Winter Newsletter - ndrpa

Winter Newsletter - ndrpa

FOCUSThe Official Publication of the North Dakota Recreation and Park Association Winter 2013People on the Move, Page 9Renovating Golf Course Bunkers, Page 16

Pr e s i d e n t’s Me s s a g eMarathon ManThe Twin Cities Marathon this past October was afun, fascinating recreation event, as evidenced by thepicture with my daughter Kayla and son-in-law Brandon.Like many things in life, the journey, not thedestination, is what’s treasured. It was healthy andstimulating to have challenges that required somedetermination and discipline. Though it’s invigorating tobe among 300,000 people in the Twin Cities, it’s equallyas thrilling to spend time solo with Dakota wildlife.We all love spending time with our family and, afterwatching my two daughters run, leap-frogging ahead tocheer them on, and having 80-year-olds pass by, it waseasy to decide to run with them, enjoying quality familyrecreation time.We benefit from goals, and a regular running scheduleand nutritious diet are two action items that put you in aposition to be successful. The hardest part is often thefirst step, but running quickly became a passion. Wehave favorite routines, and mine is running every otherday, five miles on weekdays and a longer weekend run.My daughter Britt is studying to be a physicaltherapist, and she has been helpful advising her 56-year-old father. Therewere plentyof sore andpulled muscles(obstacles likeany endeavor).Our parksrecreationprofessional livesare jam-packedbusy, and it isa physical and Wayne Beyer, NDRPA Presidentmental releaseto run the trails – the best therapy. Great ideas areconceived while running in solitude in the outdoors, apositive mind at work.Outstanding river trail systems during trainingincluded the Red in Fargo and Grand Forks, Missouriin Bismarck/Mandan and Mississippi in Minneapolis/St. Paul. In Wahpeton, trails offered great views of ourpark system and enhanced understanding simply bywandering around in them. Too often, parks-recreationprofessionals become so immersed in their work theydon’t take time to enjoy it.Running 26.2 miles is like much of our work, patientlytaking time for eventual success. Remember this mantrawith your recreation programs, partnerships, NDRPA andpark facilities.There are plans to run this marathon until my runningdays are over. Lifelong leisure, hopefully!MissionAdvancing parks and recreation for an enhancedquality of life in North Dakota.Strategic Goals1. Member Services: Support providers (districts,agencies, and organizations) and individuals(professionals, students, board members, andvolunteers) in the field of parks and recreation.2. Promotion and Marketing: Promote the benefitsand value of public parks and recreation (i.e.,economic, health, social, cultural, quality of life,quality of place).3. Advocacy and Public Policy: Enhance the publicpolicy advocacy program.4. Partnerships: Develop partnerships,relationships, or alliances with otherorganizations to maximize available resources toaccomplish the mission.March 12-14 Certified Playground Safety InspectorCourse, BismarckApril 14-16May 1-2June 18-19July 10-11Sept. 10-12Oct. 8-10Midwest Conference, Deadwood, S.D.NDRPA Quarterly Meeting, CavalierND Trails Conference, BismarckNDRPA Quarterly Meeting, MinotNDRPA State Conference, Valley CityNRPA Congress, Houston3

Co n t e n t sPresident’s Message 3Mark Your Calendar 3NDRPA Quarterly Meeting 5NDRPA News 6Commissioner’s Corner 8People on the Move 9NDRPA January Meeting Summary 10Bina Elected into Parks and Recreation Academy 12Park District News 14Renovating Golf Course Bunkers 16Ad v e rt i s e r sBC6 Builders 2Recreation Supply Company 5Rivard’s Turf & Forage 5Steiner Thuesen PLLC 5Acme Tools 7EAPC Architects Engineers 8Dakota FenceInsertDakota Fence 11Herfort Norby Golf Course Architects LLC 11ND Insurance Reserve Fund 12Bobcat 13Associated Supply Company Inc. 15The Tessman Company 15SFR Consulting Group Inc. 15R.J. Thomas Mfg. Co. Inc. 18MY TURN Playsystems 19Kadrmas Lee & Jackson 20Thank You to our FOCUS advertisers.We appreciate your business!FOCUS is the official newsletter of the North Dakota Recreation & Park Association(NDRPA). It is distributed quarterly via mail to more than 500 parks and recreationprofessionals and posted on the NDRPA website. Submission of articles andphotographs are encouraged in digital format to Photographsshould be high-resolution (300 dpi or greater). Advertising information is available onlineat FOCUS deadline: April 15, 2013Cover photo: Bismarck Parks and Recreation DistrictBo a r d o f Di r e c t o r sPresident Wayne BeyerWahpeton Parks and Recreation304 S. 5th St., Wahpeton, ND 58075Phone: 701-642-2811 • Fax: 701-642-5053woppark@702com.netPast President Brandy ChaffeeGrand Forks Park DistrictPO Box 12429, Grand Forks, ND 58208Phone: 701-746-2750 • Fax: 701-746-2753bchaffee@choicehf.comPresident Elect RaNae JochimBismarck Parks and Recreation District400 E. Front Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58501Phone: 701-222-6455 • Fax: 701-221-6838rjochim@bisparks.orgSecretary/Treasurer Arik SpencerND Parks and Recreation Department1600 E. Century Ave., Ste. 3Bismarck, ND 58503Phone: 701-328-5357 • Fax: 701-328-5363aspencer@nd.govMembership Chair Greg SmithBismarck Parks and Recreation District400 E. Front Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58501Phone: 701-222-6455 • Fax: 701-221-6838gsmith@bisparks.orgLegislative Chair Ron MerrittMinot Park DistrictBox 538, Minot, ND 58702Phone: 701-857-4136 • Fax: 701-857-4769ronrpz@srt.comCommunications Chair Tammy FogleFargo Park District701 Main Avenue, Fargo, ND 58103Phone: 701-499-6060 • Fax: 701-499-6069tfogle@fargoparks.comProfessional Development ChairJames KramerDickinson Parks and Recreation2004 Fairway St., Dickinson, ND 58601Phone: 701-456-2074 • Fax: 701-456-2073jkramer@dickinsonparks.orgAwards Chair Darin KruegerWilliston Parks and Recreation1002 W. 11th St., Williston, ND 58801Phone: 701-577-5141 • Fax: 701-572-9328darin@wprd.usStudent Representative Craig BjurFargo Park District701 Main Avenue, Fargo, ND 58103Phone: 701-499-6060 • Fax: 701-499-6069cbjur@fargoparks.comConference Chair Amy PedersonValley City Park and RecreationPO Box 422, Valley City, ND 58072Phone: 701-845-3294 • Fax: 701-845-2067amyp@vcparks.comSta f fExecutive Director Dana SchaarPO Box 1091, Bismarck, ND 58502-1091Phone: 701-355-4458 • Fax: 701-223-4645clearfour@btinet.netFOCUS De s i g n & Ed i t i n gRobin Pursley and Kylie BlanchardClearwater CommunicationsWe b s i t ewww.ndrpa.com4

NDRPA Quarterly MeetingMay 1-2 • CavalierSponsored by BC6 BuildersSpring may seem a long time away, but makesure you have May 1-2 on your calendar forNDRPA’s spring quarterly meeting. Cavalier ParkBoard, along with the City Recreation Committeeand Chamber of Commerce, looks forward towelcoming NDRPA members to the community.Cavalier is working on a great line-up ofactivities, in addition to our meetings, and thisinformation will be available in March. But it’s nottoo early to make your hotel reservations! A blockof rooms has been reserved at the Cedar Inn forthe nights of April 30 and May 1. Call 701-265-8341 to reserve your room. The deadline is April 1.5

NDRPA Ne w sScholarships Available forPlayground Safety CourseLearn how to ensure your playgrounds are safe forchildren by attending NDRPA’S 11th annual CertifiedPlayground Safety Inspector (CPSI) Course on March12-14 in Bismarck. This first-class course is sponsoredby the ND Parks & Recreation Department and the NDInsurance Reserve Fund (NDIRF) and hosted by theBismarck Parks & Recreation District.Scholarships are available to NDIRF and NDRPAmembers (agency, professional and allied). The first30 individuals to register for both the course and theexam will receive a full scholarship ($380 value) to coverthe course registration fee. This means members payonly the $100 exam fee to attend. The final registrationdeadline for the course is Feb. 11.The course brochure and registration form areavailable at or by calling 701-355-4458.Let College Students Know aboutNDRPA Scholarship DeadlineReach out to North Dakota college students in thefield of parks and recreation and let them know that thedeadline for applications for the Dr. Sandra ModisettMemorial Scholarship is April 5.Dr. “Sandy” Modisett was a professor of recreation atthe University of North Dakota, president of NDRPA, andpresident and vice chairperson for the Grand Forks ParkDistrict. Student scholarships of $1,000 and $500 willbe awarded this year. Full-time sophomores, juniors andseniors enrolled in a recreation/leisure/natural resource/tourism service curriculum as a major area of study atNorth Dakota colleges and universities in the fall of 2013are encouraged to apply. Selection of recipients will bebased on demonstrated academic achievement andprofessional commitment.Professional development awards, named afterDr. LaVernia Jorgensen who taught at the Universityof North Dakota from 1963-1988 as a professor ofrecreation, are available to professionals seeking toenhance their knowledge through advanced degrees,conferences or other learning opportunities. Selection ofrecipients will be based on demonstrated professionalachievement, commitment to the field and educationalpursuit. The deadline is April 5.Visit the NDRPA website at todownload an application or call 701-355-4458 for moreinformation.Midwest Conference to be Heldin DeadwoodThe SD Parks and Recreation Association is hostingthis year’s Midwest Conference in Deadwood on April14-16. The theme is “Going All In” and features ChadPregracke, president and founder of Living Lands &Waters, Dr. John Crompton, professor at Texas A&MUniversity, and Michael Oster, leadership consultant andtrainer.A block of rooms has been reserved at The Lodge atDeadwood Gaming Resort. Prices range from $89.99 to$119.00. Reservations may be made by calling 877-393-5634.The deadline for early bird registration and roomreservations is March 13. Registration information isavailable at www.ndrpa.comAnnual Report Available on WebsiteNDRPA’s 2011-2012 annual report is posted onthe NDRPA website at It includesa summary of the year’s activities, along with amembership and financial report.Don’t Wait...Nominate!If you have an organization or an individual who hasdone great things in your community, nominate themfor an award. Recognizing the people who make greatthings happen in our communities is very important. Thedeadline to nominate for the 2013 awards is Aug. 2.The following awards are available to nominateindividuals or organizations in your communities: FellowAward, Golden Egg Award, Individual Citation Award,Organization Award and Outstanding Young ProfessionalAward.Hall of Fame nominations are due to Dave Klundt bythe summer quarterly meeting on July 9-10 in Minot.More information about all NDRPA awards is availableat

State LegislativeSession UnderwayDuring the state legislativesession, NDRPA tracksbills that may be of interestto members and providesweekly reports via email. Ifyou or other members ofyour agency are interested inreceiving the weekly updates,send an email request is supporting two bills that may provide grantfunding for the development of parks and recreationfacilities in communities. HB 1019 is the ND Parks andRecreation Department (NDPRD) appropriation bill. Itmaintains existing funding levels for NDPRD operationsand programs, while providing additional funding forseasonal staffing needs and for one-time projects, suchas the community grant program, state park masterplanning and equipment upgrades. NDRPA has longbeen an advocate for the community grant program,which is included with a one-time appropriation of$400,000.In Governor Dalrymple’s budget address, hementioned a new Outdoor Heritage Fund, which isHB 1278. The bill provides for up to $30 million perbiennium from oil and gas tax revenue to be allocated toan Outdoor Heritage Fund, which will provide grants tostate agencies, tribal governments, political subdivisionsand nonprofits as recommended by a 12-memberadvisory board to the ND Industrial Commission. Whilethe primary purpose of the fund is conservation, oneof the stated grant purposes is to “conserve naturalareas for recreation through the establishment anddevelopment of parks and other recreation areas.”NDRPA is specifically named in the bill to provide arecommendation to the governor for one memberof the advisory board. NDRPA has been meetingwith a coalition of agriculture, energy, business andconservation groups working on the Outdoor HeritageFund.If you are aware of any issues the NDRPA LegislativeCommittee should know about or if you have anyquestions or comments, contact Ron Merritt, legislativechair, at 701-857-4136 or Dana Schaar, executivedirector, at 701-355-4458.7

Co m m i s s i o n e r’s Co r n e rShawn Wolf has been a member of the New EnglandPark Board for nearly 12 years and says he ran for aposition with the board over a decade ago to give backto the community. “There were a couple of us thatdecided to run for open positions to help out where wecould with upcoming projects,” says Wolf.These projects included a new football field, newswimming pool and updates to the community’s parks.He says the planning and building of the community’sswimming pool used much of the board’s resources,but funds are again growing, and the board is lookingat additional projects throughout the community. Theseinclude creating a new park near the swimming pool andmaking additional updates to the city’s other parks.“The board is now more focused on maintaining andupdating the facilities and parks in the community,”notes Wolf, adding plans are also underway to updatefootball and baseball fields as well as plant new trees inthe area’s parks. He says community members are alsoexpressing interest in developing biking and walkingtrails in the community.Wolf says one of the main challenges he faces as apark board member is finding new members to fill openpositions on the board. “We have had a couple of spotsopen for a while,” he says. “Everyone is so busy. It ishard to fill those spaces and start new projects.”But his goals remain to keep the community’sfacilities in great condition and to work to recruityounger community members to the board.NDRPA is a great resource for the New EnglandPark Board, says Wolf, because it provides a varietyof information from one source and the resourcesto connect with other communities planning similarprojects.8

Pe o p l e o n t h e Mo v eDani Becker has been hired asmembership representative at CourtsPlus Community Fitness for the FargoPark District. Dani is originally fromAlexandria, Minn. She graduatedwith an associate degree in healthand fitness. She loves to do anythingactive and loves to cook.John Heise has worked at WillistonParks and Recreation District (WPRD)since moving from Wisconsin abouttwo years ago, officiating and filling inon various projects before acceptingthe finance manager position. He wasborn in Rhinelander, Wis., graduatedfrom Rhinelander High School in 1975and is a Hodag through and through.He attended UW-Whitewater formost of his undergraduate work, and graduated fromMetropolitan State University in St Paul, Minn., with abachelor of arts degree in 1988 and graduated fromUW-Whitewater in 1989 with a master’s degree in schoolbusiness management.John has worked mostly management positionsduring his career in schools and the private sector. Healso has his own business – a website called – a sports, entertainment andpromotional interview site. He is married and has fourchildren. He has a love of sports and has done radiowork as a sports director and play-by-play broadcaster,coached for over 20 years at all age levels and officiatedfor 12 years.Kelsie Ganyo is the new marketingcoordinator for WPRD. She earnedher associates in applied science ingraphic design and communicationsin May 2012 from Bismarck StateCollege. Kelsie will be responsible forall WPRD marketing and the everchangingwebsite.She is new to the Williston area,but is adjusting well and enjoying herself. Her free timeis spent outdoors, doing crafts, watching and playingsports, and spending time with her family and friends.WPRD is very excited to add Kelsie to the staff andlooks forward to her work being used to enhance thedistrict’s marketing program.Baylee Robinson has joinedWPRD as a recreation coordinator.She grew up in North Dakota and hasbeen working in the recreation fieldher entire life as her mother, BridgetteMartens, is the director in Beulah. Shegraduated from North Dakota StateUniversity with a degree in sports andrecreation leadership. She did herinternship with the West Fargo Park District last summer.In her free time, Baylee enjoys being outdoors,exercising and snowboarding. WPRD is very pleasedto add Baylee to the recreation staff. She brings a verypositive personality, and the kids already love beingaround her. She will be a great asset to WPRD recreationprogramming as the district continues to grow.MacKenzie (Mac) Weigel is anew maintenance staff person atRiverwood Golf Course in Bismarck.In the off-season, he will assist inother areas and is currently at theBismarck State College (BSC) Aquatic& Wellness Center. Mac is a Bismarcknative and has an associate in artsand associate in science degrees fromBSC. He graduated with a sports andurban turfgrass management degree from North DakotaState University. Mac was a grounds crew worker atHawktree Golf Course in Bismarck for five seasons andcompleted his internship at Hawktree as well. He is amember of the Golf Course Superintendents Associationof America.The Fargo Park District has recentlyhired Tara Sprague as child caresupervisor at Courts Plus CommunityFitness. Tara recently graduated fromNDSU with a bachelor of sciencedegree in human development andfamily science. She is currently busyplanning for her wedding in May.9

NDRPA January Meeting SummaryBelow are the highlights from the Jan. 22 quarterlybusiness meeting in Bismarck.• Approved minutes from the Sept. 19, 2012, meeting(Higlin, Redmann MSC).• Spencer reviewed the financial statements; cashon hand is $93,752.11. Approved financials (Bina,Krueger MSC).• President’s Report – Beyer thanked everyonefor the opportunity to host the annual meeting inWahpeton last fall. He asked Randy Bina, who ischairing a Governance Task Force, to report. Binastated that reviewing the governance structureis in this year’s work plan, and the task force willbe preparing a short survey for board members,committee chairs, and past presidents. The goalis to have the surveys completed by the springquarterly meeting in May.• President Elect’s Report – RaNae thanked NDRPAfor helping cover her expenses to attend theNRPA Congress in Anaheim. She attended boththe Council of State Affiliate Presidents (CSAP)meeting and the Midwest Network meeting. Sheencouraged everyone to sign up for the MidwestNetwork in NRPA Connect, as that is how NRPAgauges the level of activity in networks.• Communications Report – Fogle said thecommittee met and discussed options to engageNDRPA members through social media, such asFacebook or LinkedIn.• Legislative Report – Merritt reviewed legislationdiscussed by the committee, including thecommunity grant program funding that is part of theND Parks and Recreation Department appropriationand the Outdoor Heritage Fund. He also askedmembers to comment on legislation sent outthrough the weekly Friday update.• Professional Development Report – Kramerreported the committee met to help Valley Citybrainstorm ideas for the state conference inSeptember. He encouraged members to submitsession ideas and speakers to Amy Pederson,conference chair.Membership Report – Smith presented a status reporton membership renewal; the deadline for 2013membership is Jan. 31.• Scholarship Report – Tim Kuntz said the committeemet and will continue to offer one $1,000 and one$500 student scholarship this year. The deadline isApril 5.• Midwest Report – Kuntz encouraged NDRPAmembers to attend the Midwest Conference inDeadwood, SD, April 14-16. Also, two Midwest10awards will be presented at the conference: YoungProfessional and Professional of the Year.• Schaar encouraged all park districts involved in theeconomic contribution study to review the latestdata and report back to her by the Feb. 8 deadline.• Schaar reported the deadline for CPSI scholarshipsis Feb. 11 and thanked the sponsors who makethese possible: ND Insurance Reserve Fund andND Parks and Recreation Department.• Spencer stated the ND Trails Conference willbe held June 19-20 in Bismarck and will featurekeynote speaker John McGovern on accessibletrails.• Staley reported there was no additional informationon the University of North Dakota’s recreationprogram. Neu shared information about the sportand leisure management program at the Universityof Mary. Everyone thanked him for bringingstudents to the quarterly meeting.• The 2011-2012 annual report was approved(Spencer, Gillen MSC).• The IRS Form 990-EZ and ND tax return wereapproved (Klipfel, Jochim MSC).• There was discussion about future conferences.NDRPA is scheduled to bid out 2016 this year. Twooptions include another joint conference with SouthDakota or possibly working with the ND League ofCities. NRPA is moving its Congress to Septemberin future years, so NDRPA will have to considerwhen to hold its conference.Parks Day at the Capital

Bina Elected into Parks and Recreation AcademyRandy Bina, executive director of the Bismarck Parks and RecreationDistrict, was recently elected as a Fellow into the American Academy for Parkand Recreation Administration (AAPRA). The honor was recently announced atAAPRA’s annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.AAPRA is an organization of distinguished practitioners and scholarscommitted to the advancement of the park and recreation field. Membership ofAAPRA is made up of professionals who have served at least 15 years in parksand recreation and have demonstrated leadership within the field. Membershipis limited to just 125 practicing professionals in the country.Bina was elected as a Fellow as a result of his leadership within the parks andrecreation profession; his active involvement in many community, state, regionaland national organizations; and his work to promote the understanding andimportance of public parks and recreation.Bina has been on various NDRPA committees and task forces since 1983,serving on the board of directors from 1994-96 and as president in 1986-1987 and again in 2006-2007. He has been involved in the American Park andRecreation Society, serving as the Midwest regional representative from 1998-Randy Bina2001 and was the treasurer on the executive committee from 1998-2001. Binaserved on the NRPA Midwest Regional Council and was chair from 1998-2001. Nationally, Bina served as theMidwest Region representative on NRPA’s National Forum from 2004-2006 and has been a member of NRPA’sboard of directors since 2006.In 1995, Bina received the NDRPA Fellow Award. He’s also the recipient of the 1997 NRPA Midwest RegionFellow Award. In 2004, Bina received the University of North Dakota Recreation & Leisure Services ProgramOutstanding Alumnus Award. In 2012, he was elected into NDRPA’s Hall of Fame.Bina is an Ardoch native and a graduate of the University of North Dakota and the University of Mary. Heand his wife, Elizabeth, have three children.12

Pa r k District Ne w sFlurry Fest a Winter TraditionBy Paula RedmannBismarck Parks and Recreation DistrictBismarck Parks and Recreation’s Flurry Fest 2013included indoor and outdoor winter activities, includinga disc golf tournament, a tennis Play Day, a remotecontrolled aircraft fun fly, a dive-in movie, a photocontest, an adaptive bowling fun day, special priceson the indoor driving range, a Zumba party, wallyballtournament and the search for the annual treasure in theTreasure Hunt. This 10-day winter festival is an annualtradition in Bismarck.Grant Enhances Cross Country Ski TrailsBy Paula RedmannBismarck Parks and Recreation DistrictReceiving a motorized recreational trail project grantthrough ND Parks and Recreation Department helpedthe Bismarck Parks and Recreation District (BPRD)purchase a cross country skiing trail groomer, utilityvehicle and rescue sled.The equipment is used at Riverwood Golf Coursein Bismarck. BPRD staff says the equipment makesit easy to not only create more classic cross countrytrails of varying distances throughout the golf coursefor traditional cross country skiers, but the equipmentprovides the ability to create skating lanes for skateskiers as well. Having the rescue sled will be a great helpshould any skier on a course need medical assistance.Crosby Passes One Cent Sales TaxMeasureBy Bob Gillen, Crosby Park DistrictNov. 6 was not only a major election for the country,it was also a very big day for the Crosby Park District.The park board, along with the local hospital, had on thelocal ballot a one cent sales tax, which if both passedwould move the city sales tax from 6 to 8 percent. In avote of 299-234, the park board measure passed, whilethe hospital came up short.The park district set up the measure for a five-yeartime period with 50 percent of the sales tax moniesgoing to the park board budget with a reduction in theproperty tax mills from 35 mills to 10 mills or less. Theother 50 perecent of the sales tax monies will go towardthe Northwest Health and Wellness Center Facilitycurrently being managed by the Crosby Blue Line Club.Phase I is under construction and will be home to amulti-purpose arena, including the ice rink, as well as athree-sheet curling rink and indoor walking track. Thepark district will help the Blue Line Club finish off fundingof the current phase and then use the monies fromthe sales tax to begin work on Phase II, which couldinclude such things as a fitness center and gymnasticscenter. Down the road, the park board would like to worktoward an indoor aquatics facility to be added onto thiscomplex.Park District Director Bob Gillen says, “Thecommunity of Crosby has given us this favorable vote,and we are very excited and appreciative of the supportof the residents. We have so many projects and someequipment that our park system needs to get updated,and this sales tax money will give us a much betterability to get these necessary items done and in aquicker period of time.”Construction Underway on NorthwestHealth & Wellness CenterBy Bob Gillen, Crosby Park DistrictThe Crosby Blue Line Club began construction inmid-October of the $3.95 million Northwest Health andWellness Center. The facility will be home to the CrosbyBlue Line Club Hockey Program, as well as the CrosbyCurling Club. The building will house a multi-purposearena and three curling rinks. An indoor walking trackalong with a full service kitchen and office/storage14

ooms will round out the facility.In November, the footings were poured, along withthe beginning of the stem walls. Excavation of most ofthe site was done by members of the Crosby Blue LineClub, and the majority of the money is coming in theform of pledges and donations. The City of Crosby hasgenerously given the Blue Line Club $500,000 towardthe construction of facility. The Crosby Park District, whojust earned a one-cent sales tax measure, will give 50percent of their sales tax dollars to the facility over thenext five years. Plans are to finish off the current phaseunder construction and then use whatever funds are leftto begin working toward a second phase, which couldinclude a fitness center as well as a gymnastics center.Crosby Park District Director and Crosby Blue LineClub Fundraising Coordinator Bob Gillen states, “Thiswill be a state of the art facility up here in northwestNorth Dakota. The facility will provide the communityand region so many different year-round opportunitiesfor events and programs. It will also give the localhockey program, skaters and curlers a much neededupgrade from their current facility.”15

Renovating Golf Course Bunkers– Five Factors to ConsiderEditorial Submitted by Kevin NorbyMuch of the work we are doing today involvesrenovating existing golf courses. Depending on the ageof the course, the scope of these projects vary greatlyfrom completely rebuilding putting greens or tees toimproving fairway drainage and renovating bunkers.Since it would be impossible to adequately cover alltypes of renovation projects with such limited space, I’velimited this particular article to identifying five importantelements to consider when planning a bunker renovationproject.The Maintenance BudgetIf the course is going to be a public golf course witha somewhat more limited budget, we’ll try to createbunkers that are easier to maintain. We may still haveelaborate capes and bays, but the sand will probablybe somewhat flatter in the bottom so that it can bemaintained with a sand pro as opposed to requiringhand raking to pull the sand back up on the faces.Softer, less rounded capes and grass faces can bemaintained with more traditional rough mowers andsidewinder units. The more rounded capes and steepergrass faces may require mowing by hand or using stringtrimmers.If the course is private or a higher-end destinationcourse with a more substantial maintenance budget,we might not only create more bunkers, but they willlikely be somewhat larger and more dramatic. Thismight mean the capes get more rounded, the sand getsflashed up higher, and we might use a more expensivesand such as that available from Ohio or Arkansas.Placement and VisibilityIn my opinion, it is critical that bunkers and, for thatmatter, all hazards be visible. I think that the golf holeswhich are the most memorable are the ones wherethe golfer can see everything unfold in front of them.We want the golfer to be able to see the entire hole orlanding area when preparing to hit his shot so that hecan make an informed decision on how to play it. Forthat reason, we would generally not put bunkers on theback side of a hill or behind a green where they can’t beseen.However, with that said, there are times where wemight propose a “catch” bunker or a “savior” bunkerin that location. For instance, if there is water behindthe green, we may put a bunker behind the green togather a shot that might trickle off the green, rather thanpenalizing a player a full stroke for only slightly misclubbing.In the fairway, we use cross bunkers, directionalbunkers or framing bunkers to frame the hole, definethe landing areas and to create strategy. Around thegreen, we use bunkers to guard the green and to createpreferred angles of approach. Generally, greensidebunkers are a little deeper and a little more dramaticthan fairway bunkers. How far we place the bunker fromthe putting surface is dependent in part upon the lengthof the hole, the size of the green, how difficult we want16

the hole to play and, again,the type of course we areworking on.Drainage and ErosionControlThere are a lot of waysto build bunkers, but theone thing they all musthave in order to functionproperly is drainage.Often times, if a course iscontemplating a bunkerrenovation project, it isbecause their sand nolonger drains properlyand because the lies areinconsistent.It doesn’t really matter whether you want moretraditional bunkering with flat sand and grass faces orwhether you want elaborate capes and bays with thesand flashed up high on the faces. They all need gooddrainage. This includes drainage in the bottom of thebunker to evacuate water, as well as paying attention tohow much water actually runs into the bunker from thesurrounding area.Generally, what tends to happen over time is thatbunker sand gets contaminated with silt, which eitherwashes in from the surrounding area or washes in fromthe exposed faces of the bunker. In time, that silt thentends to plug up the pores in the sand, and the sandloses its ability to drain quickly. To minimize this, it isimportant that the area surrounding the bunker complexbe designed so that a minimal amount of water isactually running into the bunker. In part, we do this byadding small mounds and features, which help direct thewater, or by creating swales around the bunker.How we finalize the grassing of the bunker complexto control erosion and to get the project back intoplay is again dependent on the budget and the overallcharacter or style of the course. Generally, we wouldeither try to sod the bunker, or we would use seed andan erosion control blanket. Sod is a bit more expensivethan seed but gives us an almost immediate look ofcompletion. If the bunker faces and capes are going tobe maintained at 2” or 2½” height, then sod is probablythe best solution. However, if the club is looking tomaintain the capes in fescue or at a taller cutting height,seed and blanket might be the best choice so that wecan be more selective about the turf grass varieties weuse.The SandTo some degree, which sand we choose for a bunkerrenovation project is a function of budget and, again,the type of course whichwe are working for. What isimportant is that the sanddrains quickly and that itsets up firm enough thatballs don’t plug. A little bitcoarser sand with someparticles that are moreangular rather than roundis generally best.Depending on whereyou are in the country,there are some very goodlocal bunker sands whereyou might spend only $13to $15 a ton. You alsousually have the optionof bringing in a USGA sand for $30 to $40 per ton. Ifthe club has the money, we might look at bringing in apremium white sand, which usually costs somewhere inthe $100 to $120 per ton range.Disruption to PlayOne of the most important issues to consider is howto minimize the potential for disruption to play duringyour renovation project. In most cases, we prepare abunker renovation plan and then work with the club todetermine how to complete the project over a three-fiveyear period of time.We may decide to do a few holes each year, or wemay decide to do all the holes at one time. Fortunately,bunker renovations are generally not so disruptive thatwe can’t continue play during construction.In the Midwest, the best time for a bunker renovationproject is usually in July and August since the chancesof weather delays which might prolong the project arereduced. However, with tournament schedules and withfewer golfers in the fall, most clubs seem to opt for aSeptember project schedule.With a well-defined project scope and a goodcontractor, we can make the necessary changes andhave the disturbed areas regrassed quite quickly andbe ready for play by spring. The key is to start with anoverall plan on how to complete the project and thenuse an experienced golf architect and an experiencedgolf course contractor to insure that the project iscompleted properly and on time.Kevin Norby is the owner and principal of HerfortNorby Golf Course Architects, LLC. of Chaska, Minn.Recent bunker renovation projects include Sunbird GolfClub in Chandler, Ariz., Prairie Green Golf Course inSouth Dakota, and Island View Golf Club in Minnesota.Kevin may be reached at 952-361-0644 or via email

PRESORTEDSTANDARDUS POSTAGEPAIDBISMARCK, NDPERMIT 419North Dakota Recreation & Park AssociationFOCUSPO Box 1091Bismarck, ND 58502

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