Once criticized by
environmentalists for their casual treatment of resources, golf courses are now
places where biodiversity is encouraged, wetlands created, water purified--and
a round can be played guilt-free
GREEN IS GOOD,
RIGHT? So 150 acres of grass and trees should make everyone happy. (Except
maybe the guy who just sliced his ball into the cart barn.)
however, have been criticized for being too green, for achieving a country-club
aesthetic through a profligate use of pesticides, herbicides, water and
critique rings true, but the recent trend has been toward creating courses that
provide positive environmental effects. When properly designed and maintained,
a course fosters biodiversity, supporting a wide range of greenery and animals.
Water hazards can be hospitable aquatic habitats that allow for the storage and
release of rainwater. On a small scale, plants even help combat global warming
by taking carbon from the atmosphere and producing oxygen.
Golf courses, in
other words, can be places where environmental science and recreation coexist.
The course depicted here, Cooks Creek Golf Club in Ashville, Ohio--designed by
Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry in partnership with Tour player John Cook--has an
Audubon sanctuary and a blue-heron rookery within its boundaries.
CHINA CLEANS UP
The race is well
under way to clear the air before the 2008 Olympic Games get started
commonly need a few days to recover from a race, but the lingering effects do
not usually include itchy eyes and acne. Those were two of the complaints from
some of the thousands of competitors who ran in the Standard Chartered Marathon
in Hong Kong in February 2006. The smog was so thick that day, it obscured the
majestic Tsing Ma suspension bridge, and 22 runners were hospitalized with
symptoms related to poor air quality.
The most dramatic
economic boom in history has not been easy on China's environment. As part of
its bid to win the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing committed to a war on
pollution. Progress has been made, but it is too early to declare victory. In
1990 there were only one million cars in China; now about three million
routinely clog the streets of Beijing alone. Satellite images of the capital
city, which has a population of 15 million, reveal some of the world's highest
levels of nitrogen dioxide--a toxic by-product of automobile exhaust and
fossil-fuel-burning factories. With the Games approaching, the government is
keen to avoid a public relations nightmare, such as the one after the Hong Kong
In an effort to
meet its stated goal of 245 "blue sky days" in 2007, Beijing officials
switched many businesses from coal power to natural gas and began moving
factories that burn fossil fuels out of town. For instance, the Capital Iron
and Steel Group is being relocated to an island 190 miles east of the city.
The 2012 London
Summer Olympics promise to be the greenest of Games. Already,
hydrogen-fuel-cell buses have made trial runs on the city's streets--and
spectators will need them. Private automobiles will not be allowed near Olympic