Case study: On Top of the World Communities, Florida BMP Program

Top of the World BMPIdentifying the issue

Andy Jorgensen, CGCS, has been a true leader in environmentally sustainable golf course management. Jorgensen is superintendent at On Top of the World Communities Inc. in Ocala, Fla., where he manages 81 holes of golf. Jorgensen, a 17-year GCSAA member, has always been proactive in using Best Management Practices (BMPs). But the goals of his facility required a well thought out plan to implement BMPs. This plan would be the basis of developing practices to further environmental stewardship within On Top of the World Communities.

Planning a resolution

Jorgensen knew that a BMP planning guide would set a step-by-step plan to reach the facility’s goals. Jorgensen participated on the committee that developed a BMP manual for Florida. His experience with this committee led him and his team to adopt the Florida BMP program for On Top of the World Communities. Jorgensen’s employers wanted proof that they were protecting natural resources and saving money at the same time, leading to the adoption of the BMP program. BMP programs give superintendents a record of their sustainable practices and provide evidence of continual improvement for the industry.

Implementing solutions

Implementing a BMP program can also improve efficiency.

"The BMP program makes it easy to get tasks done, while also keeping record of maintenance practices through the provided checklist," Jorgensen said.

His team followed the checklists in the Florida BMP manual to create naturalized areas, reduce energy use, and switching to 60 percent reclaimed water resources. They have also communicated the improvements through magazine advertisements, course signage and other methods to promote their best management practices.

Evaluation of results

On Top of the World Communities has been proactive in creating their BMP plan in order to create an environmentally conscious and economically viable golf course operation. Jorgensen reported a $50,000 cost savings by implementing energy conservation practices including using solar energy and LED lightbulbs. With the Florida BMP program as a basis, Jorgensen and his team have established an efficient golf course operation by using environmentally sustainable practices, which have resulted in cost savings and conservation of natural resources.