The Ford Plantation hosted a First Green Field Day, an innovative environmental education outreach program that uses golf courses for hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning.
Spearheaded by golf course and grounds maintenance director Nelson Caron, and supported by naturalist Brittany Dodge, The Ford Plantation welcomed 40 students from Richmond Hill Middle School for a fun-filled, educational outing.
Using the golf course as a learning lab, students gained knowledge about the ecological and environmental aspects of the golf course, such as turfgrass anatomy, soil compositions, and water conservation. During their nature walk through The Ford Plantation wetlands, students identified plants and animals, and they concluded the day with lunch and golf ball putting on The Ford Plantation’s practice green.
Richmond Hill Middle School science teacher Robert Hodgson emphasized the real-world applications of their STEM learning labs, saying, “You can’t just learn science, you need to experience science. A small percentage of students go into science fields, so these activities are important.”
Ron Wright, representative for Golf Course Superintendents Associations of America said, “First Green exposes the science and complexity of golf courses to students across America, exposing them to career paths they never thought possible, like the studies of agronomy and advanced horticulture. But this is only possible with the participation of local golf courses, such as The Ford Plantation.”
To learn more about First Green visit www.TheFirstGreen.org. The association provides education, information and representation to more than 18,000 members in more than 78 countries. Learn more at www.GCSAA.org.