Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March, 2014 Weather Summary

The high temperature for March was 56.5 degrees (March 31st.) This means I did not have to start off this month's summary with the statement "It was cold." Five days had high temperatures in the 50's. The lowest temperature recorded was -3.6 degrees (13th.) The weather station at Leslie Park had three days were the low temperature was below zero. Twenty-six days got below freezing and only 11 days had highs above 32 degrees. While this may seem cold, compared to what we had been having, it was balmy. The average temperature for the month was 28.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

We recorded 1.02 inches of rain, although at least some of that number was from melting snow. The highest daily rainfall was 0.17 inches (11th.)  Five days had over a tenth of an inch of rain.

The highest windspeed was 31 mph, recorded on the 12th.

The snowpiles are still hanging on, but they do not have much life left in them. Here is a picture from this morning.

I think the guess of April 7th will be closest.

The same area in February.

#9 fairway and green still have some snow on them as well. But there is some green in the picture, as well.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Chimney Swifts in Washtenaw County

In February, I met with Barbara Lucas, the producer of "In the Green Room" on WEMU (89.1 FM) to talk about the chimney swift tower that was built in the fall at Leslie Park Golf Course. This morning, that segment aired on the radio and is now podcast on the WEMU website. My part is brief and the interview was conducted during the walk up to the tower through the snow. Looking back at my records, the low temperature that day was -10 degrees.

You can listen to the whole segment HERE

You can read more about the Chimney Swift Tower by reading my blog post about it or by going to ChimneySwifts.org.

The Chimney Swift Tower at Leslie Park Golf Course

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Going Slow

It may seem like we are way behind where we have been in previous springs, but looking at the opening dates for the golf courses over the last seven years, you can see that we are not yet behind schedule. The average opening day for Huron Hills (front 7) is March 16th. The average first day at Leslie Park is March 28th. The official first day of spring is March 20th. While the snow may keep delay us until after the usual dates, we are still three weeks away from the average Leslie opening day. Think spring and have warm thoughts.

Cherry trees between #5 and 6 in the Spring of 2013

Blooming Redbud next to #7 Spring 2012

Blue Flag Iris from the native garden along #12

Monday, March 3, 2014

February 2014 Monthly Weather Summary

Checking the greens requires specialized equipment.

February 2014 was cold. Twenty of the 28 days did not get above freezing. Every single day in the month had a low temperature below 32 degrees. We saw four days with a low temperature below zero, with the lowest temperature for the month of -10.2 degrees (Feb 28.) The high temperature for the month was 46.6 (19th), the middle of a four day stretch which saw highs reach the 40's.  The average temperature for the month was 19.2 degrees.

The month did not see any rain, but the weather station recorded 0.85 inches of water on the 20th, most likely due to melting snow in the collector.

The average windspeed was 4.2 mph. The highest sustained windspeed was 37 mph (Feb21st.)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Snow Piles

With the amount of snow we have received this winter (somewhere around 3 feet) the piles of the white stuff in the parking lots are getting pretty big. With the plow that we have, the snow gets pushed in front of the truck. Once the snow pile gets to be around 3 feet tall, it doesn't go any higher. This means that the piles move out into the parking lot. Soon, I have to go out with the loader and move those piles out of the way. The piles end up being around 7-8 feet high. With the way this winter seems to be going, these piles will be here until May. Leave your best guess for when the last snow will be gone from the parking lots in the comments. I can't give anything for the person closest to the actual date except a mention in the blog. My guess is April 15th.

Our plow truck.

"No Parking Between Signs"

A seven foot tall, two hundred foot long pile of snow.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January 2014 Weather Summary

January 2014 was cold. The average temperature for the month was 17.3 degrees. The high temperature for the month was 44.0 degrees while the low was -12.6.  Thirteen days had low temperatures that were below zero.  There were 25 days where the temperature never got above freezing and 28 of the 31 days had low temperature below freezing.  Compare this to January 2013. Last year, Leslie Park had one day below zero degrees and just 13 days never got above the freezing mark.  The average temperature last year was 28.7 degrees.

Despite the cold weather, the weather station recorded 0.89 inches of rain. This rain came over the course of two days (the 10th and 11th) with 0.61 inches coming on the 10th.  January of 2013 had four rain events, for reference.

The average wind speed for the month was 5.2 miles per hour and the highest sustained wind speed was 33 mph (24th.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Golf Course Management Magazine Article

The Traver Creek Project was featured in the January issue of Golf Course Management Magazine, the monthly magazine from The Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America (GCSAA.) The article, written by GCM's managing editor Bunny Smith, is available by visiting Gently Down the Stream. A photograph of Hole #12 is also on the table of contents page. Below is the text of the article.

Sometimes, a plan comes together, as Scott Spooner, the superintendent at Leslie Park Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Mich., can tell you.
Even when the plan involves city, state and federal stakeholders, cooperation can grease the wheels, free up the backhoe and get the work done. A comprehensive stream restoration of Traver Creek, a tributary of the Huron River that traverses much of Leslie Park GC’s back nine, broke ground in October 2012; by the time the golf season got into full swing in June 2013, the job was largely complete.
The Huron River and its tributaries are within the contributing area of Ford Lake in Ypsilanti, Mich., which had been identified as impaired under Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act. The pollutants of concern were sediment and phosphorus that led to annual algae blooms in this important recreational waterway.
The irrigation pond formed by the impoundment where the stream enters city owned Leslie Park GC had become so filled with sediment since its construction in 1964 that the irrigation intake was accessing only 6 inches of water, says Spooner, a 15-year member of GCSAA. “Stretching out” the pond in the mid-’90s had only postponed the problem, not solved it.
Working with the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commission and with grants and loans from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Spooner oversaw construction of maintainable sediment forebays, a two-stage channel design that reconnects the floodplain and several acres of water-quality treatment wetlands. Harry Sheehan, the county water commission’s environmental manager, says that dredging removed 30,000 yards of sediment. According to Sheehan, the $1.7 million project will reduce sediment by 685 tons and phosphorus by 611 pounds a year. Such large-scale reductions are possible, he adds, because the pollution control practices at Leslie Park GC occur in the downstream portion of the 4,600-acre Traver Creek watershed.
The stream bed was stabilized using a series of grade-control structures that arrest erosive down-cutting and habitat loss. These native stone structures allow the energy of a 9-foot vertical drop within the golf course property to be dissipated without damage to the channel, Sheehan says. In total, he adds,3,300 linear feet of channel was either daylighted or restored; 6.5 acres of water-quality treatment wetland have been created; and 10.2 acres have been planted with 50 different native species, including 79 native trees and 347 shrubs. Spooner says the native species include blue flag iris, switchgrass, swamp milkweed, asters, black-eyed Susan, blue fox sedge and Joe-Pye weed.
The wetlands have been created in five different areas of the golf course and form an especially attractive view for golfers as they tee off from the 11th and 13th tees, Spooner says. Aesthetics aside, the wetlands also create habitat and movement corridors for wildlife, including a species of butterfly that is on the state endangered species list.
The material that was dredged from the irrigation pond was used to raise the No. 10 fairway and tee by about a foot.
“We now have a fairway that stays dry,” Spooner says.
For more details and photos of the Traver Creek restoration project, visit Spooner’s blog at www.travercreekproject.blogspot.com.

You obviously can also follow my blog at www.treetownturfguy.blogspot.com.