The New York State Turfgrass Association recently celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the New York Turfgrass Foundation, a fund established by the New York State Turfgrass Association (NYSTA) at Cornell University to support research activities for the benefit of the turfgrass industry in New York. In 1998, NYSTA’s Past President, Joseph Hahn, CGCS, former superintendent of Locust Hill Country Club, Oak Hill Country Club and the Country Club of Rochester launched an endowment campaign to assist in reaching the $1 million goal of the New York Turfgrass Foundation.

According to Hahn, “The year 2008 marked the 10th year since “Foundation Club” members were invited to make annual contributions at various giving levels, making the $1 million goal well within reach. Since the inception of the endowment campaign, funding has reached nearly $930,000. I am grateful to all of our contributors, especially donors who have given faithfully for the past ten years. They should be proud of their efforts because their continued support has kept our industry strong.” All 10-year Foundation Club donors were recognized in NYSTA newsletters and on the NYSTA web site. They were also honored at the 2009 Empire State Green Industry Show, January 7-9, in Rochester, New York, which coincided with NYSTA’s 60th anniversary celebration.

When it was established, contributions made to the fund were matched by Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) until the interest generated from the account reached $50,000. Now, the interest income from the fund is used directly to support turfgrass research.

NYSTA President, Owen Regan, said, “The New York Turfgrass Foundation is one of the most important endeavors for our association. It has provided our association the opportunity to award grants for research that seek to solve turfgrass problems and improve best management practices on a variety of subjects. These include pest and weed control, invasive species education, soil analyses, integrated pest management practices (IPM), the use of organic and microbial products for decreased inputs, turf disease management and prevention, and water quality and irrigation issues. This type of research has a tremendous positive impact on the turf industry.”

According to Dr. Susan Henry, The Ronald P. Lynch Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, “CALS is at the forefront of many of the University’s highest priorities, including the land grant mission, the New Life Sciences, Social Sciences and Environmental Sustainability initiatives, and International Programs. Thanks in large part to NYSTA contributions; we see great opportunities for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to help shape the course of events in this century as we did the last.”