muck were removed, and the rest was scattered about the new pond floor to mix with sand and become somewhat usable soil for the new pond. The excavator also moved a few of the rocks off to the side for future outcroppings and landscape features. These will remain on the cart path until next spring. The max depth of the pond was about 12 feet, or about 2 feet lower than what we remembered it to be.
Tom Zimmerman then got to work re-shaping the small pond and building a new, larger waterfall ledge on the north side of the pond. The smaller pond was expanded to the south and east somewhat to create a healthier water habitat. Basically, the deeper and larger a pond is, the better its ability will be to be self-sufficient in turning over its temperature and keeping itself healthier by preventing unwanted growth, such as algae. We then went to work lowering the leading edge into the pond as well as establishing grade on the banks of the pond. All of this activity was to maximize surface drainage, especially on the east side in front of 4 tee. A small drainage pipe will be trenched in to capture any remaining water and take it to the pond.
In the next week we will be renting a small bulldozer to firm up the bank grades and re-doing the electric to the pond pump, clearing up all sides, and upgrading irrigation pipe and sprinklers. In early 2023, the new liner will arrive and will be installed, followed by rocks and Kentucky Bluegrass sod. The final step in the renovation will be planting the new buffer zone on the east side of the pond and to stock the pond with fish to use any unwanted vegetation as food to keep the pond healthy and looking great.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me at email@example.com. I enjoy talking shop and turf with all of you. I hope that everyone has a great week and hope to see you out on the golf course before this weekend’s snow showers!!