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  • February 26, 2020 11:28 AM | Julie Heston (Administrator)

    We wanted to share the following letter from Ed Nash which may be helpful to use as talking points for discussions about Glyphosate.

    Thank you

    GCSACC Board of Directors

    Cape Golf 2020
    By Ed Nash

    Golf is alive and well on Cape Cod except for Barnstable.  The Town Manager there decided that he would ban all man made fertilizers and pesticides immediately on the two Town of Barnstable golf courses and all sports fields and properties owned by the town.  I don’t know where he got the idea to do that without talking to his staff, scientists, regulators and educators before making such a hasty proclamation.

    Having sold organic products myself, I might have told him that they often cost twice as much and work half as well.  Our industry has always used organic products whenever they made sense.  The financial and agronomic problems will be difficult to overcome.   I hope that golf can remain sustainable.  Kudos goes out to Bruce McIntyre and his staff for accepting this challenge and vowing to do everything that they can do to make it work. The golf industry will be watching this experiment as it unfolds.  The crazy irony of it all is that anyone can go to Home Depot down the street and buy all of the products that the golf course cannot use.

    Laura Kelly who runs POCCA (Protect Our Cape Cod Aquifer) had visited the Town of Dennis fourteen times before the Golf Department got to have a hearing about banning glyphosate on town properties.  One selectman who was an organic landscaper could not wait to vote for the ban.  Another selectman passed around a 1990s study that showed that golf superintendents had a higher rate of cancer than the general public, obviously trying to imply that it must be from our pesticide use.  He failed to supply a follow up to that study that showed that we were dying at the same rate as anyone with a stressful job. How deceitful is that? It felt like the vote had been decided long before we got there.  Bill Clark who served for many years on the state pesticide board and I spoke but the vote was already a done deal.

    In a recent newspaper article, Laura wrote that “Synthetic fertilizer feeds excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus to our land that runs off whenever it rains or your sprinkler goes on.”  Either she doesn’t know that an organic fertilizer could do the same thing or she is trying to imply that synthetic fertilizer is bad.  Phosphorus has been building up in our ponds for centuries.  Soil erosion and leaves were the early contributors.  Laundry detergents were banned in the 1970s from using phosphates because the phosphorus was polluting our estuaries and ponds.  Most organic fertilizer is loaded with phosphorus.  Synthetic fertilizers can be formulated to have no phosphorus in them and the nitrogen can be made to slowly release so there is no excess nitrogen flowing anywhere.  The Barnstable County Fertilizer Regulations require that a soil test must be done before using any fertilizer containing phosphorus.  Applying excess phosphorus via an organic fertilizer might cause pollution in our ponds and estuaries.

    Pesticides are regulated by the DEP and the State Pesticide Board.  It costs about 300 million dollars to do the studies before a product can be presented for approval.  The post application fate and its effect on anything living must be studied and then studied again.  Most towns do not have the resources to restudy the studies, so the state has the expertise to give the final word as they should.

    For the last ten years, POCCA and other groups have tried to stop the use of glyphosate on the power lines with no success.  We stayed away because that wasn’t our battle. When towns began being targeted for a ban on glyphosate there still wasn’t a great need for our involvement.  But now there seems to be rhetoric that shows a new agenda that includes anything man made.  I’m sorry, but sometimes turf and food crops need a little medicine to keep them healthy.  No one wants to spray unnecessarily, just as no one wants to take medicine that is not needed.  We always find the least toxic medicine for the grass just as you would for yourself.  We drink the water too.

    Golf is still doing so many good things. Scholarship, charity tournaments, good jobs, keeping open space, recreation and tourism all benefit from us.  Many courses are Audubon Certified or are working towards certification.  Cranberry Valley is installing a large solar array to offset the electricity that will be used by their new golf carts.  Pollinator areas have been made at many courses and beehives are being tended to at two courses.  Many bluebird boxes have been put up at courses. The Yarmouth sewage treatment plant sends its effluent to Bayberry Hills Golf Course for irrigation.  Bass River may be taking effluent from the planned Harwich, Dennis, Yarmouth treatment plant.  In the 1980s, we studied golf courses to be sure that they were safe near well fields.  We are currently rewriting the State Best Management Practices at our own expense to fine tune them even more.  The Golf Course Superintendents Association of Cape Cod has always been part of the environmental solutions for Cape Cod.  We plan to always continue that practice.

  • January 20, 2020 1:55 PM | Julie Heston (Administrator)

    The Golf Course Superintendents Association of Cape Cod met on Thursday, December 12, 2019 for the Annual Meeting at The Brookside Club.  Below is a recap of the meeting.

    GCSACC Board of Directors for 2020
    President:        David Stott
    Vice President:        Kurt Calderwood
    Secretary:        Ed Gianni, CGCS
    Treasurer:        Peter Lanman
    Director:        Scott Gilmore
    Director:        Rene Vadeboncoeur    
    Affiliate Director:     John Bresnahan
    Past President:        Brian Smoot

    We also gave out many awards at this meeting.  We had two 50 year members - Norman Mucciarone, Jack Nugnes, CGCS.  Our newly retired members were Jeff Carlson, CGCS; Steve Carr, Bucky Hall.

    We thanked our meeting hosts with a gift.

    January – Ben Whiting
    April - Kurt Calderwood
    May-S&R Tournament – Dana Hancock
    June – Scott Nickerson and Chris Tufts
    August – Will Stearns
    September – Scott Gilmore and Josh Lyon
    October – Joe Felicetti
    November – Dan Read
    December – Joe Deely

    GCSACC also awarded members with 15 and 25 year pins.

    15 year pins:
    Mike Cummings
    Jim Fitzroy
    Rodney Hine
    Dr. Nathaniel Mitkowski
    Sean Oberly
    Mark Pendergast
    Dr. W. Michael Sullivan
    Alden Tallman
    Alan Vadala
    Ryan Walsh
    Chuck Welch

    25 year pins:
    Mike Cornicelli
    Shawn Fernandez
    Paul Heher
    Joe Lazaro

    GCSACC would also like to thank everyone who donated towards the Greater Plymouth Food Warehouse.  We were able to make a donation of $310.

  • August 27, 2019 11:43 AM | Julie Heston (Administrator)

    The New England Regional Turfgrass Foundation has been funding research now more than 20 years with more than $2.5 Million in funds spent as of 2019.  Currently, the foundation has 8 projects being funded for 2019 that amount to $135,131.00.  Since the start of this initiative, 86 projects have been funded by the foundation.  Some are multi-year projects, and some are just for a one-year duration.  Even though we are extremely proud of these numbers, it is by no means all the research that is ongoing at local universities.  By making your way to a university field day, you will gain a greater understanding of the whole picture and what our New England schools mean to our industry.  Here are some quick explanations of what is being funded by the foundation and researched during the growing season of 2019.

    1.    Solvita™ Soil Test Kits to Categorize Golf Course Fairway Responsiveness to N Fertilization.  Dr. Karl Guillard of UConn has been working on this subject for the last 3 years and will soon be completed.  This funding is partial funding of a larger project of the same name with the USGA focusing on fairway turf which is the largest part of a golf course’s fertilization program.  Using this method of testing could assist superintendents to adjust N-fertilization amounts depending on the response expected which can have positive benefits on their budgets and the environment.

    2.    Evaluation of Fairway Rolling Frequency, Rolling Start Time, and Thatch Accumulation for Control of Dollar Spot.  Dr. Geunhwa Jung of UMass had conducted research to exam the potential of rolling for Dollar Spot control which resulted in a 40-60% reduction.  This project is an expansion of that original research using rolling techniques to benefit Dollar Spot control efforts.  This research will further evaluate rolling frequency, determine a seasonal start time and investigate the influence that rolling may have on thatch accumulation due to a compression effect.   With all the money spent controlling Dollar Spot each year, looking outside the box and identifying steps that show reductions is a welcomed sight.  This project is going beyond 2019 and data collection will be completed in the fall of 2020.

    3.    SDHI Resistance in Dollar Spot, Development of Management Strategies and Detection Testing.  Dr. Jung had confirmed SDHI resistance of Dollar Spot in New England in 2017.  This project will determine the extent of cross-resistance of SDHIs, determine practical recommendations to combat resistance, monitor changes in resistance and then to develop a diagnostic test to determine resistance type.  The SDHI fungicide class is the largest class of fungicides on the market.  Six of eight active ingredients are labeled for dollar spot, understanding the fate of an application and the potential resistance would be critical to a superintendent.

    4.    The Effect of Turfgrass Seed Mixtures, Seeding Rate and Mowing Timing on Weed Productions in Establishing Pesticide-Free Athletic Fields and Lawn Areas, Dr. Jason Henderson and Ms. Vickie Wallace of UConn are nearing the end of this 2-year project.  Due to the growing number of restrictions on athletic fields associated with youth sports, this project addresses the topics within establishment to reduce weeds on pesticide free athletic fields and home lawns.  Determining factors like seed mixtures, seeding rates and mower timing all could affect an acceptable outcome and better conditions for youth to play on.   

    5.    Evaluation of Wildflowers and Trap Nests to Increase Forage and Habitat for Bee’s around New England Golf Courses.  Dr. Steve Alm, URI recently submitted this project for three years.  The long-term objective is to recruit golf courses into helping local bee populations recover from the recent declines in populations by creating available pollinator habitats, shelters and minimizing the negative effects of pesticides.  Golf courses and especially those that have out of play areas will be encouraged to establish bee forage plantings, install trap nests to help bees establish colonies on the property, and evaluate insecticide choices to minimize adverse effects on populations.  One of the outcomes Steve hopes to make available will be a seminar introducing beekeeping to golf courses.  

    6.    Earthworm Species, Seasonal Phenology and Effect of Wetting Agents on Earthworm Castings and Abundance on New England Golf Courses.  Dr. Olga Kostromystka, newly appointed professor at UMass submitted this project for funding for two years.  Most superintendents recognize the goodness to the soil ecosystem and the nuisance to the playing surfaces of earthworm populations.  More knowledge is needed to understand the habits of earthworms and the use of registered products with possible benefits that can help prevent worm castings on the surface.  Wetting agents have shown some promise but more information is needed.

    7.    Exploring Methods to Enhance Biocontrol of Turfgrass Diseases.  Dr. John Inguagiato of UConn submitted this proposal in 2019 for two years.  The idea of expanding biocontrol management of turfgrass diseases would greatly benefit places such as schools where they have band the use of pesticides.  Sports turf also uses loads of Perennial Ryegrass which is susceptible to Gray Leaf Spot.  It would be an objective to identify a product that could be used in this capacity and be permissible on restricted space.  John is also communicating with Dr. Joseph Roberts at the University of Maryland.

    8.    Comparing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Microbial Populations from Turfgrass Fertilized with Slow-release Synthetic Fertilizer or an Organic Fertilizer.  Dr. Karl Guillard, UConn, submitted this two-year study in 2019.  There is much speculation and differences of opinion of benefits of organic versus slow release synthetic fertilizers to the environment.  Questions concerning soil microbe populations and the status of greenhouse gas emissions will be measured to clear up this speculation.  

    These eight ongoing projects as well as the final chapter’s preparation of the BMP project, which are expected to be finished this summer, may increase the total funding for 2019 to $165,131.00.  If you have any questions about any of the research being presently done, please feel free to communicate with these researchers. 

    There is much going on, and we compliment everyone involved for their hard work and dedication. 
    Thank you,
    Gary J. Sykes, Executive Director  

  • August 07, 2019 2:15 PM | Julie Heston (Administrator)

    University of Massachusetts Winter School for Turf Managers

    Winter School students participate in a grass ID lab. The UMass Winter School for Turf Managers is a certificate program designed to convey concepts essential to maintaining high quality turf, with emphasis on environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility. This comprehensive, dynamic short course is especially suited for experienced professionals associated with the management of golf courses, athletic fields, parks, municipal and private grounds, fine lawns and landscapes.

    Winter School is an excellent choice for practitioners who seek to expand their knowledge and practical skills. The program is also uniquely suited for those who want to advance in their career, but cannot schedule a two- or four-year program, as well as career changers who want to enter the field of turf management.

    Students are immersed in an intensive, full-time program scheduled Monday through Friday for six weeks. Classes are scheduled: Mon-Th 8 AM - 5 PM, and Fri 8 AM - noon. This schedule is designed to accommodate weekend commuters who may want to stay in the Amherst area Monday through Thursday evenings but head home on the weekends. Some area hotels offer special accommodation and rate packages for UMass Winter School students.

    UMass Amherst faculty and distinguished guests lead a combination of classroom, laboratory, group project and discussion activities. Close-knit classes offer an opportunity to learn from the experiences of fellow students and to form relationships that will last a lifetime.

    Mary Owen teaches at Winter School. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those who satisfactorily complete the program requirements. A high school diploma or GED is required for admission.

    Pesticide recertification contact hours will be offered for all New England states, and 20.4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available.

    The Winter School 2020 session dates are January 6 - February 14, 2020.
    Application review will begin in early September, 2019.

    The application deadline for U.S. applicants is November 1, 2019.  Late applications may be accepted pending availability of seats.

    The application deadline for international applicants is September 13, 2020, to allow time for visa processing.

    For more information and to apply, visit

  • March 25, 2019 10:55 AM | Julie Heston (Administrator)

    We thought this article about Glyphosate alternatives in landscapes might be of interest to our members.

    Please click here to read full article

  • February 10, 2019 12:32 PM | Julie Heston (Administrator)

    One of our members, Peter Ervin -Superintendent at The Captains Golf Course, brought this information to our attention and we thought it might be of interest to our members.

    • The first document is a copy of the Town of Marblehead, Board of Health, Organic Pest Management regulations.  Click here to view
    • The second document is from POCCA-Protect Our Cape Cod Aquifer and it is titled - Process to Voluntarily Eliminate the use Glyphosate and Other Chemical Products from Town Owned Properties.  Click here to view

  • July 06, 2018 3:00 PM | Julie Heston (Administrator)

    Below find a brief update of recent activity at the State House and insight into what it all means from the Green Industry Alliance.

    Legislative Environment
    The Legislature will cease formal sessions for the 2017-2018 term at midnight (or around there) on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.  After this date, the House and Senate will continue to meet twice each week for informal sessions until the newly and re-elected legislators are sworn-in on the first Wednesday of January 2019.  During these sessions, only matters deemed non-controversial can advance and any single member may object to any matter, blocking it form moving forward.  So, anything that will be debated or that requires a roll call vote must be done prior to midnight on July 31st.

    With the deadline looming, the Legislature has kicked into high gear and the House and Senate have passed several matters that are now being negotiated in conference committee, including: the FY19 budget, short-term rentals (AirBnB), data breach, red flag/ERPO (gun ownership), veteran benefits, health care cost containment and civics education.  The next tier of issues includes another package on opioid abuse prevention and treatment, wage theft, raising the age to purchase tobacco and clean energy.  The hundreds of smaller issues still pending can fight to move ahead but not if there is even a moderate amount of disagreement.

    Plenty of votes here once the branches reach agreement and enough things to tout on the campaign trail from leadership’s perspective, so while the Senate may continue to pass a lot of crazy proposals, the House isn’t likely to budge and move off their list of priority issues.

    Click here for a legislative tracking report – lots of issues included to give context.

    Grand Bargain Passes
    Three ballot questions got rolled into one bill that was engrossed and enacted by the Legislature last week and Governor Baker is expected to sign the bill into law before July 2nd.  The package includes provisions to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour over the next 5 years while reducing the time-and-a-half premium Sunday pay over the same period, establishing a permanent sales tax holiday, and establishing a new paid family and medical leave program.  Proponents of the sales tax reduction and the paid leave questions have agreed to pull their questions but the Raise Up coalition is still discussing its plans on minimum wage and could still submit their signatures and appear on the November ballot.  That will, of course, carry a significant amount of political grief form the Legislature, but this group was very upset about the reduction on premium Sunday pay and they could go forward despite the recent actions.

    Two documents below provide further details on the changes.

    2018 Ballot Compromise Legislative Summary

    2018 Proposed Ballot Initiatives

    GIA Priorities
    Proponents of legislation to restrict the use and require additional notifications related to the use of neonicotinoid-based pesticides (H.4041) continue to push aggressively for the advancement of the bill that remains pending before the House Committee on Ways and Means.  They have held events in and around the statehouse over the past few weeks and have activated their grassroots efforts – pushing information about retailers like Costco and Kroger that are taking steps on their own to limit the sale and use of these products.  And, of course they have a blog that shows some “studies” that paint a troubling picture about MA hives.  The Vice Chair of the Committee, Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington)  has been a strong advocate internally, pushing back against this legislation and given the timing, we are fialry well positioned but funny things can happen during these closing weeks of the session.  If you have a moment, please check to see if you State Representative is on the HWM Committee and if you see them listed, send them a quick note expressing your concerns with this bill and suggesting it might be preferable to have DAR conduct an analysis before passing legislation.  If your Rep is not on the Committee, please send emails to the Chair and Vice Chair – emails available using same link.

  • January 05, 2018 3:46 PM | Julie Heston (Administrator)

    To download a pdf version of the schedule - click here

    Thursday, January 18       
    Plymouth Country Club - Winter Education
    Host: Ben Whiting
    Tuesday, February 13       
    Winter Fun Day - South Shore Country Club
    Host: Jay McGrail
    Friday, April 20               
    Bear Cup Tournament (joint w/GCSANE)    GCSANE hosts this year   Host: Michael Poch
    Tuesday, May 22           
    Waverly Oaks Golf Club
    Host: Eric Newell, CGCS
    Monday, June 18           
    Pocasset Golf Club - Scholarship and Research Tournament
    Host: Steve Carr
    Monday, July 9               
    Thorny Lea Golf Club (RHO-COD Cup)
    Host: Brooks Pickering
    August TBD               
    Location TBD (Free-B-Que)
    Thursday, September 20       
    Edgartown and Mink Meadows 
    Hosts: Ken Magnuson and Matt Crowther, CGCS
    Monday, October 15              
    Plymouth Country Club (Championship)
    Host: Ben Whiting
    Thursday, November 1       
    Cranberry Valley Golf Course (Supt/Asst)
    Host: Shawn Fernandez

    To make a reservation, please register online at or contact Julie Heston (401) 934-7660 / 
    To avoid charges, please give 48 hours notice if you need to cancel your reservation.

  • January 05, 2018 3:37 PM | Julie Heston (Administrator)

    The Golf Course Superintendents Association of Cape Cod met on Thursday, December 7, 2017 for the Annual Meeting at The Brookside Club.
    GCSACC Board of Directors 2018
    President                  Brian Smoot
    Vice-President          James McGrail
    Secretary                   Kurt Calderwood
    Treasurer                   David Stott
    Director                      Peter Lanman
    Director                      Ed Gianni
    Associate Director    John Bresnahan
    Past President          Paul Doherty

    GCSACC also awarded members with their 15 and 25 year pins.

    15 Year Pins:
    David S. Beauvais
    James McGrail
    Michael W. Poch
    Will Stearns
    David Stott
    Jeffrey Stouffer
    Colin Walsh
    Scott W. Whitcomb

    25 Year Pins:
    Tim Berge
    Rob Donovan
    Steve Thys

  • November 09, 2017 8:01 PM | Julie Heston (Administrator)

    On September 20, 2017, MassDEP issued a notification letter to Water Management Act (WMA) registrants and permittees regarding the electronic filing of the Water Withdrawals Annual Report Form (ARF) set to begin this year. Typically you receive a paper copy of the ARF at the end of each year, and it is due by the end of February. This December, MassDEP plans to email an electronic version instead.
    The letter included three attachments: a Hardship Application Form, General Information Form, and a listing of Unique IDs for your withdrawal sources. Please submit the General Information Form to us by November 30th. You may mail the form to Shi Chen at the address below, or email it to Alternatively, you can simply email Shi the best email address for receiving the ARF electronically.

    The Hardship Application should be submitted in lieu of the General Information Form only if you are unable to file your ARF electronically. Please submit the Unique ID form only if corrections are needed to the names or number of withdrawal sources. Contact Shi Chen at 617-292-5532 or with any questions on your Unique IDs.

    If you did not receive the mailing, please download the General Information Form or Hardship Application from our website at:  

    Attn: Shi Chen
    WMA Program
    One Winter Street, 5th floor
    Boston, MA 02108

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