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EPA Regional Administrator Kenny Honors Environmental Performance Track Member

Release Date: 10/28/2004
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(#04167) GLENMONT, New York - Continuing its work to honor environmental achievers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny congratulated the Colonial Acres Golf Course for being the first golf course in the country accepted into the National Environmental Performance Track program. The program uses a public/private partnership to encourage top environmental performers to voluntarily commit to specific environmental improvements for more than three years.

Kenny commended the efforts of the course general manager Fred Budzyna and its superintendent Patrick A. Blum for their commitment to go beyond compliance to environmental stewardship. "The Colonial Acres course proves that you can have high quality grass on your golf course at the same time you lower the use of synthetic pesticides and water," said Jane M. Kenny, EPA Regional Administrator. "Performance Track is about protecting the environment, and honoring members who are committed to environmentally-sound practices that will protect people's health and the health of our nation's land, air and water."

Colonial Acres is a nine-hole semi-private golf course operating on 33 and a half acres in upstate New York near Albany. The average number of rounds played per year on the course is 25,000. From April through October, Colonial Acres maintains above average course conditions using mostly natural organic pesticides. Only about 30% of the pesticides used on the course are synthetic. Sprinklers and rain can cause pesticides to run off into local waters, and, if used improperly, can harm plants and animals. In addition, Colonial Acres collects and uses rainwater to irrigate the course and reduced watering from 30 minute cycles to 25 minutes. From 1997-2002, the course lowered emissions of volatile organic compounds from lawnmowers by 98.5 pounds by mowing less, thanks to naturalizing their turf, which required less- maintenance.

The National Environmental Performance Track was designed to motivate and reward top environmental performance. Performance Track began in June 2000 and has more than 300 members. Members' achievements include reducing energy use by 3.1 million British thermal units (BTUs), water use by 775 million gallons and solid waste production by 176,126 tons.

The six newest members of Performance Track in Region 2 include:

There are now 44 members in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico.

In 2000, Colonial Acres won the New York City Governor's Pollution Prevention Award Exit EPA disclaimerand the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America National Overall Environmental Leader Award. Exit EPA disclaimerIt continues to create an environmentally-sound approach to golf course maintenance today. The Superintendent often speaks at state, regional and national conferences on the topic of environmentally responsible golf courses.