Los Lagos Golf Course Hosts Stonegate Elementary Third Graders For A Day Of Outdoor Learning

By Brian Whitlark, agronomist, Southwest Region
May 28, 2014

(L)Don Paul, superintendent at Los Lagos Golf Course in San Jose, Calif., teaches a class of third-grade students from Stonegate Elementary School about water quality and wildlife on the golf course and nearby Coyote Creek. (R) Colleen Henry, master teacher with the First Tee of Silicon Valley, introduces the game of golf to a group of third-graders from Stonegate Elementary School.

On Friday, May 23, four classes of third-grade students from Stonegate Elementary School were treated to a day of outdoor education and an introduction to the game of golf by the First Tee of Silicon Valley.

The day began with a lesson and presentation from Jennifer Constantin, the outreach and education director of the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley. The students learned about local wildlife and what to do if they encounter a stressed or wounded animal.

The eager students were led on a nature walk by biologist Kathleen Lyons, plant ecologist with the Biotic Resources Group, USGA Agronomist Brian Whitlark and Don Paul, golf course superintendent at Los Lagos Golf Club. The students were able to see diverse wildlife and plants including woodpeckers, hummingbirds, foxes, turtles and even a turkey along the Coyote Creek wash and neighboring golf course. The third-graders learned about the extensive efforts undertaken to eliminate runoff and erosion into the creek during the construction of Los Lagos Golf Course.

The day concluded with some fun on the putting greens as Scot Hathaway, general manager at Los Lagos, and Colleen Henry, operations manager at Ranch del Pueblo Golf Course (home of the First tee of Silicon Valley) and First Tee master coach, introduced the game of golf to students that, for the most part, had never before been on a golf course.

The field trip was part of the golf course’s outreach and education efforts through its membership with the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. The day was a huge hit with the third-grade students from Stonegate and some commented that they couldn’t wait to return to the golf course for more fun on the links. Several links are offered below for more information on hosting a field trip at your facility.

Source: Brian Whitlark (bwhitlark@usga.org)

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