By Eric Watkins
We are excited to announce that Gary Deters will be our new lawn water conservation educator! Gary, who spent 23 years in golf course turf management, six of those years as a superintendent at St. Cloud Country Club, has been our field facility manager since March 2020. Gary has been an excellent addition to our team, ensuring that our research plots are maintained well, and experimental treatments are applied carefully and consistently.
In his new role, Gary will lead outreach and education efforts aimed to reduce water use on lawns in the Twin Cities through the implementation of technology, public demonstrations of low maintenance grasses and irrigation systems, and drought tolerant cool-season turfgrasses.
Our group has collaborated with the Metropolitan Council for a number of years, working on a range of projects, including a just finished species mixture drought study and irrigation research at the UMN Landscape Arboretum. Other articles and videos relating to this project include:
- Turfgrass Suggestions for the Twin Cities, a video by the The Metropolitan Council
- How to make your irrigation system “smart”
- Video: Turfgrass Species for Low-Input Minnesota Lawns
- July = Smart irrigation month, but how can these “smart” irrigation technologies help us in a drought?
- Video: Learning to Control Your Irrigation Controller
- Video: Outdoor Water Use in the Twin Cities: Am I Using Too Much?
- National award for water conservation collaboration
In our next phase of work on this topic, there is a need for innovative and forward thinking outreach to convince Twin Cities residents that a functional lawn is possible without high levels of irrigation and other inputs. For information about the UMN Turfgrass Science - Metropolitan Council collaboration, read more here: Twin Cities Lawn Irrigation Efficiency Study.