In the mid-1990’s Pierce County, WA completed a community oriented master site planning process for 900 acres along Puget Sound and Chambers Creek. Two-thirds of this municipal land was barren, vacant land which once comprised the largest sand and gravel mining operation in Western Washington. The vision was to transform some of the acreage into a combination of infrastructure facilities alongside passive and active recreation. A central component in the master plan was to develop revenue-generating uses on the site which would help support the operation and maintenance of the non-revenue-generating uses. A golf course was selected for 275 acres of the disturbed mining land as the largest revenue generating opportunity. Further study by the County resulted in a world-class, destination style golf course capable of hosting local, regional, national, international and PGA tournament events to be programmed and implemented on the site along with various supporting facilities including a golf clubhouse, maintenance facilities, a golf academy and supporting practice facilities. The County had a desire to implement the highest levels of environmentally sustainable construction and operating practices in all aspects of the project, which led to selection of members of our experienced team.
An 18-hole public course on 275 acres was completed just outside Tacoma, WA. The course winds through a beautiful coastal setting, among windswept dunes and native fescue grasses. The course was home to the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championships and will host the 2015 U.S. Open. Golfweek ranked this course as the number two US Municipal Course for 2010-2011.
Reclamation of this active mining site created a unique opportunity to restore native habitats and landscapes. The reclamation transformed 250 acres of degraded land to native northwestern coastal habitat. Dunes were created and planted with native dune grasses.
A detailed Natural Resource Management Plan was developed and implemented for the golf course that incorporated environmental protection for every aspect of golf course development and management. The plan provides detailed protocols and processes for every step of development and operations. Ecological risk assessments were conducted to evaluate the nutrients and pesticides proposed for use on the property. We selected materials that were safe for wildlife, safe for aquatic environments, and were as short lived as possible. Extensive Best Management Practices (BMP) were specified and implemented to protect soil, water, and vegetation. Buildings, including the club house, are located away from Puget Sound to minimize runoff and pollutant loading to Puget Sound.
We developed an extensive public education programs that includes an Environmental Education Center. A multi-purpose trail provides public access through the golf course and along the Puget Sound.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies have been incorporated into every aspect of the development and maintenance of the golf course. IPM strategies reduce the need for large scale applications of fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals, ensure that materials used to maintain the landscape are safe for the environment, and that materials are applied properly by trained and licensed contractors.