First Green program announces UK roll-out
An environmental education program that turns golf courses into classrooms is to be rolled out in the United Kingdom.
First Green teaches young people STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) using golf courses as learning laboratories and was founded in 1997 by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
It’s the world’s first golf-oriented STEM learning program and will now be delivered by the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) to school pupils in England, Scotland and Wales; following a multi-year agreement with the GCSAA.
Golf courses will host First Green field trips, where children work alongside turf professionals learning to test water quality, collect soil samples, identify plants, restore stream beds and understand the ecology and environmental value of golf courses.
Jim Croxton, BIGGA CEO, said: “First Green is a brilliant tool with all the assets, lesson plans and resources that any golf course needs to host an event. We’re thankful to the GCSAA for the incredible work they have done to develop the programme and also for enabling us to bring it to the UK, where I am confident it will be a huge success.”
The curriculum is designed to connect STEM concepts with golf course management and conservation, inspiring students and providing insight into the possibilities of careers within golf.
Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO, said: “STEM education opens the door to a wide variety of career paths, including golf-related careers. While our number one goal for First Green is to support the education growth of students, we also contribute to golf’s sustainability by showcasing golf facilities’ focus on preserving the environment and creating interest in a golf-related career.
Over the years we have collaborated on many initiatives with BIGGA and created a strong working relationship. This long-term and successful relationship enabled our two associations to seamlessly bring the GCSAA’s First Green programme to the UK.”
Since its inception, First Green has taken more than 15,000 children on STEM field trips to golf courses in the United States and Canada, introducing them to the important role greenkeepers and superintendents play in their communities.
GCSAA will support BIGGA members and venues with branding, training, insight and curriculum advice to establish First Green in the UK.
For more information about First Green, visit thefirstgreen.org