All Superintendents are Environmentalists at Heart, Says Award Winner

Matthew Crowther.

Lawrence, Kansas, United States: Matthew Crowther, the Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS) at Cape Cod Country Club, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

Crowther, a 30-year GCSAA member who is in his second year at Cape Cod Country Club in East Falmouth, Massachusetts, will be recognised during the annual Golf Industry Show, which will be held virtually from February 2-4.

The GCSAA President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship was established in 1991 to recognise 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.

Crowther was nominated for his work at Mink Meadows Golf Club in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, where he was superintendent from 1995 to 2019 and more recently at Cape Cod Country Club. His course management focuses on using as few inputs as possible to keep the surrounding environment in mind, while also creating a healthy, quality playing surface.

Crowther’s approach has reduced chemical inputs dramatically. Mink Meadows features 45 acres of irrigated turf, but only 3½ acres are conventionally maintained with fertilisers and pesticides.

In addition, he established low-maintenance native areas at the course, which has benefited wildlife and reduced cost and energy consumption to maintain those areas.

“I feel as though all superintendents are environmentalists at heart,” Crowther said. “We care deeply for our courses and the surrounding eco-systems. Some maybe like to think outside the box or take it a step further environmentally, such as I did, but it doesn’t dimmish the average day-to-day maintenance on most courses.”

GCSAA President John Fulling said: “Matthew is widely recognised as one of the true shining stars in our industry, a genuine environmental steward whose work at both Mink Meadows Golf Club and now at Cape Cod Country Club are worthy of praise.

“His accomplishments deserve to be held up as examples of the golf industry doing the right thing when it comes to the environment, and we’re pleased that we can honour him through the President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship. It certainly is well-deserved.”

Crowther, who became certified in 1999, has been active in his local and regional associations, serving as President for the GCSA of Cape Cod and the New England Regional Turf Foundation during his career.

“I never set out for recognition and did what I did voluntarily,” Crowther said. “I was not under any restrictions. I often questioned my sanity for doing it, but I took great pride in the work and longevity. I feel honoured and am deeply humbled to receive this award.”

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