December 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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Page 19 of 51

www.spor 20 // December 2017 S tarting in spring of 2018, Sports Turf Management courses will enter into the standard curriculum of Bunker Hill High School and other high schools in Catawba County, North Carolina. Principal Dr. Jeffery Isenhour and Mark Storie, who is the CEO of the new K64 program for Catawba County Schools, presented the idea to Dean Gary Muller ( B u s i n e s s , I n d u s t r y , a n d Technology) at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC), Hickory, NC. Surrounding high schools are invited to attend and have the opportunity to take classes within the last two blocks of the school day. The initial planning stages for the program started in early August 2017 and would concentrate on course that will expose the interested students that would want to pursue a career in Golf Course Management or Sports Field Management or other related careers in the industry. There are requirements that have to be met for students to enroll in this course. A student must have a 3.0 minimum average, good attendance, and an honorable standing conduct with the school system. I am responsible for designing the courses that would be taught in coordination with CVCC's Turfgrass Management curriculum. During initial discussions, it was seen to be a great opportunity to expand all aspects of Turfgrass Management careers for juniors and seniors, where they would be placed on a high school pathway and earn a certifi cate for passing the course and later applying these classes to earning a degree at CVCC's 2-year A.A.S. program, which would also give them an additional option of double majoring in turf and horticulture in a reduced amount of time. Additionally, the students would be taught in a very professional and progressive setting that would allow labs to take place on Bunker Hill High School campus. Presently, there are athletic fi elds that would serve as renovation projects and helping the athletic programs by creating practices fields in baseball, upgrades to the football main stadium and practice fi elds, building turf plots from sod, seed, sprigging, and plugging both warm and cool season grasses. Irrigation installation would be a part of these projects as well as using special clay and infi eld mixes that are of Major League Baseball standards. Finally, students would be responsible for maintaining these facilities under the direction of Sr. Professor Jimmy Abernathy, Professor David Clanton, Mollie Townsend, the onsite instructor, Dan Montgomery and myself. There are sponsorship dollars that are available for supporting the program with special needs for materials and equipment. It is our hope that vendors within the turfgrass industry would also make contributions for additional resources to advance the program. Overall, this would be a program that would give the students a career path in which they could become Sports Field Managers, Golf Course Superintendents, creating their own lawn or landscape companies, sod farmers, fi eld construct contractors, or combinations of all. Classes would be taught year round, and Bunker Hill athletic fi elds, CVCC baseball facility, Hickory Crawdads Frans Stadium, and Hampton Heights Golf Club would be used as training facilities so that the students are exposed to fully operational sites to observe, work, and take part in the management of the facilities during the process. Bringing turf education to high schools // By STEVE E. PEELER, CSFM Turf students at Catawba Valley Community College.

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