The Jefferson Iowa News®


  Lakeside Golf Course Practicing Organic Weed Control

Recent studies have shown that the continued use of herbicides and weed-control chemicals has a negative impact on the environment, and is ecologically unsound. With that in mind, Lakeside Golf Course has adopted a policy this year allowing only organic weed-control methods on their course. It is thought that the diminished bird population around Spring Lake in recent years might be attributed to chemicals which have previously been used to eradicate weeds and unwanted plant growth from the fairways.

Some researchers have also suggested that various chemical herbicides may result in a slight increase in certain cancer risks by those exposed to them over an extended period of time. When 4 oz. laboratory mice were force-fed 9 oz of toxin-laced food twice daily over the period of twelve weeks, the study found that nearly 8% developed cancer, which is significantly higher than the 6.8% of mice which would have developed it naturally. Also, 17 members of the Lakeside Golf Club have coincidentally developed symptoms of Alzheimer's disease over the past few years.

A spokesman for the golf course stated that the condition of the fairways would not be significantly affected by the policy change. Natural, organic methods are being used in place of chemicals, and so far patrons seem not to have noticed.

When asked what the course uses now in place of herbicides, the spokesman stated, "There are many organic methods available which are just as effective as chemicals when it comes to killing weeds. For example, certain spices have been used, as has vinegar. And of course our most effective organic method - flame. We flame off the fairways every other Tuesday, just before our ladies day."

The photo at right shows the second fairway as we found it last Monday - shortly before flaming. The golfers we spoke to almost unanimously declared the new process a success. They claimed that they were unable to notice any difference in the appearance or quality of the fairways or greens. "On a scale of one to ten, I would currently give the course a three," stated one member, "Of course, you should have been here last year. I would have probably given it a two or less."

If this experiment succeeds, look for other area golf courses to follow suit.

Submitted by Boyce Bailey (05-25-10)