A special tree restoration campaign is currently underway to replace trees killed by the emerald ash borer. These little, green hungry beetles found their way on to campus effectively girdling hundreds of trees and causing death. One of the hardest hit areas on campus is at the Forrest Creason Golf Course.
Named the ReForest Forrest Creason Golf Course Campaign, this project is inspired by devoted members of the Forrest Creason Golf Course who witnessed the destruction of 167 trees between 2007 and 2009. Contributors can easily donate to this vital campaign. A gift of $250 provides an opportunity to select a specific tree from the Forrest Creason Golf Course Master Tree Plan and designate the gift in honor or in memory of a special person. Any gift amount by check, cash or pledge goes a long way toward purchasing a tree.
“All the money contributed through the ReForest Forrest Creason Golf Course Campaign is designated to the tree replacement initiative,” said Kurt Thomas, director of the Forrest Creason Golf Course. “Many people are interested in playing at Forrest Creason this year. After golfers play a round, I am hopeful they support the tree campaign.”
The Forrest Creason Golf Course has been a part of BGSU since its creation at the direction of Dr. Samuel Cooper, a former BGSU coach and professor of physical education. “Ken Schoeni, former supervisor of maintenance and grounds in athletics and co-architect of the golf course, was instrumental in transforming the farmland into a nine-hole golf course in 1964 and then completing the back nine in 1972,” said Thomas. “He was the driving force into getting it done.”
Minor changes have been made to the golf course since its inception. Sand traps have been added or taken out. There were tee box repairs and replacement of a few trees from inclement weather. “Soon to open at the 13th hole is a tee shot that is 100 percent over the water, instead of alongside it,” said Thomas. “Small cosmetic updates are made to the course to make it a little bit tougher.”
The vision of Forrest Creason Golf Course is to be the best public golf course in the area. Maintaining the course is vital in keeping the grounds in excellent condition. “The staff is constantly trying to improve the golf course by making it better and a more enjoyable experience for everyone,” Thomas said. Replacing the 167 trees may take up to five years, although Thomas hopes the tree planting process is a little quicker. Thomas consults with tree expert Kent Reichert on the types of species and varieties of trees that would not be harmed by the emerald ash borer. Last fall 32 trees were planted from limited operating money and plans are to continue replacing trees every fall until all the trees are replaced. The Campaign’s success is critical in making the tree replacement a reality.
The ReForest Forrest Creason Golf Course Campaign tri-leaders are Thomas, assistant director of marketing at Recreation and Wellness Lona Leck and assistant golf course director Lindy Powers. They are available to discuss the campaign and answer any questions. Please find gift forms and details about the campaign at www.bgsu.edu/recwell/golf or contact the Forrest Creason Golf Course at 419-372-2674. Supporting the Reforest Forrest Creason Golf Course Campaign with a tree purchase enhances the aesthetic appearance and provides a more challenging golf experience to the game. Make a gift today!