THE FIRST GREEN PROGRAM
What is it?
Founded in 1997, First Green is the only STEM education and environmental outreach program in the United States and Canada that uses golf courses as learning labs.
A Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) program, First Green pairs golf courses with local schools for unique Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities.
The curriculum benefits young students by helping them apply their classroom knowledge in an outdoor setting. By understanding how STEM concepts connect, students find new inspiration in their schoolwork and in the possibility of a career in golf or a STEM-related field.
TPC Summerlin hosts inaugural First Green Field Trip in Nevada
Dale Hahn, CGCS, staff, and area superintendents come together to provide a day of fun and education for Richard H. Bryan Elementary students
TPC Summerlin hosted the inaugural First Green Field Trip in the state of Nevada on April 24. First Green, a Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) program, pairs golf courses with local schools for unique Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities.
32 fifth-grade students from Richard H. Bryan Elementary School participated and learned about recycled water, water conservation, maintenance operations, and math.
TPC Summerlin Superintendent Dale Hahn, CGCS, Assistant Superintendent Kory Kirk, and Administrative Assistant Misty Kadel organized the day which started out with a visit to the Durango Hills Water Resource Center. The facility, operated by the City of Las Vegas in partnership with the Las Vegas Valley Water District, captures and treats wastewater, delivering it to golf courses, parks, and other large turf-facilities.
The students had the opportunity to tour all areas of the facility including a step-by-step tutorial on the thorough treatment process that the wastewater undergoes before its distributed to end-users for irrigation purposes.
Following the tour, the students bussed to TPC Summerlin where they enjoyed lunch at the clubhouse before embarking out to the golf course and maintenance facility for the day’s learning labs.
“This is the seventh year we have worked with the City, LVVWD, and Richard H. Bryan, but the first year that we have added The First Green curriculum to the day,” said Hahn. “I was really impressed with the lessons that First Green provides and they were easy to implement which helped with the success of the day.”
Hahn, assisted by Angel Park Golf Club Class A Superintendent Jeremy Adkins, hosted a tour of the TPC Summerlin maintenance facility. Students visited the weather station, navigated the irrigation central control system, toured the facilities wash station, and learned about stormwater capture.
Wildhorse Golf Club Class A Superintendent Darden Nicks hosted the math station on the driving range. He taught the students about square footage and how to calculate the area of a rectangle.
TPC Summerlin Assistant Superintendent Kory Kirk hosted the water conservation lab. Students got a first-hand look at the Lynx Smart Satellite, learned about turfgrass reduction and drip irrigation, and received education on the facility's water savings efforts and water costs.
Canyon Gate Country Club Class A Superintendent Greg Todd conducted tours of TPC Summerlin’s pump station. In conjunction with the morning’s tour of the recycled water plant, the students learned how TPC receives the water from the plant through purple pipe and how it is then distributed through the irrigation system.
Other volunteers for the day included Misty Kadel, Jim Davis of Harrell’s, GCSAA Southwest Field Representative Jeff Jensen, and numerous members of the TPC maintenance staff.
“It was a team effort from our staff and other superintendents from around the Las Vegas Valley,” said Kadel, who also serves as the Chapter Manager for the Southern Nevada Golf Course Superintendents Association. “It’s fun to see the smiles on the kids' faces as they learn about the golf course, environment, and our profession.”