Mirimichi is a 300-acre property with an 18-hole championship golf course, a 9-hole executive course, and a Golf Learning and Performance Center. The Smart Group principals directed the sustainability of all aspects of renovation and management. Our ecological land planning was instrumental in implementing a sustainable land plan that included extensive buffers, protected and enhanced water quality and quantity, and enhanced wildlife habitat. We developed wildlife connections within the property and to surrounding land and water that facilitated the safe movement of wildlife. Through our judicious land planning, managed turf was reduced by 100 acres and converted to low-input and low-maintenance native habitat.
Justin Timberlake and his family own Mirimichi and were the driving force behind its environmental stewardship. Mirimichi has received numerous environmental awards: Mother Nature Network named Mirimichi to their list of the 5 Greenest Golf Courses in the World; National Geographic named Mirimichi as one of the 10 most environmentally friendly courses in the world; it is certified by the Golf Environment Organization out of Scotland and by Audubon International; and it received the 2011 Governor’s Environmental Sustainability Award.
We prepared and implemented a Resource Management Plan that provides detailed protocols and processes for managing the golf course in an environmentally friendly manner. Ecological risk assessments were conducted to evaluate any pesticides proposed for use on the turfgrass. Thus, we selected materials that were safe for wildlife, safe for aquatic environments, and were as short lived as possible. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies have been incorporated into every aspect of the plan and maintenance of the golf course. IPM strategies reduce the need for broad scale application 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.
We developed and implemented a water quality monitoring program to ensure that on-site wetlands and ponds and adjacent Caney Creek and Big Creek were not degraded from construction or long-term use and management of the property. The maintenance facility is state-of-the-art. It provides an environmentally protective base of operations for all turf and equipment maintenance. The buildings and functions of the maintenance program have been designed to ensure that the potential for spills or pollution of soil, surface water, or ground water is minimal.
We authored and published a 40-page Employee Sustainability Guide used as text for a sustainability learning session including both classroom and on-site instruction by The Smart Group principals. All employees attended the class to help fully integrate Mirimichi’s eco-friendly vision throughout not only the property but with guests and the broader community.