Golf > Sustainability


Sustainability Efforts

Tahoe Donner’s Golf Maintenance Department is dedicated to taking a sustainable approach to golf facility management. It is our ongoing goal to improve the golf course property through the professional management and conservation of our resources and inputs, while at the same time, providing acceptable playing surfaces and conditions to our golfing patrons.

Environmental Efforts currently being made by
Tahoe Donner’s Golf Maintenance Department:

Audubon International

Tahoe Donner Golf Course has been a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) since 1999, and has been fully certified since 2003. This stewardship program is a cooperative effort between the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Audubon International. It serves as a catalyst for environmental stewardship, ecologically sound land management, and the conservation of natural resources.

Water Quality & Conservation

  • Efforts to protect wetland areas and Trout Creek involve the institution of Buffer Zones on the golf course to aid in the filtration of nutrients that may move through our soils, and help ensure that any fertilizer applications stay well away from any wetland or stream.
  • Water samples are taken from Trout Creek and sent out for lab testing. Past testing has involved taking samples from Trout Creek at both ingress and egress points of the golf course property.
  • In 2010, four pressure reducing valves (PRV’s) were installed to our irrigation mainline at various points on the golf course.  By doing so, we are now able to irrigate the lower elevation portions of the golf course, including the driving range, with water from our own wells. This part of the property had previously used Public Utility District (PUD) water for irrigation.  This year we came in well under budget in PUD water use, and hope to have an ongoing savings of at least $25,000 annually.
  • A large portion of management’s time during the golf course’s operating season is spent monitoring our irrigation system. Adjustments to our system are made on a daily basis.

Wildlife Habitat

  • The golf course consists of more than 200 acres. This protected area provides an enhanced wildlife habitat to at least 15 animal species and 20 different bird species.  It also hosts multiple tree and plant species.
  • The grass grown aids in reducing the amount of pollutants in the air while at the same time producing vast amounts of oxygen. Turfgrass is an excellent filter that has the ability to trap and hold pollutants in place. This is one reason why golf courses are commonly used to restore environmentally damaged properties, such as landfills.
  • The institution of Native Areas are designed to give back some of the golf course to Mother Nature.  By giving back space that previously had been intensely maintained, we reduce or eliminate the need to water or make chemical applications to these areas.  We also increase wildlife habitat, save man-hours on maintenance, and eliminate the use of fuel powered machines to maintain these areas.


  • Golf Maintenance currently has 7 electric utility carts in our fleet, as well as a hybrid riding mower.
  • All golf carts used by our golfing patrons are electric.
  • We have a Water Filtration System on our mixing & loading/wash pad.  When we wash our equipment, all rinse-water is pumped through this system. It not only separates solids such as grass clippings and soil particles, but also separates fuels and oils from the rinse-water before draining to a small holding pond.

New equipment on the horizon for the golf course industry include:

  • electric walk behind and riding mowers
  • hybrid riding mowers
  • solar powered golf carts

Resource/Waste Management

We use and/or reuse resources found on, or generated by, the golf course property. Examples of such efforts are listed below.

  • Rocks and boulders found on the property are used in rock curbing and turnouts along cartpaths, yardage monuments located on our tees and fairways, golf course signage, boulders converted into drinking fountains and gates at street crossings.
  • Trees removed from the golf course property are sold to milling companies or cut into appropriate lengths and offered to our members as firewood.
  • Tree waste is chipped by our Forestry Department, and sold to a co-generation plant or offered as free mulch to our membership.
  • Waste oil generated when servicing equipment is properly stored and removed from the property to be recycled.
  • Recycling containers are used at the shop for paper goods, cans, glass and plastic bottles.  We filter through the waste containers on the golf course to separate cans and bottles for recycling.
  • Grass clippings, aeration plugs, and other organic waste are removed from the golf course and composted. A portion of our composted material has gone towards creating new wildflower areas.

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