Document now while the sun shines

As the season draws to a close for many of our northern property managers and starts up for southern properties, now is a good time to think about collecting documentation regarding your outdoor stewardship efforts. 

Wildlife Inventory
Spring is the best time to do a wildlife inventory, primarily because during the mating season the male birds are in full breeding display, both in color and in song, making them easy to identify. At this time of year many of the birds are a more camouflaged brown color or, for northern properties, have already left to go south for the winter. Still, if you are looking to document your Wildlife and Habitat Management this winter, you should not put off creating a wildlife inventory much longer. 

Take photos to document what your stewardship efforts.  These should include: 
•    Natural areas, such as representative woods, wetlands, ponds, and gardens. 
•    Maintenance facility, including: pesticide storage, mix and load areas, and equipment wash areas. 
•    Representative water features. 
•    Outreach and education activities- take photos of people in action implementing projects, resource committee members or meetings, tours if you host them, and your display. 
•    Before and After photos of project work. 

Property Map
After making changes to the property, such as when you have added natural areas, update your map. Though there is no particular size requirement for your map, we recommend keeping it to 8-1/2 x 14 inches or, if your property is quite large, make one 8-1/2 x 14 inch map per each nine holes of golf.   You can do this by photocopying and reducing an existing property map, such as an irrigation map. Google maps or a similar online resource is also a good source for your base map. 

Integrated Pest Management Records
•    Chemical Use Tables (Pesticide, Fertilizer, Aquatic Weed/Pest Control Reference Tables) 
•    Scouting Records 

Water Quality Test Results
Testing must be conducted at least one time per year.  All irrigation sources must be tested for nutrients, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, and specific conductivity.  Creeks/streams/rivers should be tested for dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, specific conductivity, and either nutrients OR macroinvertebrates. 

Case Study
We will accept case studies at any time. If you have an environmental project of any kind, from a new turfgrass management technique, recycling or reuse project, to an outreach and education project, please let us know about it. We use these case studies during presentations, in articles, and as examples when talking to reporters. 

Remember that your documentation can also be a valuable communications tool for your Outreach and Education efforts. 

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