The Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) and Rain Bird have announced that Rob Wilke, superintendent at the Skeena Valley Golf and Country Club in Terrace, B.C. is the CGSA/Rain Bird Environmental Achievement of the Year Award winner for 2022.
The CGSA/Rain Bird Environmental Achievement Award recognizes a golf course superintendent member of the CGSA who distinguished through dedication and contribution to the profession, as well to the community.
The recipient must complete an environmental project, program or practice on their course and then document the environmental impact the initiative has had at their facility.
Wilke’s environmental success includes several items that he has led his course to incorporate.
The first is starting a compost program on site from materials that are generated there. The compost made on site is then incorporated into a foliar treatment that has fungicidal effects.
Secondly, under Wilke’s direction, the fertilizer program at Skeena Valley has moved to 100 per cent foliar that helps to eliminate flush growth and aids in nutrient rich soils.
Also, he oversaw the installation of a new irrigation system and tweaked the wetting agent program that allows for better management of their limited water resources. Skeena Valley has seen an improvement with less disease and healthier turfgrass over the property as a result of these initiatives.
Wilke has been in the golf industry since 1989, when he worked at Turner Valley Golf and Country Club in Alberta, then moved onto Osoyoos Golf Club as assistant and started at Skeena Valley Golf and Country Club in 2001 as superintendent.
He has been a CGSA member since 1993. Wilke grew up on a farm and his dad was a doctor. He was on the BCGSA board of directors for nine years. He has two daughters, Anna and Grace.
“CGSA is proud to announce Rob as the 2022 CGSA/Rain Bird Environmental Achievement Award winner. Rob’s environmental projects have proven to be very successful at Skeena Valley Golf Course. He should be celebrated for these positive environmental initiatives,” said CGSA president Pierre Vezeau, AGS.
“Rain Bird is delighted to congratulate Rob Wilke and his team as the recipient of the 2022 CGSA/Rain Bird Environmental Achievement Award. I have had an opportunity at a past event to hear Rob speak on his efforts at his club and the success he was having. It is clear that he is very passionate and excels at environmental sustainability initiatives. This award is very well deserved,” added Erica Beck, Golf Area Manager – Canada, Rain Bird International, Inc.
As the CGSA/Rain Bird Environmental Achievement of the Year winner, Wilke and one of his team members will receive an All-Access registration to The Canadian 2023 Golf Course Management Conference, February 22-24. Wilke will also receive four nights accommodation and transportation costs to Vancouver.