September 15th, 2015

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The MDARD, DEQ and DNR today recognized University of Michigan Wilpon Complex for its efforts to ensure environmental stewardship and enhance wildlife habitat. The Baseball and Softball Complex recently achieved certification in the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program (MTESP) www.mtesp.org, a nationally recognized program to advance environmental stewardship and increase compliance of Michigan’s turfgrass industry related to environmental risks associated with wellhead protection, pesticide and fertilizer handling, application and record keeping, septic system management, fuel storage, irrigation and water use management areas, and emergency response.

Jim Johnson, Director of Environmental Programs for the MDARD said "The University of Michigan Wilpon Complex has gone above and beyond environmental compliance requirements to prevent pollution, protect water resources and conserve energy that collectively benefits the environment. By reducing maintained areas, implementing best management practices, and conducting energy audits, they are saving money, protecting natural resources, and reducing their carbon footprint,” said Johnson. “MDARD is proud to be associated with this unique partnership among state agencies, Michigan State University, and industry stakeholders that provide a solid foundation for success as additional properties work to attain certification."

Jack Schinderle, Chief, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Assistance said “The University of Michigan (U of M) is providing tremendous leadership by engaging the Wilpon Complex in proactive environmental stewardship practices and becoming certified in the MTESP. This builds upon an impressive record of accomplishments and is another example of their strong commitment to advance sustainability campus-wide. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality congratulates U of M on this impressive achievement and recognizes their dedication to the protection and conservation of natural resources.”

Jason Demink, Head Groundskeeper for the University of Michigan said “Completing the MTESP was a great honor for the Wilpon complex. A lot of hard work went into obtaining it by our grounds crew. We are very grateful to Dan Mausolf, Golf Course Superintendent at Radrick Farms for his help through the certification process, it was a great asset in assisting me. It is great to know that here at the Wilpon Complex at the University of Michigan we are doing our part for the environment for my kids who are the Wolverines of the future.”

To date, many properties statewide representing more than 12,000 acres have begun to voluntarily participate in the MTESP. Certification requires regulatory compliance and implementation of practices that prevent pollution, reduce energy and waste, and protect water resources.

“We are very pleased that we can now add the Wilpon Complex at U of M to our list of certified facilities. The University should be proud of the commitment the management team has made to protecting and preserving the environment.” said Adam Ikamas MTESP Program Director.

As part of the MTESP certification requirements, an environmental action plan is established during a site visit conducted by program staff and the turfgrass manager or grounds superintendent. The action plan is used as a management tool to prevent potential threats from negatively affecting natural resources with a special focus placed upon the protection of groundwater, which is often the source for irrigation and drinking water.

This program is intended to organize efforts of state agencies, Michigan State University (MSU), and environmental advocacy groups to advance the environmental stewardship of the Turfgrass industry and to recognize environmental achievements. The program was developed at MSU with support from the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation (MTF), Michigan golf Course Superintendents Association (MiGCSA), Golf Association of Michigan (GAM), Michigan Golf Course Owners Association (MGCOA), Michigan PGA Section (PGA), Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). The Michigan Water Stewardship Program provides the base funding to develop and operate the program.

For more information on the MTESP visit www.mtesp.org, Twitter @MTESP and Facebook.com/MTESP or contact Adam Ikamas at adam@mtesp.org.