WCTA Update July 2016

12.04.24-WCTAlogo-grassonly.jpgCommunicating the news, issues, events, status and plans of an association is an ongoing challenge.  This brief report will provide you a good deal of insight but only scratches the surface.  The June/July issue of the Turf Line News does the rest of the job, I hope you get as much out of it as we’ve put in!

The first half of 2016 has been the busiest stretch in my tenure at the WCTA.  January through March is always a test with conference preparation, execution and post-production but since early in the year, an unprecedented number of regulatory issues affecting the turf management industry have required our full attention (and resources), and are now just starting to level off.

Chlorothalonil and Iprodione re-evaluation
These are two major active ingredients used by turf managers, common tools in the toolbox one might say, currently under re-evaluation by Health Canada.  Thanks to Jim Ross, WCTA Director, for helping craft both our submissions designed to provide the PMRA a more complete perspective on how turf managers use these products.

New BC IPM regulation in force July 1, 2016
WCTA Board of Directors, staff and many members have been directly involved with the pesticide issue since early 2009.  The new regulation is the culmination of a massive amount of work by government, bureaucrats, stakeholders, environmental groups and even the public.  The ‘Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides’ tasked with providing the government recommendations, saw record response levels for any governmental committee.

While the rules have changed, they were very well thought out, based on sound IPM practices and should not pose insuperable cost or inconvenience to our industry.  Quite possibly, your facility will save money and have a better product.  Versus law changes in other jurisdictions, those who have taken part in the advocacy effort here are happy with the outcome.

Groundwater licencing
The new Water Sustainability Act, aimed at regulating groundwater, came into force this past February and is the first legislation of its kind in Canada.  Anyone drawing water from wells for any purpose, including irrigation or commercial use, must apply for a licence.

GVRD Water Shortage Response Plan (WSRP)
Metro-Vancouver (GVRD) policy changes are often picked up by other municipalities and regional districts so whether or not your facility is located in Metro-Vancouver (GVRD), there’s a chance you’ll be affected. 

The first round of WSRP amendments were put in place this spring and a more comprehensive review of the plan is currently in progress.  Both the Allied Golf Association of BC and WCTA were asked to participate, as were many other stakeholders.  Still underway, the WCTA has been helping facilitate a detailed water use survey of the 67 golf courses within the GVRD.

AGA-BC Receives Additional $20k to Fund New IPM Manual
The Allied Golf Association of British Columbia (AGA-BC) is very pleased to announce BC Minister of Environment, the Honorable Mary Polak, has authorized an additional $20,000 in funding for the creation of a new Integrated Pest Management resource for turfgrass managers.  We’re currently waiting for a status update from the Environmental Advocacy Committee.

First Ever 'First Green Sportsfield Edition'
On May 26, 2016, the Township of Langley (TOL) Parks Department partnered with Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), Western Canada Turfgrass Association (WCTA) and Sports Turf Canada (STC) to provide an outdoor educational program to a group of Langley Secondary School grade 9 students.

Alberta Sports Turf Field Day – August 25, 2016, Calgary
Sports Turf Canada and the Western Canada Turfgrass Association proudly present the inaugural 'Alberta Sports Turf Field Day' taking place August 25, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta at two venues, Ralph Klein Park in the morning and New Brighton Athletic Park in the afternoon.   Hosted by Norley Calder at the City of Calgary, this day of education, networking and supplier interaction is intended to be affordable, insightful and inclusive for all sports turf managers from across western Canada.

Western Canada Turfgrass Association Announces 2017 Conference and Trade Show
Catering to the professional golf and sportsturf management industry, the WCTA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 54th Annual WCTA Conference and Trade Show will take place at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, Penticton, British Columbia, February 15-17, 2017

There are several other association/member service initiatives being worked on, and although these projects had to take a back seat for the past 6 months, they are slowly but surely getting closer to completion.  We will keep you posted on all developments at www.wcta-online.com, through our e-newsletter and of course the Turf Line News.

Thank-you for your continued involvement.

Respectfully submitted,

Jerry Rousseau, WCTA Executive Director