Spokane Golf Course Superintendent to Receive National Honor

Jeffrey L. Gullikson, certified golf course superintendent at Spokane (Wash.) Country Club, has earned the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s (GCSAA) 2004 President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship in recognition of his involvement in the Golf and the Environment initiative.

Gullikson, a 20-year member of GCSAA, will be presented the award by GCSAA President Jon D. Maddern, CGCS, Feb. 13 at the Golf General Session during GCSAA’s 75th International Golf Course Conference and Show in San Diego, Feb. 9-14. The Golf General Session is presented in partnership with Syngenta Professional Products and Rain Bird Corp., Golf Division.

The President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship, selected by the GCSAA board of directors, was established in 1991 to recognize “an exceptional environmental contribution to the game of golf: a contribution that further exemplifies the golf course superintendent's image as a steward of the land.”

Gullikson came to Spokane Country Club in January of 2000, prior to serving as superintendent at Overlake Golf and Country Club in Medina, Wash., from 1991-99. He is a member of the Inland Empire Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association where he served on the board of directors and as president for two years, and is currently a director of the Northwest Turfgrass Association.

The Golf and the Environment initiative brings together representatives of the golf industry, the environmental community and government organizations. It is designed to enhance golf course environmental responsibility and performance through cooperation in environmental stewardship and public education. Gullikson has been instrumental in developing and implementing the First Green of Washington Program, a high school program that is dedicated to using golf courses as outdoor laboratories to teach students environmental and agronomic principles. He has worked closely with various turfgrass organizations and the school systems of the Northwest and has been successful in organizing events to provide training and funding for the program. In April 2002, he hosted the National Association of Agriculture Educators regional conference in Spokane. At that event, 100 teachers from around the western United States visited Spokane CC to learn how to use a golf course as an outdoor lab. Later that spring, he hosted the inaugural First Green of Washington Benefit Golf Tournament at Spokane CC, raising more than $10,000. To date, the program has generated more than $120,000 in contributions to support high school teachers and students in the state of Washington.

“Jeff has been one of the key players in establishing and developing this program for high school students,” Maddern said. “His hard work and enthusiasm for the program have allowed it to grow quickly, and it is rapidly becoming a model for the whole nation. We are proud to honor Jeff and the important work that he has conducted through the Golf and the Environment initiative.”

“First, it’s humbling to receive an award like this,” Gullikson said. “It really should go to all of the people who are involved in the First Green of Washington and not just to me. Second, it is very gratifying that GCSAA has recognized the potential to reach high school kids and educate the next generation on the environmental value of a golf course and the use of the golf course as a fun teaching platform.”

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