April 18, 2016 - On May 21, seventh-grade science students from Sacred Heart School in Clyde Hill, Wash., will visit Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Wash. for a unique First Green field trip.

Chambers Bay, the site of the 2015 U.S. Open, is owned by Pierce County. The public course boasts a storied history, having been used as “a location for a paper mill, a proposed match company, a major industrial center, multiple lumber companies, a railroad center, a county gravel mine, a bus barn, a regional wastewater treatment plant, a preservation and recreational area and today, a world-class 18-hole championship golf course.”

First Green coordinates outdoor “learning labs” at golf courses that allow students to perform hands-on experiments and tests, all within the focus of their schools’ environmental science and/or horticulture curricula.

In these outdoor “labs” students test water quality, collect soil samples, identify plants, do math activities and work with local issues such as stream-bed or owl-nest restoration. First Green emphasizes the environmental and community benefits of golf courses, while introducing potential new golfers to the game in a fun, educational manner.

“How To” Outing for Golf Course Members & Staff  

Students have been using golf courses through First Green as learning labs in Washington since 1997. The field trip at Chambers Bay is unique in that golf club representatives and course superintendents will be attending and, at a special workshop afterwards, will learn how to host First Green field trips at their own facilities.

The workshop is being sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, the umbrella organization for the Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia and Alberta Golf associations. Development of workshop materials is being funded by a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) grant awarded to First Green by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Chevron. In addition, the grant is supporting First Green’s expansion into Northern California and the Portland, Ore., metro area. A similar field trip and workshop is scheduled for May 30 in Oakland, Calif.