The First Green Foundation (First Green) and Golf Course Superintendents Association of American (GCSAA) have signed a memorandum of understanding that will bring First Green under the umbrella of the GCSAA’s philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG). The agreement was announced at the 2018 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio.
First Green, an innovative education outreach program using golf courses as hands-on environmental learning labs, has worked with golf course superintendents extensively for more than 20 years. Superintendents form the backbone of First Green initiatives, hosting STEM-focused field trips for students grades five and up. First Green and GCSAA field staff representatives have collaborated to support golf courses and train superintendents, conducting field trips and instruction at GCSAA’s affiliated chapters. In addition, First Green has held well-received workshops at the Golf Industry Show for several years.
“We are very excited to find a home with GCSAA, since we share similar missions and goals – to promote the environmental benefits of golf courses,” said Dr. Karen Armstead, Ph.D., First Green executive director. “Further, the EIFG supports research that enables golf courses to increase environmental stewardship, and through GCSAA’s regional reps and local chapters, First Green will gain a larger footprint – nationally then globally.”
GCSAA has an expansive network of green industry leaders with 99 chapters in North America and members in 78 countries. Its partnership with First Green will accentuate the 15,000-plus students the program has already impacted in the last two decades.
“As one of the world’s leading environmental education programs utilizing golf courses, First Green provides an ideal platform for GCSAA members to further strengthen ties with their communities,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA chief executive officer. “Our partnership will open new pathways to golf careers for generations to come.”
According to the agreement, the merger will be complete by July 31, 2018.
About First Green: A tax-exempt nonprofit, First Green is an innovative education outreach program using golf courses as hands-on environmental learning labs – the only program of its kind. First Green has been providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning since 1997, and offers extensive resources for golf course superintendents, including online lesson plans.
Golf course superintendents and/or local golf course representatives host students on field trips to test water quality, collect soil samples, identify plants, design plantings, assist in stream bed restoration and study the ecology and environmental benefits of the golf course.
For more information and to view introductory First Green videos, visit thefirstgreen.org.
About GCSAA and the EIFG: The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org, or find us on Facebook or Twitter. Visit our industry-leading magazine at GCMonline.com.
The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at www.eifg.org, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.