The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) Mid-Atlantic has announced the winners of their 2023 awards. Queenstown Harbor was selected as the 2023 winner of the Sustainability Award, which recognizes a club for innovation and leadership to incorporate sustainability and environmental stewardship into operating practices. The conservation efforts that Queenstown Harbor is recognized for are detailed below by NGCOA: Queenstown Harbor, Queenstown, MD (October 5, 2023) – A certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 2008, Queenstown Harbor has 37 holes of championship golf that line the shores of the Chesapeake Bay on the Easter Shore. The turf experts at the courses employ best management practices and Integrated Pest Management to minimize inputs at their site. Wildlife habitat creation, water conservation, and reduced pesticide usage are also vital to be good stewards of the land. Since its original design and construction, Queenstown Harbor captures the majority of the rainfall it receives and stores it in ponds for irrigation, conserving water, and reducing runoff. Keeping nitrogen out of streams and rivers is key to protecting the Chesapeake Bay, and this careful management approach has lowered the nitrates and nitrogen in the groundwater compared to the farm that preceded the golf course. In addition, Queenstown Harbor has a wide variety of native grasses and landscaping that grow around Queenstown Harbor. Along the shorelines, you’ll find wetlands with a variety of Chesapeake Bay vegetation. The inland freshwater lakes offer buffer strips designed to reduce internal runoff. The course has a number of sustainability efforts in place, including:
Water conservation: The course uses a variety of water conservation measures including switching to more drought-tolerant turfgrass.
Wildlife habitat: The course provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including deer, fox, wild turkeys, birds, bees, and butterflies.
Efficient Energy: The course uses recycled materials whenever possible, and it has implemented a number of energy-efficient measures including solar power to assist with electric golf cart charging.
Decreased Pesticide Use: The overall pesticide use has decreased greatly with the switch to more tolerant turfgrass types demanding significantly less input.
In addition to the above, Queenstown Harbor Golf Course has also won the National Public Course "Environmental Leader in Golf Award" from Golf Digest and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. This award recognizes the course's outstanding environmental record and its commitment to sustainable practices. Source: Press release on 10/5/2023 from The National Golf Course Owners Association Mid-Atlantic.