Volunteers for the 2018 Community Service Project tied to National Golf Day numbered 175, and their four hours of work on the National Mall saved the National Park Service nearly four months of labor. GCM staff photo
GCSAA members will lead 17 teams of representatives of the We Are Golf coalition for the third annual Community Service Project on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 30, ahead of National Golf Day on May 1.
The event, carried out in coordination with 27-year GCSAA member Michael Stachowicz, turf management specialist for the National Park Service, will focus on landscaping work between the Lincoln Memorial and 7th Street. Teams will be involved in mowing, planting, pruning and sod installation.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to get to work in the nation’s front yard with superintendents who have come to town to work toward a common goal,” says Jon Lobenstine, a 19-year GCSAA member and the director of agronomy for Montgomery County Golf in Mount Airy, Md. Lobenstine has been a part of National Golf Day for nine years and has participated in all three Community Service Projects. “All of the guys and gals that come are getting to put all of their years of training on display for everyone to see,” he says.
Michael Bostian, superintendent at Waverly Woods Golf Club in Westminster, Md., has been a regular participant in National Golf Day, and, like Lobenstine, has been a leader in GCSAA’s Mid-Atlantic chapter.
“I initially got involved in advocacy because of my work with the chapter,” says Bostian, a 19-year GCSAA member. “It’s exciting to see more and more people get involved in National Golf Day and the service project. The optics of it are great. It’s not every day that you see fairway mowers going down the National Mall.”
The 200 volunteers will be out on the National Mall from 8 a.m. to noon on April 30 before joining an even larger group from the golf industry for National Golf Day on May 1.
National Golf Day celebrates the game’s $84.1 billion economy, nearly $4 billion annual charitable impact and many environmental and fitness benefits. Industry leaders will meet with members of Congress, the executive branch and federal agencies to discuss golf’s 14,000-plus diverse businesses, 2 million jobs impacted, tax revenue creation and tourism value.
“It is a really cool experience to be on Capitol Hill and be able to let legislators and their staff know we aren’t just cutting grass,” says Lobenstine of the importance of National Golf Day for golf course superintendents. “It’s a chance to show golf in a different light and to give back to GCSAA, which does so much for us.”
In addition to GCSAA, organizations taking part in National Golf Day as part of the We are Golf coalition include the Club Managers Association of America, Golf Course Builders Association of America, Ladies Professional Golf Association, National Alliance for Accessible Golf, National Golf Course Owners Association, PGA of America, PGA Tour, The First Tee, Sports and Fitness Industry Association, United States Golf Association, World Golf Foundation, and more.