Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Photos in the dead of winter

Last week, I was driving around with a volunteer who helps me cut down invasive shrubs during the winter. He remarked about how green the course was, for February. Forward to today. I have been organizing the photos on my computer when I took a second look at some of the photos. It struck me just how GREEN things really are in the summer. Right now, things are kind of monochrome. Mostly brown and white. The green that we see is really a greenish-yellow. Here are some photos to brighten your day. Every day is one day closer to opening day!
#4 green, looking back toward the fairway.

#7 green, in the fall of 2011.

#9 fairway, early morning.

The weather station, with native indiangrass in the foreground. I love the blue sky contrasted with the green grass.

Bumble bee on some Joe-pye-weed

Blue-flag iris in the native plant garden on #12

Lilac Cherry blooms. (Thanks to reader J-Law for pointing it out.)

Cherry blooms between #6 green and #5 fairway.

Pear orchard behind #7 green. Native redbud tree in the foreground.

#8 green.

#13 fairway.

Monday, February 13, 2012

January 2012 Weather Summary

It is the middle of the month and I have forgotten all about my monthly weather summary.

The high temperature for January was 55.1 (Jan 31st.) The low was 0.7 degrees (20th.) The average temperature was 30.9 degrees. Yes, the calender said it was January. there were 10 days where the high temperature did not get above 32 degrees. 27 days had low temps below freezing.

Leslie Park got 1.76 inches of rain. 0.75 inches on the 17th alone. 9 days had a trace of rain and 5 days had at least a tenth of an inch.

The highest windspeed recorded was 33 mph on the first day of the year.  Average speed was 4.9 mph.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Today I received word that Leslie Park has completed all of the necessary work and documentation to become Michigan's 11th golf course designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

I began this process when I started at Leslie Park two and a half years ago. Golf courses and environmental principles don’t have to be opposing forces. I hope this certification will demonstrate our daily commitment to environmental stewardship.

The city of Ann Arbor and Leslie Park Golf Course are committed to environmental stewardship every day. We appreciation Audubon International’s recognition of our efforts.

From the press release:


ANN ARBOR, MI – Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 - Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation is proud to announce Leslie Park Golf Course (LPGC) has achieved designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International program. Scott Spooner, LPGC Course Superintendent, has led the effort to obtain sanctuary status on this course and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International.

“I am extremely proud to add this mark of distinction in the industry to our achievements. Scott has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the environment and to both the quality and care of Leslie Park Golf Course since he was hired. I am excited we received this honor and commend the staff for their efforts to make this come to fruition over the past two years,” said Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation Manager Colin Smith. Smith also acknowledged the collaborative work of golf course staff and Ann Arbor’s Natural Area Preservation (NAP) Program staff for their cooperative efforts in achieving this status.

“One of my favorite parts of the certification process has been the community outreach. It’s great to be able to show our community that golf courses can be good stewards of the environment,” said Scott Spooner Superintendent, Leslie Park Golf Course.

Leslie Park Golf Course is the 11th course in Michigan and the 960th in the world to receive the honor. Additionally, LPGC is only the 2nd course in the state to be certified in Audubon’s program and the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program.

“Leslie Park Golf Course has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property," said Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs. “To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas,” explained Sluiter. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, and protect natural resources. Golf courses from the United States, Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, and Southeast Asia have also achieved certification in the program.

For more information on golf and the environment, visit In addition to golf courses, Audubon International also provides programs for businesses, schools, communities, and new developments. For more information, contact Audubon International, 46 Rarick Rd., Selkirk, NY 12158, USA, (518) 767-9051, e-mail them via the Internet at, or visit their website at

Ann Arbor has 114,000 residents, spans 27.7 square miles, and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit ( To keep up with City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation information, subscribe for e-mail updates (, follow us on Twitter ( or become a city fan on Facebook ( The city’s mission statement reads: The city of Ann Arbor is committed to providing excellent municipal services that enhance the quality of life for all through the intelligent use of resources while valuing an open environment that fosters fair, sensitive and respectful treatment of all employees and the community we serve.