May 17, 2013 - On May 17, seventh grade science students from nearby Pacific Crest Academy visited Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver, Wash. for a unique First Green field trip.

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 also emphasizes the environmental and community benefits of golf courses, while introducing potential new golfers to the game in a fun, educational manner.

The Pacific Crest Academy students put on rubber boots and waded into the stream running through the golf course to calculate stream velocity. They also got their hands dirty sampling sand, silt and clay, and saw some of the technology used to measure soil temperature, soil moisture and track weather. They learned how to conserve water through strong root growth in the turf, and what they could do at home to help protect water quality.

After the field trip, representatives from area golf courses, the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, Oregon Golf Association, Washington State Golf Association, United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America attended a First Green workshop on how to host field trips. The workshop is part of First Green’s expansion into the Portland area, and was made possible by a recent grant from the USGA. A similar field trip and workshop will be held in Oakland, Calif. on May 30. KPTV News covered the field trip as well.