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Audubon International Lesson Plans created for The First Tee: 1. What’s up with the Food Web? 2. The Beauty of Biodiversity 3. Hiding In Plain Sight: Animal Camouflage and Coloration 4. All About Animal Homes 5. The Balance of Nature 6. Carrying Capacity 7. Decomposers Delivered 8. The Food Chain Gang 9. Habitat 10. Getting Around, How Seeds Travel 11. Increasing Awareness 12. Why Do Some Animals Have Two Homes? 13. Territory 14. The Green Golfer Pledge – Awareness 15. The Green Golfer Pledge – Natural Areas 16. The Green Golfer Pledge – Recycling 17. The Green Golfer Pledge – Turf Care 18. The Green Golfer Pledge – Overall Responsibility

Delivery recommendation for chapters of The First Tee: The following lesson plans where developed for an age range of 9 to 12 years old and can best be delivered by a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). The instruction level for each lesson can best be varied in content depth and application by a person with a scientific background as well as responsibility for course condition management and environmental sustainability. If you don’t already have a relationship with a local golf course superintendent, we encourage you to reach out to one or more of the qualified superintendents in your community. In addition, staff from environmental organizations and/or science teachers may provide expertise and be a great resource for delivering these lessons.

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1.) Title: What’s Up with the Food Web? Background: The first law of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. All energy flows from the sun. Green plants capture this energy through photosynthesis and turn it into food. Plants are eaten by herbivores or omnivores who are then eaten by carnivores or decomposers. Plants also provide other beneficial services such as creating oxygen, providing shelter for animals, and filtering water. Animals either eat plants or animals or both. In this way the animal world and plant world are interconnected in very important ways.

Objectives: Students will understand that all energy flows from the sun to green plants to herbivores or omnivores and then to carnivores or decomposers.

Vocabulary: photosynthesis: the process by which plants produce sugars from carbon dioxide, water, and energy from the sun herbivores: animals that eat mostly plants carnivores: animals that eat mostly other animals omnivores: animals that eat both plants and animals decomposers: plants, animals, or fungus that eats dead plants and animals

THE FOOD WEB GAME Equipment: The Food Web Game Scenario Cards, Food Web ID Cards, large ball of string Preparation: 1. Cut out Food Web ID cards and scenario cards 2. Punch holes in Food Web ID cards and use string to create a “necklace” that players can place around their necks Ask players to create a circle around you. Have each player choose a Food Web ID Card (this can be random or you can allow them to choose their own card) and place it around their neck. Explain that you are the sun and the players all represent a type of plant, animal, or fungus that might be found on the golf course. Some of the players are plants, which absorb the sun’s energy, some are herbivores, which eat only plants, some are omnivores, which eat plants and animals, some are carnivores, which eat animals, and some are decomposers, which eat dead plants and animals. Go around the circle and ask each player to identify what they are and what they eat.

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Show the players the ball of string and explain that this is the energy which is transferred from the sun and then through all the living things on the golf course. Keeping hold of one end of the string, toss the string ball to a player that has a plant card. Hanging onto the string, the player then tosses the string ball to a player with a plant eating animal. Remind the players that they need to hang onto the string before they toss the string ball. The plant eating animal then tosses the sting ball to either someone that it would eat or that would eat it. Have the players keep tossing the ball until everyone in the circle is included. If necessary, a player can be tossed the ball more than once. Ask the players what the pattern created by the string reminds them of. It should be shaped like a spider web. Tell the players that they have created a very simple web of life for the golf course and to imagine what it would look like if every plant and animal that existed on the golf course were included in the circle. Now tell the players that you are going to explore how the web is connected not only to the plants and animals in the circle, but also to things that happen around them. Take a Food Web Game Scenario Card at random and read the card. The scenario card will tell you what type of plant or animal is affected. Have the player(s) gently tug the string. Each player that feels the tug should then gently tug the string. Every player should eventually feel the tug. Discuss the connections of all living things to each other.

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THE FOOD WEB GAME SCENARIO CARDS

A gasoline spill runs into the golf course pond, killing aquatic insects like dragonfly larvae in the water.

Invasive plants, which often come from another country and lack natural herbivores, can often overrun plants naturally found in the area. A new invasive wetland plant has crowded out native wetland plants, and turtles cannot move through the new plants making it difficult to find food and shelter.

Because of a drought, the golf course pond has dried up, killing all amphibian eggs.

Transporting items such as firewood from one place to another can also move insects and diseases which may be harmful to native trees. The introduction of an invasive insect that eats tree leaves has weakened the oak trees so they do not create acorns.

Due to golf course neighbors complaining of course appearance, natural areas of the property are mowed to rough height of cut, reducing amount of wildflowers and tall grasses.

Grass clippings run into a nearby pond, increasing nutrient levels and promoting algae growth. These algae blooms reduce oxygen levels available to fish.

Due to interest in improving wildlife habitat, wildflowers have been planted in an out-of-play area of the golf course.

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FOOD WEB ID CARDS

O

O

O

O

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O

O

O

O

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O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

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O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

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O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

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2.) Title: The Beauty of Biodiversity Background: The first law of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. Biodiversity is a key concept in the natural world and stands for the number of types of living things there are in an area. The more variety of plants and animals present, the healthier the given ecosystem will be. An area with a wide variety of plants will support a greater variety of insects and other herbivores and omnivores that will support an even wider array of herbivores, omnivores, carnivores, and decomposers which will eat them.

Vocabulary: biodiversity: the variety of life forms within a given area Vocabulary Review: herbivores: animals that eat mostly plants carnivores: animals that eat mostly other animals omnivores: animals that eat both plants and animals decomposers: plants, animals, or fungus that eats dead plants and animals

PLANT DIVERSITY STUDY Objectives: Participants will be able to gauge the diversity of plants (grasses, ferns, wildflowers, etc.), shrubs and trees are on the golf courses. They will then be able to predict how much biodiversity could be expected in a given area.

ACTIVITY 1: Out-of-Play Area Study Equipment: Blank paper, crayons, clipboards or other portable hard surfaces, hula hoops Preparation:  Before the lesson, check with the golf course superintendent to identify areas where the players can enter natural areas. Also check to ensure there is no poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle or other potentially harmful plants that the players should avoid touching.  Remove the paper from the crayons Tell players that on the golf course we are surrounded by a large variety of plants, shrubs, and trees. Ask them to name any that they may know. If the list www.thefirsttee.org 

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is small, do not worry, because they are going to learn more today. Tell them that they are going to make rubbings from the leaves, bark, twigs, and seeds of plants, shrubs and trees from different areas of the golf course. They will then compare and contrast these rubbings in order to see if they are the same trees or different ones. Without necessarily knowing their names, players will then count how many different plants they have seen. Let players know what areas they can go to and which they should avoid. Also tell them of any dangerous plants they should not touch. Show them how to place the paper up the bark of a tree or shrub and rub it with the side of the crayon until you get an impression of the pattern. Then show them how to place the leaves, twigs, or seeds on the clipboard, cover it with the paper and then rub it with the side of the crayon until you get an impression of the pattern. Tell them that once they get a rubbing, then they should look for a different kind of plant, shrub, or tree and get a rubbing. The challenge is to get as many rubbings from as many types of plants as possible in the given time. After the allotted time, bring the players back to compare their rubbings. Try to separate different types of plants, trees, and shrubs. Ask how many different species of plants did they find?

ACTIVITY 2: Comparison Study Equipment: hula hoops Now the players are going to compare the diversity in two very different of the golf course. Ask the players whether they predict there will be greater diversity on the golf course playing surface or in an out-of-play area. If time is short, divide the players into groups and have half study the playing surface and half study the out-of-play area. Take a hula hoop and place it on a tee or green. Count the number of different types of both plants and animals in this area. Record the results with the paper and crayons. Place the hula hoop in out-of-play area, ideally a tall grass area, but deep rough will suffice if this is all that is available. Count the different types of both plants and animals in this area. Record the results. Bring the group together and ask, “what is the difference in total species between the two areas?” End with a discussion of why they believe there is a difference.

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3.) Title: Hiding In Plain Sight: Animal Camouflage and Coloration

Background: Many animals are equipped with built-in protection in the form of skin colorations. Mostly this means that they are camouflaged so that they cannot be seen by their predators or by their prey. Female birds are often brown and are hard to see when they are sitting on their nests. Social coloration helps animals find a mate. Males in the bird world are a great example of how colors are used to attract females. Peacocks (native to India but common in zoos) are one of the best examples of males using beautiful colors to get a date. Other coloration patterns help to warn others of poison and repellents. A skunk’s coat does not camouflage it, but warns enemies of its possession of one of the nastiest smelling odors on the planet. Many animals with poisons in their skin are bright red or orange. Still others are camouflaged by looking like entirely different animal. This is often referred to as “mimicry”. Mimicry in the animal kingdom is a phenomenon where one organism tricks another organism into thinking it is something its not. This is done to fool predators into associating it with a similar appearing poisonous, or bad tasting, species. The Monarch butterfly is sometimes called the "milkweed butterfly" because its larvae eat the plant and therefore absorbs the poisonous toxins which it contains. This makes the Monarch poor tasting and possibly toxic to animals that may try to eat it. For this reason, Monarchs are typically unbothered by many predators. The Viceroy Butterfly has evolved to look like the poisonous Monarch butterfly without haven’t to digest the poisonous milkweed.

Vocabulary: Camouflage: The ability to use color patterns to blend into ones surroundings to hide from predators and prey Mimicry: The ability of an animal to imitate another species’ appearance for protection Warning Coloration: Animals which are colored in order to make predators aware of their toxicity or unpleasant taste

CAMOUFLAGE PICK-UP-STICKS GAME Objectives: Students will identify ways in which an animal’s colors and appearance aid in its ability to hide from predators or capture prey

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Equipment: One box of colored toothpicks or 30 short pieces (3 inches) of colored yarn (need green, yellow, red and blue), referred from now on as “insects” Preparation:  

Count how many “insects” there are of each color. Scatter the “insects” into an area where the grass is cut at rough height.

Tell players that on the golf course we are surrounded by a large variety of plants and animals that are trying to eat, trying not to be eaten, and trying to mate. Different animals are colored different ways to help them meet their goals. Discuss with the players how different animals are colored. Tell the players during this game, they represent birds looking for insects to eat in the grass. Bring them to the area where the “insects” are scattered and explain to the players that you wish for them to pick up any/all of the “insects”. Players then race to pick up as many items as they can. After a few minutes, call the payers back to the teaching area with their “catch”. Ask the players: Which ones did you find first? Which ones were the hardest to find? Which color did you find the most of?

The brightest colors should have been the easiest to find, and the highest number of items collected. This high visibility is the same trait used by venomous species to let other potential predators know “I am here! And I am dangerous!” The green yarn/toothpick should have been the hardest to find. That is how over the centuries grasshoppers and other green insects have evolved a way to camouflage themselves so that they are ignored. As they blend in with their surroundings, they are less likely to become a meal for a predator. Add up the total number of each color found by the group. If all the “insects” were not found, send the group out to collect the rest.

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4.) Title: All About Animal Homes Background: In order for animals to survive, they need food, water, and a safe place to live and raise their young. Dens, burrows, hollow logs, woodpiles, and different types of constructed nests are all homes that animals find or build to protect themselves and their young from predators and the weather. Animal homes come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be found from the deepest depths of the ocean to the very top of a mountain. Some animal homes are easy to see, while others are camouflaged to protect them from predators. Some homes are for just one animal. Some are for a mother and her young. Others are for a large group of animals that all live together.

Vocabulary: habitat: the arrangement of food, water, shelter and needed for an animal’s survival burrowing: animals that spend at least a portion of life underground cover: the vegetation, debris, and irregularities of the land that provide concealment, sleeping, feeding and breeding areas for wildlife hibernation: the act of passing winter (or a portion of it) in a state of sleep or resting state predator: an animal that kills and eats other animals

“WHERE IS MY HOME!” GAME Objectives: Students will understand that each animal requires its own type of shelter to provide protection from weather or predators, store food, or raise young.

Equipment: Food Web ID Cards (see Lesson Plan 1) and Animal Home Cards Preparation:  Cut out Food Web ID Cards and Animal Home Cards  Punch holes in cards and use string to create a “necklace” that players can place around their necks

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Mammal homes are either made by the mammal themselves or found or taken over by a more dominant mammal. For example, a muskrat may take over a beaver home. To decide which animal lives in which home, you can measure the hole dimensions and match it to a mammal. A mammal will chose a home which is not bigger than the width of its head so that a larger mammal will not be able to follow him/her in and have them for lunch. Animals which hibernate need a home which will keep them warm through the winter months. Birds may utilize homes ranging from tiny holes in trees, to giant nests of twigs and sticks that may weigh as much as several hundred pounds. The size and location of birds’ homes depends on the bird species and their preferred food sources. Insects often create their own homes by releasing a chemical substance which causes a reaction in the place and that swelling becomes the insects home for at least part of its cycle. In the case of moth cocoons the insect makes its own home for that quieter part of its life cycle. Ask players to create a circle around you to listen for directions. Players are each given one card containing either an animal or an animal home to wear around their necks. Have the players with Animal Home Cards disperse separately within sight of the rest of the group. Players with animals on the Food Web ID Cards are then instructed to wander from “home to home” until a suitable home is found that will provide them with protection from predators and a place to safely raise their young. Once all players have paired up as combinations of animals on the Food Web ID Cards and Animal Homes, have each group of two briefly explain why they paired together and why the animal may find the place it found to be a suitable home. Players may also explain why they chose one home over another, and why some particular homes were not practical or possible for their animal species. Summarize the discussion by emphasizing that although the homes are different, every animal – people, pets, farm animals and wildlife – needs a home.

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ANIMAL HOME CARDS O

O

O

Pond O

Stream O

Wetland

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O

O

Woods

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O

O

Desert

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O

Prairie

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5.) Title: The Balance of Nature Background: The first law of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. Every living thing has needs that must be met. The most basic needs are food, water, shelter, and space. A group of living things of the same species living and reproducing in an area is a population. Populations must also meet their needs. If a population becomes too large or too small, it affects the other living things around them.

Vocabulary: population: a group of individuals of the same species living and reproducing in an area species: a group of individuals so similar that they can reproduce

BALANCE OF NATURE TAG Objectives: Participants will see that nature keeps itself in a state of balance. Equipment: four orange cones Preparation:  Use cones to mark out a square playing field. Each side should be three to four times as wide as all players holding hands. You may need to make the field larger or smaller depending on the age and athletic ability of the players. Divide the players evenly into three groups. Explain that each group represents a population of grass, mice, or fox. Grass players will raise one hand above their head with their fingers spread; mice players will hold one hand cupped next to their ear, and fox players will hold one hand in front of them like a claw. Have the players practice each of the signs, because each player will change their species throughout the game. Assign one group to be grass, one to be mice, and one to be fox. Explain that mice eat grass, fox eat mice, and when fox die, they decompose and provide nutrients for grass to grow. When the game begins, the fox will try to tag the mice, the mice will try to tag the grass, and the grass will try to tag the fox. At the same time, they are trying not to be eaten. The players must keep their sign up so other players will know whether they are a mouse, bobcat, or grass. When a chaser succeeds in tagging a victim, the victim then changes their sign. For example, if a bobcat is tagged by a grass, then the bobcat changes from holding www.thefirsttee.org 

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their hand in from of them like a claw and puts it over their head with their fingers spread. After a few minutes of play, stop the play and count how many of each species there are. There is often a smaller number of one type of species than the others. Start the game again. After a few minutes, stop and count again. Often, the species with few numbers in the first round will have rebounded. Depending on time, play a few more rounds, stopping every few minutes and counting how many of each species there are. Ask the players why there were such differences. If necessary, prompt them by asking what happens when there are only a few mice. (There is plenty of grass to eat and the fox will have a harder time finding a mouse. Therefore, the few mice will have an easy time finding food (leading to less grass) and the fox will have a harder time finding mice (leading to fewer fox) and the mouse population will increase.

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6.) Title: Carrying Capacity Background: The first law of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. Individuals of each species are also connected to each other and often compete for the same food, water, shelter, space, and mates. The size of a population is constantly changing.

Vocabulary: carrying capacity: a species population size an area can support over time population: a group of individuals of the same species living and reproducing in an area species: a group of individuals so similar that they can reproduce

OH DEER Objectives: Players will understand that there is only so much food, water, shelter, and space available for each species. Equipment: Food Web ID cards, Scenario cards, large ball of string; (see cards provided with Lesson 1) Preparation:  Cut out Food Web ID cards and scenario cards  Punch holes in Food Web ID cards and use string to create a “necklace” that players can place around their necks

Oh Deer Place two parallel lines on the floor or ground, ten to twenty feet apart. Count group off in fours (1,2,3,4,1,2…). Ones become deer, the others are needs of the deer, which are: food, water and shelter Show the groups what the symbols are for each of the needs, which include: holding hands over head for shelter, holding hands on stomach for food, and holding hands on mouth for water. The groups (both deer and needs) turn their backs to each other and pick a need by placing hands in one of the 3 positions. At your signal (count of three), both groups turn towards each other holding their signs clearly. The deer must then run to “need” that is holding the same sign. Each need may only have one deer.

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Any deer who find the “need” they are searching for, then takes the “food”, “shelter” or “water” back to their side of the lines. Those needs then become deer as well, as deer are able to reproduce if they find what they need. Any deer who does not find what they are looking for, dies and becomes part of the habitat, or stays on the need side of the line. Continue play for 10 –15 rounds Have a discussion about how the deer population continues to change because of cycle of available needs.

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7.) Title: Decomposers Delivered Background: The second law of ecology is that everything must go somewhere. There is no "waste" in nature and there is no “away” to which things can be thrown. The most important animals in nature aren’t necessarily the prettiest ones. Slugs, pill-bugs, earthworms and such may not win any beauty contests, but they do a very important job. They convert dead plants and animals into soil. Without them we’d be swimming in dead animals and there would be no soil for plants to grow in. Earthworms are the best known decomposers. As they eat, worms shred leaves and dead grass, which passes through the worm and is defecated as worm castings. Worm castings are rich in contain organisms that provide a healthy diet of bacteria, algae, and fungi. Worms also eat plants, fruits and vegetables. They create tunnels in the soil which create a path for water and air, which is essential for the survival of plant life. Earthworms and other soil organisms are a necessary part of the soil food web. Without them, all the organic matter would build up on the soil surface and never get down into the soil. To grow healthy, productive plants, you need healthy, productive soil. Organisms in the soil provide the food for plants—how they need it and when they need it!

Vocabulary: herbivores: animals that eat mostly plants carnivores: animals that eat mostly other animals omnivores: animals that eat both plants and animals decomposers: plants, animals, or fungus that eats dead plants and animals soil: material which nourishes and supports growing plants.

DECOMPOSERS DELIVERED Objectives: Discover that soil organisms are an important part of the food web. Equipment: White paper, magnifying lens (optional) Preparation: www.thefirsttee.org 

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Before the lesson, check with the golf course superintendent to identify areas where the players can enter wooded areas. Also check to ensure there is no poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle or other potentially harmful plants that the players should avoid touching. Identify one or more fallen logs that players will be able to roll over as part of the lesson.

Explain to the players Go out and look for decomposers under logs and leaves. See how many you can find. Dig for earthworms. As you look under the magnifying lens, see if you can identify these parts of this amazing decomposer. Draw pictures of what you see. Tell players that on the golf course we are surrounded by a large variety of living things. Ask them for examples. Prompt them, if necessary, to list different types of herbivores, omnivores, carnivores, and decomposers. Tell them that they are going to go in search of decomposers today. Bring the players into the wooded area and let them know what areas they can go to and which they should avoid. Also tell them of any dangerous plants they should not touch. Bring them to a fallen log and explain that before their eyes, the log is being changed into soil. Ask a couple of players to carefully roll over the log, stressing that when you are finished, you will be trying to restore everything to the way it was before. Underneath they will find different types of insects, worms, fungi, and other decomposers. They also may find salamanders (which are carnivores)! Give each player a sheet of white paper and ask them to scoop some of the soil and decomposing wood onto the paper and try to find different animals. Players can also lift up fallen leaves during their search. After the allotted time, ask the players to restore the study area back to its original state. Bring them back to the open to compare their findings. Ask how many different species of decomposers did they find?

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8.) Title: The Food Chain Gang Background: The first law of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. All energy flows from the sun. Green plants capture this energy through photosynthesis and take nutrients and water from the ground and turn it into food. Plants are eaten by herbivores or omnivores who are then eaten by carnivores or decomposers.

Objectives: Students will understand that nutrients flow from green plants to herbivores or omnivores and then to carnivores or decomposers and are recycled continuously through the environment.

Vocabulary: consumers: animals that eat plants and/or other animals decomposers: plants, animals, or fungus that eats dead plants and animals nutrients: chemicals that living things need to live and grow, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon, silica producers: plants that convert the sun’s energy, nutrients, and water into food

THE FOOD CHAIN GAME Equipment: hula hoop, 10 golf balls for each player, three colors of blindfolds Preparation:  In an open area, place the golf balls within the hula hoop. Ask players to create a circle around you. Assign the players to be producers, consumers, and decomposers, selecting twice as many consumers as decomposers and twice as many producers as consumers. Each group will be represented by a different color blindfold tied around their arm. Show them the hula hoop and explain that this area represents the soil and within the soil are the nutrients (hold up a golf ball) that living things need to survive and thrive. Ask how the nutrients get out of the ground and into our bodies. (Plants take them up through their roots and turn them into sugars and animals eat the plants and/other animals that have eaten the plants.) The players are going to play tag to get the nutrients they need to survive. Only producers can take the nutrients directly from the soil. Consumers get nutrients www.thefirsttee.org 

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by tagging producers. Decomposers get nutrients by tagging producers or consumers. Producers can only remove one golf ball at a time from the soil, consumers get one golf ball each time they tag a producer, and decomposers get one golf ball each time they tag a producer or consumer. When a decomposer gets a golf ball, the ball is returned to the soil. If there is an imbalance and there are not enough nutrients in the soils for the producers, there will be increased competition between the players. If there is a significant imbalance, stop the game and reassign one or more players from the producer or consumer group to the decomposer group, stating that if nutrients are not being recycled efficiently enough, plants and animals will die and the decomposers will have more to eat and then return more nutrients to the soil. Restart the game. How do the three groups depend on each other? On the golf course, are the three groups represented? Grass clippings are often removed from greens and tees, but left on fairways and roughs. What are some benefits to leaving the grass clippings on the ground (they can decompose and return nutrients to the soil)? (Note: clippings are removed from greens to provide a more consistent putting surface.)

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9.) Title: Habitat Background: The first law of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. Every living thing has needs that must be met. The most basic needs are food, water, shelter, and space. Where each species meets these needs is its habitat. Each species has a way of life, called a niche, which allows it to compete with other species within its habitat. Vocabulary: habitat: a place where a plant or animal naturally lives, it consists of the four main elements: food, water, shelter, and space, that it needs to survive and thrive needs: those things that a living thing has to have to survive and thrive niche: the job a plant or animal has in nature survive: to remain alive thrive: to be able to successfully reproduce

HABITAT SCAVENGER HUNT Objectives: Players will understand that living things can be found everywhere, not just in natural areas. Equipment: Habitat Scavenger Hunt Sheet, pencils Preparation: Before the lesson, check with the golf course superintendent to identify areas where the players can enter natural areas. Also check to ensure there is no poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle or other potentially harmful plants that the players should avoid touching. Discuss with players what plants and animals need to survive. Explain that every animal lives in its own habitat, where it finds food, water, shelter, and space. Ask for examples of different habitats. If necessary, explain that a habitat belongs to the species. For example, a pond is not a habitat, although a sunfish’s habitat might be a pond. Often the players will bring up animals such as deer, wolves, eagles, and other animals usually found in “natural areas”. Ask them what a beetle’s habitat is. What would a dandelion’s habitat be? Crabgrass seeds need to find open soil, so unrepaired divots can create perfect crabgrass habitat.

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Hand out the Habitat Scavenger Hunt Sheet and pencils, point out the boundaries of their search, and send them off to look for living things in the inplay area and the out-of-play area of the golf course. If anyone says they cannot find anything, especially in the in-play area, suggest they lay on the ground and look at the grass from an ant’s perspective. Can they find other plants besides grass? After the search is over, have students share their experience and pictures.

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Habitat Scavenger Hunt Sheet Every living thing has its own habitat where it can satisfy all its needs. These needs include food, water, shelter, and space. Sometimes habitats are found in the most unlikely places! You pass hundreds of habitats every day without realizing it. Search familiar places and find as many habitats as you can. Remember that living things are more than animals. Think small! Here are some other hints to help you search: Types of Food Plants, animals, decomposing matter, garbage

Water Sources Ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, puddles, bird baths

Shelter Trees, shrubs, nest boxes, grass, water features, cliffs, building ledges, stone walls, ivy, gardens, buildings

In the playing area, we found _____ different kinds of living things. Types of food found: Sources of water found: Types of shelter found:

In the out-of-play areas, we found _____ different kinds of living things. Types of food found: Sources of water found: Types of shelter found:

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10.)

Title: Getting Around, How Seeds Travel

Background: The first law of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. Plants help show this law easily, because most plants rely on something else to help them spread their seeds. All plants need sun, space, water and nutrients. Plants have a problem - their job is to reproduce and create new plants, but they are rooted to the ground. If all plants just dropped their seeds, then a single area would soon be too crowded with new plants which would compete with each other and the parent plant. So over millions of years, different plants have developed several ways to scatter their seeds away from them. Some enlist the help of animals, wind, or water in order to accomplish their task.

Vocabulary: Seed – a young plant (embryo) with a food supply surrounded by a protective coat Dispersal – scattering or distribution of something

SEED DISPERSAL Objectives: Participants will be able to identify how different plants spread from one area to another. Equipment: Seed Scavenger Hunt Sheet, pencils, large old socks (ideally cotton or wool) Preparation:  Before the lesson, check with the golf course superintendent to identify areas where the players can enter natural areas. Also check to ensure there is no poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle or other potentially harmful plants that the players should avoid touching.  Ask the superintendent to participate in the lesson by talking to the players about grass seeds and how they are dispersed on the golf course. If other plants, like wildflowers are also planted, then these can be discussed as well. If the superintendent is unable to do this, ask for a sample of seeds to show the players. Explain to the players that plants need to reproduce and spread, or disperse, their seeds to a place where they can grow, but they are rooted to the ground and cannot do this without help. Ask the players if they can think of any ways that seeds are dispersed. After some discussion, invite the golf course superintendent www.thefirsttee.org 

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to talk about how grass seeds are dispersed on the golf course. After the superintendent finishes, ask if the players they came up with any other ideas for how seeds can be scattered. Discuss if necessary. Tell the players that they will be sent on a scavenger hunt to look for seeds on the golf course. Different plants go through their cycles throughout the growing season, so seeds should be found year round. Hand out the Seed Scavenger Hunt Sheet and pencils and make clear that they are not to collect seeds, but to draw pictures on the worksheet. Point out the boundaries of their search. Ask one or two older players to stay with you and send the rest off to look for seeds. Have the players that remained behind put on the socks over their shoes and ask them to be sure to walk through the natural area while looking for seeds. (Many seeds have hooks that grab onto the fur of animals and the players wearing the socks should collect more of these types of seeds than the other players.) After the search is over, have students share their experience and pictures. During the discussion, you may need to bring up the following: Plants that drop their seeds often live for only one year (like some grasses or wildflowers) or their seeds are round so they can roll away from the parent or their seeds are meant to be collected by an animal like a squirrel that will bury it to eat later and then forget about it (like acorns). Plants that like to grow in newly disturbed areas, like after a forest fire or when people build a new house, often have seeds that rely on the wind to be dispersed. Dandelions are a good example. Many seeds have hooks that grab onto the fur (or socks). If the animal cleans itself in a place with the right conditions, then the seeds will grow. Some plants bribe an animal with sweet fruit, with their seeds hidden inside. The seeds pass through the animal unharmed and when the animal defecates, the seeds are dispersed along with excellent fertilizer. Many of the fruits and berries we find in the supermarket are good examples. As a wrap-up, tell the players that all plants create more seeds than will actually grow to full grown plants. Ask them why. By this time, they should be able to tell you that many of the seeds will not be dispersed to a place with enough sun, space, water and nutrients to grow into mature plants.

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Seed Scavenger Hunt Sheet Draw a picture of what you find in the box next to the seed description

A seed which is dispersed by the wind

A seed that can be dispersed by water

Seeds that are hidden inside a food source

A seed that looks like a helicopter when it falls

A seed that drops and rolls

A hitchhiker seed

A seed that looks like it is attached to a parachute

A seed that may be hidden by an animal

A seed that is dropped

A seed that is sticky

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11) Title: Increasing Awareness Background: Often when we think of nature and the environment, we think of tall mountains, faraway jungles, and magnificent animals. Nature, however, is all around us, unseen unless we take the time to look at it. Sometimes it is also a matter of perspective. Vocabulary: biodiversity: the variety of life forms within a given area

MICROHIKE Objectives: Participants will view nature from a different perspective. Equipment: one blindfold for each player Preparation:  Before the lesson, check with the golf course superintendent to identify areas where the players can enter natural areas. Also check to ensure there is no poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle or other potentially harmful plants that the players should avoid touching. Preparation:  Before the lesson, check with the golf course superintendent to identify areas where the players can enter natural areas. Also check to ensure there is no poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle or other potentially harmful plants that the players should avoid touching.  Remove the paper from the crayons Bring the players to an area where the turfgrass meets another type of plant community, like a natural grass/wildflower area, woodland, or wetland area. Ask them if they were going to study nature, where would they want to go? Listen to responses. Ask them how they would like to study an area with plants and animals they have never seen before. In fact, they are each going to create a nature trail that they will share with another player. When a player asks where, tell them to look down. Have each player lie on their stomach near the natural area and look very closely at the ground under the grass. Hand each player a blindfold and tell them that this will be the path of their nature trail. The trail should begin in the turfgrass and end in the natural area. Challenge them to create an interesting trail that will go past many different types of plants. Tell them that when they share their trail, it should take a few minutes for their visitor to travel from one end of the trail to another. For some players it might help to have them visualize themselves as an ant traveling over the ground. www.thefirsttee.org 

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After at least five minutes to create the trails, have the players pair up and have each take a turn showing the other their trail. If there is enough time, have everyone visit everyone else’s trail. Bring the group together and ask what wildlife was seen along the trails? What was the most exciting part of their nature trails? What did their partner show on their trail that they had not found? How is their view of the biodiversity of the area changed?

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12) Title: “Why Do Some Animals Have Two Homes?”

Background: Migration is when groups of animals move from one place to another for feeding or breeding. They survive by leaving one area for part of the year or part of their life, and move to habitats with more food, water, and shelter, less predators, better weather, or all of the above. Migration Examples  Monarch Butterflies are not able to survive the cold winters in the northern states, so they migrate south to places like Mexico to avoid difficult living conditions  Humpback whales of the Pacific Ocean head south in the fall to give birth to their young in subtropical waters off Hawaii, and then head north in late spring to spend the summer in the cold waters off Alaska that are rich with food.  Dall Sheep are seasonal migrants that spend summers near the top of mountain ranges and then winter at lower elevations where there is less snow and food is easier to find.  Golden Eagles spend the summer in the north where there is plenty of food, and head south for the winter when there is less food in the north and the temperatures drop far below zero. Golden eagles and many other large raptors are considered partial migrants because those that live far enough south do not migrate.  Sea Turtles return from ocean waters to the coast to lay eggs in the sand. The eggs hatch and the young turtles head to the open ocean until it is their turn to lay eggs.  Locusts change when they get too crowded and become more active and social creating large groups of insects that move across the land in search of new places with plenty of food (and fewer locusts).  Arctic Terns are complete migrants that spend all year in summer by alternating subpolar regions in the northern and southern hemispheres. These animals have the farthest migration of any on Earth, estimated at nearly 25,000 miles roundtrip per year.

Vocabulary: Migratory: Birds and other animals that travel distances in seasonal movements. Migrations may be very short, or cover vast distances

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MIGRATION TAG GAME Objectives: Students will understand basic reasons for animal migration and highlight the natural and manmade challenges faced by a variety of migratory animal on their journeys between summer and winter grounds. Equipment: Migration Tag Game Scenario Cards, Orange Cones Preparation:  Use cones to mark out a rectangular playing field. The field should be about twice as wide as all players holding hands and two to five times as long as it is wide. You may need to make the field shorter or longer depending on the age and athletic ability of the players. Feel free to set up the cones after the players are lined up. Ask for one or two players to volunteer to be “it” (there should be one “it” for every five players). Ask the remaining players to line up along the short side of the field (“starting line”). With players lined up on the “starting line” and facing the “finish line”, explain that they are going to represent wildlife trying to migrate from point A (“starting line”) to point B (“finish line”). Run each scenario at least twice to represent the animals going to and returning to their summer grounds. On the return trip, all players tagged during the first run will be “it”. For each scenario, choose different “it(s)” from those in the center of the field.

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MIGRATION TAG GAME SCENARIO CARDS Everyone on the starting line represents a Monarch Butterfly attempting to migrate from its home on this golf course to its wintering grounds in Mexico (“finish line”). The “it(s)” in the center of the field represent birds that prey upon the butterflies during their migration. These players in the center will then attempt to tag the Monarchs as they run from one side to the other. Tagged played will join the “its” in the center for the next round. When I say “go”, you must try to avoid the birds and reach your winter grounds in Mexico. “Go!” Everyone on the starting line represents salamanders making their short trip migrating from the woods across the street to their springtime breeding area here in the golf course pond. The “it(s)” in the center of the field represent cars driving on the busy road the salamanders must cross to reach the pond. Streets and vehicle traffic provide some serious challenges for migrating Salamanders. Tagged played will join the “its” in the center for the next round. When I say “go”, the salamanders must try to reach the lower elevations where grass is green and the snow is not so deep. “Go!” Everyone on the starting line represents Arctic Terns (birds) migrating from their summer grounds in the Arctic (North Pole) and migrating all the way to the Antarctic (South Pole) for the winter months. The “it(s)” in the center of the field represent fierce coastal storms that threaten to knock Arctic Terns off course, sometimes tiring them to the point of exhaustion. When I say “go”, the Arctic Terns must try to dodge the major storms in order to reach the South Pole where they will spend the winter months. “Go!” Everyone on the starting line represents Sea Turtles migrating from the deep open ocean to the beaches of Florida to lay their eggs during the nesting season. The “it(s)” in the center of the field represent fishing boats that cast nets for fish, but also can catch sea turtles. Now for this final round we will add a twist. As more and more beaches are being developed by humans, there are fewer beaches suitable for turtle to lay eggs. (Move the orange cones at the finish line closer together creating a smaller playing area.) Now you only have this much beach to reach without being hunted! When I say “go”, the Sea Turtles must try to avoid the turtle hunters and reach the beaches where they will lay their eggs. “Go!” (If you have more time, move the orange cones even closer together, or remove one cone to create a triangular playing field with one lone destination point instead of a line). Hurricanes can erode beaches and wash away sand that the Sea Turtles need for nesting. This one small beach (lone cone) is the only one remaining on a small island after a major hurricane! You must reach this beach to lay your eggs while avoiding the turtle hunters. “Go!” www.thefirsttee.org 

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13.)

Title: Territory

Background: The first law of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. Every living thing has needs that must be met. The most basic needs are food, water, shelter, and space. Where each species meets these needs is its habitat. Each individual also has a territory in which it must find all its needs to survive, mate, and raise young.

Objectives: Students will understand that the size of an animal’s territory is related to how much food, water, shelter, and space is available.

Vocabulary: competition: what happens when two or more plant or animals need the same thing (food, water, shelter, mate) habitat: a place where a plant or animal naturally lives, it consists of the four main elements: food, water, shelter, and space, that it needs to survive and thrive needs: those things that a living thing has to have to survive and thrive survive: to remain alive territory: the amount of space within a habitat that an animal needs to survive and thrive thrive: to be able to successfully reproduce

THE TERRITORY GAME Equipment: one 25 foot long string tied into a loop for each player, 10 golf balls per player plus ten more Preparation: none Give each player a string and ask them to lay the string out on the ground. When they are done, ask them what all plants and animals need to survive (food, water, shelter, and space) and where they will find their needs (habitat). The space within the habitat that an individual needs is their territory. Tell them that the circle represents their territory, which is the habitat that they protect and where they must meet their needs. The golf balls represent food that they need to

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survive and thrive. Spread the golf balls (minus the ten additional golf balls) across the playing area, dropping some inside and some outside the circles. When the game begins, players will collect as much food as they can. When players are inside their territory, then they are safe. If they are tagged outside their territory, then they give up the food they were carrying to the player that tagged them. If two players tag each other at the same time, then they both drop their food. Once food has been gathered and placed in a pile in their territory, it cannot be stolen. When all the food has been gathered, discuss who gathered the most food. What was that player’s strategy? Did the shape of the territory make a difference (more circular vs. oval)? Was there any difference between those whose territories were closer or farther apart? Play the game a few more times. Some variations to the game could include:  have each player overlap their territory with at least one other play. How do the strategies for collecting food change as the players gain experience?  announce that the golf course superintendent has planted native wildflowers on the golf course, so there is more food available. Add ten more golf balls to the game. Discuss how improving wildlife habitat makes it easier for wildlife to find what they need.  spread the golf balls around and then allow the players to put down their strings, with the player that had collected the most food during the last round choosing first. Why would this happen in nature? (An animal that collects more food is stronger and can defend the best territory.) On the golf course, many animals call this their home. What could the players do to improve wildlife habitat on the course? (Note: it would be a good idea to talk to the golf course superintendent prior to this activity to get ideas for some habitat improvement projects that the players could accomplish.)

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14.)

Title: The Green Golfer Pledge – Awareness

Background: Audubon International has created the Green Golfer Pledge to introduce environmental stewardship to golfers. The pledge is: “I value the nature of the game and accept my responsibility to ensure that golf courses are managed in harmony with the environment. I pledge to:  voice my support for the environmental efforts undertaken at my course.  keep play on the course and stay out of natural areas. I will respect designated environmentally sensitive areas and wildlife habitats on the course.  take some time to appreciate the increased variety of native plants and wildlife on the course.  when using a cart, follow cart path rules to protect soils and grass.  repair ball marks and replace divots to keep grass healthy.  support consistent, true ball roll on greens, rather than speed. (Lower mowing heights are at the root of many grass and environmental problems.)  use trash and recycling receptacles appropriately and encourage others to do the same.  purchase environmentally-friendly products for my game.  encourage others to learn about the benefits of environmentally responsible management on the course and in their community.  encourage my golf course to participate in environmental programs, such as those offered by Audubon International.” Golf courses are for golfers, but they’re often used by wildlife too. Think about some of the animals that they have been seen while playing the course. Birds, squirrels, chipmunks, butterflies, and turtles are common animals easily viewed during the day. Training oneself to look more closely can open a whole new world of enjoyment of the natural environment. Like adjusting a camera lens, looking with increased awareness at ones surroundings will bring into focus the different types of plants and trees, the variety of birds, and the numerous ants, bees, beetles, and other insects that make the golf course their home. Golfers should use proper etiquette on the golf course not only to help keep the course looking nice, but also help to protect the environment. “In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum

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ETIQUETTE ACTIVITIES  I pledge to take some time to appreciate the increased variety of native plants and wildlife on the course. Explain that the golf course is “home” to many animals and they rely on the golf course and golfers for the protection of these areas. Wildlife sightings on the course can add excitement and increased enjoyment to the game of golf. If there is a nest box program on the golf course, invite the golf course superintendent to bring the players to the nest box and check for a nest and eggs. Encourage the players to let golf course staff know that they like seeing natural areas and animals on the course. If there is no nest box program on the golf course, or if you would like to spend more time on this topic, you can use one or more of the following activities: CAMERA Objectives: Participants will help each other appreciate nature by changing their visual perspective. Equipment: none Preparation: Before the lesson, check with the golf course superintendent to identify areas where the players can enter natural areas. Also check to ensure there is no poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle or other potentially harmful plants that the players should avoid touching. Have the players pair up. Explain that one of them will be the photographer and the other the camera. During the game, the camera will keep their eyes shut until the photographers press the “shutter button” by tapping the cameras’ shoulder. The photographers will carefully guide the cameras in search of a beautiful picture. When found, the photographer will gently place the camera in a position where the lens (eyes) will best view the image and then tap the shoulder. The photographer should silently count to three and then tap the shoulder again to “close the shutter”. For the best experience, it is important for the cameras to keep their eyes closed until the photographers tap their shoulder. Encourage the photographers to be creative and take some close-up pictures, panoramas, and use different angles (such as lying below a tree looking up). Remind them of areas they should avoid. After a few minutes, have the players switch roles so they both have the opportunity to be the camera and the photographer.

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HUG A TREE Objectives: Participants will use touch, smell, and hearing to more fully explore their surroundings. Equipment: blindfolds Preparation: Before the lesson, check with the golf course superintendent to identify areas where the players can enter natural areas. Also check to ensure there is no poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle or other potentially harmful plants that the players should avoid touching. Have the players pair up. Explain that they are going to take turns being blindfolded and led to a tree. They will be given a few minutes to learn everything they can about that tree without using sight. After a few minutes, their partner will bring them back to the starting area and remove the blindfold. The players are then sent off to find their tree.

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15.) Title: The Green Golfer Pledge – Natural Areas Background: Audubon International has created the Green Golfer Pledge to introduce environmental stewardship to golfers. The pledge is: “I value the nature of the game and accept my responsibility to ensure that golf courses are managed in harmony with the environment. I pledge to:  voice my support for the environmental efforts undertaken at my course.  keep play on the course and stay out of natural areas. I will respect designated environmentally sensitive areas and wildlife habitats on the course.  take some time to appreciate the increased variety of native plants and wildlife on the course.  when using a cart, follow cart path rules to protect soils and grass.  repair ball marks and replace divots to keep grass healthy.  support consistent, true ball roll on greens, rather than speed. (Lower mowing heights are at the root of many grass and environmental problems.)  use trash and recycling receptacles appropriately and encourage others to do the same.  purchase environmentally-friendly products for my game.  encourage others to learn about the benefits of environmentally responsible management on the course and in their community.  encourage my golf course to participate in environmental programs, such as those offered by Audubon International.” By their very nature, golf courses provide significant open spaces and opportunities to provide needed wildlife habitat in increasingly urbanized communities. The average course covers 150 acres, yet just 30% is generally used for greens, tees, fairways, and buildings, leaving 70% as rough, woods, water, and other habitat. These non-play areas provide significant opportunities to enhance and protect wildlife and native habitats, provide corridors that link to other natural areas, filter pollutants, produce oxygen, and stabilize soils. Vocabulary: Environmentally sensitive area: an area so declared by an appropriate authority, entry into and/or play from which is prohibited for environmental reasons.

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ETIQUETTE ACTIVITY Activity  I pledge to keep play on the course and stay out of natural areas. I will respect designated environmentally sensitive areas and wildlife habitats on the course. Equipment: Score cards or course map Preparation: 1. With help of golf course superintendent, identify natural areas on the golf course 2. Identify the course for areas listed as “Environmentally Sensitive” areas or defined as “Ground under Repair” 3. Ask if there are any local rules relating to any penalties or ‘relief’ stemming from a shot into posted areas Explain that golf is a shared experience. It is shared with each other, with other golfers on the course, and with nature. Review the players’ experience during the Plant Diversity Study and Habitat Scavenger Hunt activities. Make clear that golfers should respect wildlife habitat on the course and recognize the link between golf and nature. Have players examine scorecards or other golf course maps to identify areas that may be home to wildlife and should be left undisturbed during their game of golf. Explain to players any local rules relating to any penalties or “relief” stemming from golf shots landing in posted or marked natural areas.

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16.) Title: The Green Golfer Pledge – Recycling Background: Audubon International has created the Green Golfer Pledge to introduce environmental stewardship to golfers. The pledge is: “I value the nature of the game and accept my responsibility to ensure that golf courses are managed in harmony with the environment. I pledge to:  voice my support for the environmental efforts undertaken at my course.  keep play on the course and stay out of natural areas. I will respect designated environmentally sensitive areas and wildlife habitats on the course.  take some time to appreciate the increased variety of native plants and wildlife on the course.  when using a cart, follow cart path rules to protect soils and grass.  repair ball marks and replace divots to keep grass healthy.  support consistent, true ball roll on greens, rather than speed. (Lower mowing heights are at the root of many grass and environmental problems.)  use trash and recycling receptacles appropriately and encourage others to do the same.  purchase environmentally-friendly products for my game.  encourage others to learn about the benefits of environmentally responsible management on the course and in their community.  encourage my golf course to participate in environmental programs, such as those offered by Audubon International.” In 2008, Americans produced about 250 million tons of trash, which is approximately 4.5 pounds of water per person per day. Paper and yard waste together make up 57 percent and plastics and metals make up 20 percent of the total waste generated. Players can help these wastes be turned into new products instead of burying or burning them. Golfers should use proper etiquette on the golf course not only to help keep the course looking nice, but also help to protect the environment.

Vocabulary: Recycle: using materials from one item to create another Reuse: using an item many times, such as a refillable drink container

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ETIQUETTE ACTIVITIES  I pledge to use trash and recycling receptacles appropriately and encourage others to do the same.  I pledge to purchase environmentally-friendly products for my game. What’s in Our Trash? Objectives: Participants will identify waste generated by golfers and identify what waste could be avoided or recycled. Equipment: tarp, plastic gloves, un-emptied trash receptacle from the golf course grounds Preparation: 1. Get permission from the golf course to empty a trash receptacle on a tarp for educational purposes. 2. Ask what throwaway items can be recycled on the golf course. Identify where the recycling containers are. 3. If there is no recycling capability at the course, ask if they would be open to the players setting up a recycling system. If yes, call the municipal solid waste department and ask if they can help. Ask players to create a circle around the tarp. With no introduction, empty the trash can onto the tarp. Let the players react to the pile. Explain that everything in the pile had been made out of materials that came from nature. Ask if anyone can identify a piece of trash and identify what it was originally made from (e.g., newspaper – tree; plastic water bottle – oil; soda can – bauxite rock; leftover hot dog bun – wheat; pencil– tree, graphite rock)? Pick out one piece of trash, such as a pencil, and ask the students how long they think the pencil was used for? Now, it has been thrown away and will be sent to a landfill or incinerator. Hand out the gloves and have the players divide the trash into five different piles: office paper, plastic, food waste, metal, and other. Lead a discussion using the following questions:  Which pile represents the most trash?  Which pile comes in second?  Which is the least?  How many items in your sample could have been recycled? (The following items can be recycled in most areas of the country - aluminum cans, bottles, office paper, newspaper)

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 List three ways you could help to reduce the amount of trash you produce. (e.g., re-useable water bottles, reuse pencils until they cannot be used for writing anymore, recycle, compost food scraps)  Does the golf course provide for recycling? If the golf course does have recycling containers, place the trash on the tarp in the appropriate receptacles. Note that paper will likely be soiled and therefore cannot be recycled, so put it and all other non-recyclable trash back in the trash can. Explain that recycling not only reduces waste, but the use of trash and recycling containers helps the golf course to remain attractive, safe, and environmentallyfriendly. Cleaning trash left on the golf course takes a lot of time that the golf course staff could spend keeping the grass healthy.

As a follow-up or alternative activity, players can help to clean up an area on the golf course where trash accumulates, usually along the border or where streams enter the course. This trash can then be evaluated as explained above.

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17.)

Title: The Green Golfer Pledge – Turf Care

Background: Audubon International has created the Green Golfer Pledge to introduce environmental stewardship to golfers. The pledge is: “I value the nature of the game and accept my responsibility to ensure that golf courses are managed in harmony with the environment. I pledge to:  voice my support for the environmental efforts undertaken at my course.  keep play on the course and stay out of natural areas. I will respect designated environmentally sensitive areas and wildlife habitats on the course.  take some time to appreciate the increased variety of native plants and wildlife on the course.  when using a cart, follow cart path rules to protect soils and grass.  repair ball marks and replace divots to keep grass healthy.  support consistent, true ball roll on greens, rather than speed. (Lower mowing heights are at the root of many grass and environmental problems.)  use trash and recycling receptacles appropriately and encourage others to do the same.  purchase environmentally-friendly products for my game.  encourage others to learn about the benefits of environmentally responsible management on the course and in their community.  encourage my golf course to participate in environmental programs, such as those offered by Audubon International.” Golf courses are managed to provide a great game of golf. Most of the work done by the golf course superintendent and staff strives to create a quality playing surface. Proper grass selection; mowing, watering, and fertilization practices; correcting drainage problems; controlling thatch; protecting areas from traffic; and managing trees are some of the techniques used to grow healthy turfgrass. Like people, healthy turfgrass is less likely to develop problems. Repaired ball marks and divots heal much faster, and reduce the chances of insects, weeds or diseases affecting the grass in that area. Healthy grass requires fewer chemicals, less water, and less work to maintain. Golfers should use proper etiquette on the golf course not only to help keep the course looking nice, but also help to protect the environment.

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Vocabulary: Ball mark: depression on the putting green caused by a spinning golf ball landing on it Divot: a slice of ground or turf cut with a golf club and the bare earth left behind Divot mix: a sand and seed mixture used to fill in divots and promote healthy grass and Repair tool: a fork shaped tool used to fix marks on a green made by a golf ball Stress: actions that damage the grass or reduce its ability to grow and remain healthy

ETIQUETTE ACTIVITIES Objectives: Players will learn about turfgrass management and what they can do to help protect turfgrass health.

Activity #1 I pledge, when using a cart, to follow cart path rules to protect soils and grass. Equipment: none Preparation: 1. With help of golf course superintendent, identify areas on the golf course that have been compacted by cart traffic. 2. Either ask the superintendent to talk to the players about soil compaction and what that means for turfgrass management or provide you with enough of a background so you can explain it to the players yourself. Ask players to create a circle around you and the compacted area. Ask the students what the most basic needs of living things are (food, water, shelter, and space). Explain, or have the superintendent explain, that compacted soil leaves no space for the turfgrass roots to grow or water to seep into the ground. By staying on cart paths, even when walking, the players are protecting the soil and turfgrass.

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Activity #2 I pledge to support consistent, true ball roll on greens, rather than speed. (Lower mowing heights are at the root of many grass and environmental problems.) Equipment: stimpmeter, measuring tape, bucket of water Preparation: 1. Either ask the superintendent to talk to the players about greenspeed and consistency and what that means for turfgrass management or provide you with enough of a background so you can explain it to the players yourself. Note: it would be best to have this activity led by the superintendent. Ask players to create a circle around the golf course superintendent. Have the superintendent show how the stimpmeter is used and that its purpose is to measure consistency of ball roll from one green to the next. Variations such as slope, grass type, shade, soil moisture, and other factors can affect how fast a ball will roll on a green. To demonstrate this, use the stimpmeter in an area and record the results. Now pour the bucket of water in the area in front of the area where the stimpmeter will be tipped. Ask the players to predict what the results will be.

Activity #3 healthy.

I pledge to repair ball marks and replace divots to keep grass

Equipment: ball mark repair tool, putter Preparation: 3. Find ball marks in need of repair on the green Ask players to create a circle around you. Explain that if a ball mark is not repaired quickly, the grass will soon die, leaving the greens susceptible to weeds or other problems and might need extra chemicals and water. Demonstrate the proper technique for repairing the turf damage. The tool should be inserted into the outer edge of the depression at a 45-degree angle to begin. Push the tool down and forward, pushing the sides of the mark together. Do not lift the grass or dig the depression, as this may damage the tiny roots of the turf plant. Repeat this motion all the way around the mark, and then lightly tap down turf with a putter until turf is as flat as the rest of the green. Players are each given a ball mark repair tool (or share if in limited supply) and repair ball marks on the green.

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Explain to players that other golfers are relying on them to repair ball marks, just as the players expect to find proper conditions while they play their round.

Activity #4 healthy.

I pledge to repair ball marks and replace divots to keep grass

Equipment: Divot Mix (on golf cart or in tee area) Preparation: 1. Find out from the golf course superintendent if divots are repaired with a divot mix or replaced. If divots are repaired, have divot mix available for the players. 2. Find unrepaired divots Ask players to create a circle around you. Explain that correct divot repair on the tee or fairway allows the damaged area to properly heal. Repaired divots heal much faster, and reduce the chances of insects, weeds or diseases affecting the grass in that area. Healthy grass requires fewer chemicals, less water, and less work to maintain. If the golf course repairs divots with a divot mix, show players where the divot mix can be found (on the golf cart or the tee area). Use the mix provided to fill the damaged area, stepping on the mix to level it with the rest of the grass. If the golf course replaces divots, pick up the divot pieces and bring them back to the damaged turf area. Match the divot pieces like a puzzle, grass side up, to cover the entire hole and step on the area to make it level like the surrounding areas. If time and divots permit, have the players repair a divot on the tee or fairway.

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18.) Title: The Green Golfer Pledge – Overall Responsibility Background: Audubon International has created the Green Golfer Pledge to introduce environmental stewardship to golfers. The pledge is: “I value the nature of the game and accept my responsibility to ensure that golf courses are managed in harmony with the environment. I pledge to:  voice my support for the environmental efforts undertaken at my course.  keep play on the course and stay out of natural areas. I will respect designated environmentally sensitive areas and wildlife habitats on the course.  take some time to appreciate the increased variety of native plants and wildlife on the course.  when using a cart, follow cart path rules to protect soils and grass.  repair ball marks and replace divots to keep grass healthy.  support consistent, true ball roll on greens, rather than speed. (Lower mowing heights are at the root of many grass and environmental problems.)  use trash and recycling receptacles appropriately and encourage others to do the same.  purchase environmentally-friendly products for my game.  encourage others to learn about the benefits of environmentally responsible management on the course and in their community.  encourage my golf course to participate in environmental programs, such as those offered by Audubon International.” Golf courses can be managed in ways that not only provide a great game of golf, but also provide valuable homes and food for a variety of wildlife. Diverse habitats and areas protected from disturbance can help birds and mammals while adding to the overall ‘shared’ experience on the property. Repaired ball marks and divots heal much faster, and reduce the chances of insects, weeds or diseases affecting the grass in that area. Healthy grass requires fewer chemicals, less water, and less work to maintain. Golfers should use proper etiquette on the golf course not only to help keep the course looking nice, but also help to protect the environment.

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ETIQUETTE ACTIVITY  I pledge to voice my support for the environmental efforts undertaken at my course.  I pledge to encourage others to learn about the benefits of environmentally responsible management on the course and in their community.

Objectives: Players will understand that their actions on the golf course reflect their love of the game and the protection of the natural world. Equipment: Take the Green Golfer PledgeTM After reviewing the Pledges, have the students sign the pledge to indicate that they understand and will follow the pledge. You have the option of submitting the pledge sheet (see next page) to Audubon International at 46 Rarick Rd., Selkirk, NY 12158. Audubon International is using the number of pledges collected to show support for environmentally sensitive golf course management.

Follow-up with one of the activities that the players particularly enjoyed that takes little preparation, such as Camera, Hug a Tree, or visit the area used for The Beauty of Biodiversity activities and compare what it looked like then compared to now.

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Take the Green Golfer Pledge! As an Audubon Green Golfer, I value the nature of the game and accept my responsibility to ensure that golf courses are managed in harmony with the environment. Project Coordinator: ________________________________________ Golf Course Name: ________________________________________ City & State: ________________________________________ SIGN THE PLEDGE FOR GREENER GOLF First & Last Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 www.thefirsttee.org 

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Audubon International Lesson Plan for The First Tee