May 30, 2013 - On May 30, Environmental Science students from Oakland High School visited Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland, Calif., for a unique First Green field trip hosted by the course’s superintendent, Gary Ingram.

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.

In this field trip, the students learned about soil, the physical properties of water, and the physics of golf. Fred Inglis, reporter from the Bay Area's KTVU Channel 2, covered the field trip. We'll link to his report when available.

First Green Expansion into Northern California

Students have been visiting golf courses for these learning labs in Washington State since 1997. This field trip was unique in that golf course superintendents from the Bay Area attended and participated in a special workshop afterwards to learn how to host their own field trips. The workshop was funded by a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) grant awarded to First Green by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Chevron. The grant is also supporting First Green’s expansion into the Portland, Ore., area. A similar field trip and workshop took place at Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver, Wash. – across the Columbia River from Portland – on May 17.