Directly funding environmental conservation projects in green spaces!
The FairWays Foundation is not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting conservation, stewardship and education within the turf industry and beyond. The foundation supports environmental projects; both big and small by granting funds to successful applicants globally. The projects funded help to preserve the environment we live and work in whilst also encouraging education and stewardship; not only within our own industry but also within wider communities. The FairWays Foundation believe that environmental stewardship is not an initiative; it is a long-term investment into our future and the future of our industry.
Since being founded in 2019, The FairWays Foundation has granted over $440,000 to 29 projects across the USA, Canada and UK. Now in its 4th grant cycle, The FairWays Foundation is currently accepting applications until April 30, 2023.
Projects that have been funded to date include a Great Salt Lake Field Trip program, the expansion of previously supported Irvine to Girvan Nectar Network, an on-course vegetable garden to serve the golf club restaurant, the installation of bat boxes, restoring an agricultural field to prairie, phragmites removal, canal bank restoration and more. It does not have to be a golf-related project to be considered.
On average, golf courses range in size between 100 to 190 acres. With nearly 7,000 golf courses in Europe alone, that is a lot of nature to have a potential impact on. Golf courses have the opportunity to make a positive impact within their communities by providing shelter to wildlife, supporting native wildlife and plants, promoting positive stewardship to the public, and more. However, The FairWays Foundation understands that a lot of those things require additional time and resources that are not always feasible within a course’s budget. That’s exactly why The FairWays Foundation was created. The foundation funds projects and activities that impact communities within the turf industry for the better. Some examples of this are conservation-based projects, community education, and the enhancement of environmental stewardship practices.
These projects can be described as work that would conserve or safeguard the environment and natural resources on course or within the community. Please note that course-based projects that would be considered capital improvements to the course are excluded from funding.
Examples of Conservation-based-Projects:
- Pollinator Gardens
- Wildlife and Habitat Management
- Bird Boxes
- Duck Houses
- Bug Houses
- Composting Vegetative Waste
An important part of safeguarding the environment is educating others on how and why they should do so. Golf courses are full of learning opportunities for this and the foundation wants to help provide the resources needed in order to spread environmental knowledge around the course and community.
Examples of Community Education:
- Monitoring Nest Boxes with a Local Scouting Group
- Environmental Workshops at Your Local School or Library
- Engaging Members in an Ongoing Wildlife Species Inventory
Environmental Stewardship Practices
The large footprint of a golf course helps to maintain green spaces for native flora and fauna, and offers incredible potential for positive environmental impact. While regular maintenance practices may be implemented in an environmentally conscious manner, other beneficial projects may fall beyond the scope of what the annual budget would allow. The FairWays Foundation can help provide funds to implement projects and practices that promote greater environmental stewardship.
Examples of Environmental Stewardship Projects:
- Installing Natural Buffer Strips Near Waterways
- Management of Native Negation
- Heather Management
- Creating Rain Garden Wash Pad Area
- Creating/Maintaining Wildlife Corridors
The above are just a few examples of what The FairWays Foundation can fund. All are welcome to submit grant applications for projects that fall within these over-arching categories during the grant submission period which opens annually between February 1 and April 30. Questions or concerns regarding the foundation or how to apply for grants can be directed to the foundation team at [email protected].
Matt Foster, CEO & President of Aquatrols and President of The FairWays Foundation said, “We understand making a difference locally takes tremendous grit from a local champion. It might be a green keeper or parks manager or a program volunteer. Regardless, without their will, these projects would never move forward. Our message to those individuals out there with a wish for a healthier environment is The Fairways Foundation can help with the way to get there.”
For news and to learn more, follow The FairWays Foundation on Twitter: @TheFairWaysFdn