Hancock Turfgrass Research Center gains certification in environmental stewardship program

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program (MTESP) recognized the Hancock Turfgrass Research Center for its efforts to ensure environmental stewardship and enhance wildlife habitats. MTESP is a voluntary program that helps Michigan’s turfgrass industry learn best management practices that reduce environmental risks.

“Hancock Turfgrass Research Center has gone above and beyond environmental compliance requirements to prevent pollution, protect water resources, and conserve energy—all of which benefit the environment,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “By implementing best management practices, and conducting energy audits, they are saving money, protecting natural resources, and reducing their carbon footprint. MDARD is proud to be associated with this unique partnership among state agencies, Michigan State University (MSU), and industry stakeholders. As additional properties work to attain certification, it provides a solid foundation for success.”

To date, 182 properties statewide have begun participating in the MTESP, 47 have met the certification criteria, and 668 modules have been completed. MTESP certification requires regulatory compliance and implementation of practices that prevent pollution, reduce energy and waste, and protect water resources.

“The Hancock Center at Michigan State is the hub for so many impactful turf research projects. We are very proud to have the Hancock Center as a certified facility,” said MTESP Director Adam Ikamas. “Congratulations to Jesse Sholl and his entire crew on this achievement. We hope more and more turf facilities log into the website at mtesp.org and start the process of certification, many find they are much closer than they thought.”

To become certified in the MTESP, organizations must complete 11 modules relating to facilities, maintenance, and operation practices. Properties that complete all required items in the MTESP modules can be evaluated for certification in the program.

This program is intended to organize efforts of state agencies, MSU, and environmental advocacy groups to advance the turfgrass industry’s environmental stewardship and recognize environmental achievements. The program was developed at MSU with support from the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, Michigan golf Course Superintendents Association, Golf Association of Michigan, Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, Michigan PGA Section, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Michigan Water Stewardship Program provides the base funding to develop and operate the program.

For more information about the MTESP, visit www.mtesp.org.

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