GC Ulm receives municipal funding for hard rough areas

Ulm Golf Club is making a debut in Baden-Württemberg/Germany: For the first time, mowing of the entire hard rough areas on the 18-hole golf course is being supported by a municipality, resulting in savings for the golf club in the lower four-digit range. “The municipality of Illerrieden has kindly provided us with a large tractor and a large mower, and possibly also a man, so that we can mow the approximately two-hectare area in autumn,” explains head greenkeeper Thomas Ströbele about the cooperation.

Subsidy program for golf course used

The background to the community’s support for the golf course is the state’s funding programs, which include the “Flowering Areas and Biodiversity Paths” program. Municipalities receive financial support here if they support the creation of flowering meadows, flowering areas and flowering strips, for example.

An aspect that has been taken into account at the Ulm Golf Club for years and has led to a constructive cooperation between the golf course, the regional association Donau-Iller of the BUND and the municipality of Illerrieden. Some of the hard rough areas of the golf course are now considered extremely valuable. In the middle of the golf course there is even a natural monument, the Iris sibirica. It enjoys perfect location conditions next to fairway 2 of the GC Ulm. “Basically, we arrange an annual meeting on the golf course with the BUND and the lower nature conservation authority of the local district office in order to go through the important nature conservation issues of the golf course once a year,” Ströbele sums up.

Golf course recognized as valuable habitat

In this way, not only is the maintenance of the already existing valuable extensive areas or biotopes optimized every year, but new projects are also developed: “This year we planted autochthonous seeds on some old flakes that were no longer needed in order to do an initial planting here create,” explains Ströbele. In the fall, after the plants have been mowed, the seeds will be spread to other areas so that the plants there become even more valuable.”

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For the municipality of Illerrieden, the golf course has long since developed into a valuable habitat, that is also well suited as a basis for the state’s biodiversity funding projects. Head greenkeeper Ströbele had nothing to do with the municipality’s application for funding, but is now benefiting from it because the municipality is helping him with the mowing in the fall. “That’s a small start,” says Ströbele. He also recognizes the appreciation of the golf course from the fact that he is also involved in training the community employees when it comes to carrying out the mowing work correctly.

“Golf Course Habitat” and “Golf & Nature”

This positive image of the golf course has developed over the years. The GC Ulm has been participating in the “Golf & Nature” project of the German Golf Association since 2011. Getting involved in the “Habitat Golf Course” campaign of the Baden-Württemberg Golf Association was a matter of course. After all, the good contact with the Lower Nature Conservation Authority also means something positive from a golfing point of view: the conversion work on individual greens and tees in recent years ran without any problems – and without excessively lengthy approval procedures.

More information on funding programs in Baden-Württemberg:

The “Flowering Areas and Biodiversity Paths” funding program aims to strengthen the protection of biodiversity in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Municipalities could use it. The application requirement for 2021 expired on June 30, 2021 for the year 2021. It is still unclear to what extent a similar program will follow.

In Baden-Württemberg, the guidelines for maintaining the landscape also serve to support the preservation of the cultural landscape and nature conservation. This is about financial support from the state, which affects, for example, biotope design, species protection, biotope or landscape conservation. Depending on the measure, the subsidies can be accessed not only by farmers and private individuals, but also by associations and clubs as well as municipalities. The current version is valid until December 31, 2023.