This colour is sensual

There are certain colours that absolutely turn me on! Magenta (like when we have the first light of day and we have that beautiful colour for only a few minutes as reflections in a still boreal lake) and lime green (as in fresh aspen leaves) are two of my favorites.

Aspen leaves_Riding Mountain National Park

Today, I was out checking logistics for a customized GPS Adventure Quest in the townsite of Wasagaming, as well as meeting Lydia Sarna from the Clear Lake Golf Course restaurant, as we all prepare to welcome and provide unique Riding Mountain experiences for one of Rendez-vous Canada’s pre-conference outings in Manitoba. The new experience we will be delivering is called Riding Mountain Natural Wonders & Prairie Roots.

As I was heading home from my sojourns, I noticed the beautiful and subtle colours of fresh aspen leaves just beginning to emerge. I love this colour – there is something poetic and lovely about them. The smell of fresh aspen sap is heady; and, the resilience of these young leaves in the face of the snow showers that were coming down, made me realize how hardy these young leaves are. It’s a bit of a metaphor for Canadians who welcome spring – heady, slightly under-stated, hardy, and ready for a new adventure. We are looking forward to welcoming the world to ¬†Riding Mountain.

Bees, Bears, Bio-Diesel, and Birds – New Golf Course Management

It’s been my pleasure to watch Greg Holden and the management team at Clear Lake Golf Course over the last 16 years shift the management regime from a traditional turf management approach to one that integrates all aspects of sustainability into its operations. Today, May 1, 201o, the Globe & Mail featured the Clear Lake Golf Course in Riding Mountain National Park in article about four top “green golf courses” in Canada.

Brain Kendall, author of the article writes..”…All across Canada, courses are dramatically cutting back on the use of water and pesticides, welcoming home birds and animals once regarded as pests, restocking ponds with indigenous fish and coming up with ingenious initiatives to transform the image of a sport long under attack by environmentalists… ” He tees up his article on Canadian environmentally friendly golf courses by featuring Tees With Bees (Bell Bay, Cape Breton); Make Way With Bear (Stewart Creek Golf & C0untry Club, in Alberta’s Bow Valley); Cravings At Clear Lake (Clear Lake Golf Course, Manitoba); and Birdies and Birdwatching (Victoria’s Cordova Bay Golf Course).

Greg won a Manitoba Eco-Network‘s top environmental award in 2009 for the work that they have been doing. And, the Clear Lake Golf Course was also a finalist in last year’s Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s national awards of excellence in the category of “sustainable tourism”.

Earth Rhythms (a Riding Mountain-based learning adventure company) offers a personalized behind-the-scenes electric golf cart experience for small groups by advance reservation. ¬†Turning Green Into Gold – featuring Greg’s stories about thousands of gallons of water saved, innovative gardening tips, use of natural pest fighting agents, an understanding of bio-diesel used in golf course maintenance vehicles, and short excursions to his favorite clipping’s nutrient piles, being at the heart of his “gold compost” resource stream production centre, and seeing some of ¬†innovations in sustainable best practices are featured. This short, 2-hour program will turn your head, inspire you, and hopefully enable you to follow this up with a new appreciation for the history, ecology, and outstanding golf that is offered at Riding Mountain’s Clear Lake Golf Course.

Way to go Greg and team! It seems appropriate to tip our hats to Greg as the new 2010 President of the Canadian Golf Course Superintendent’s Association. This modest leader and pioneer in best practices of sustainable golf course management has much to offer visitors, golfers and the golf industry. He’d be the first to be cautious in handing out advice – but, he is willing to share his own experiences. His are first-class stories of carbon footprint reduction, recycling, and turning waste into resource streams.

An excerpt from this unique “experiential tourism program” will be experienced by 15 international travel buyers from India, China, Japan, the UK and Korea during the first week of May, 2010 as part of Travel Manitoba’s hosting of Rendezvous Canada – an international marketplace for travel buyers of distinctive Canadian experiences.

Clear Lake Golf Course - a Canadian leader in sustainability