PHOTO: JENNIFER GRANT, PH.D., NEW YORK STATE IPM PROGRAM

Richard Belowski, superintendent at Battle Island State Park in Fulton, New York, recently received an Excellence in IPM (Integrated Pest Management) award for his commitment to the testing and adoption of biologically-based, ecologically sound approaches to golf-course management.

Belowski was on the crew at the Bethpage State Park golf course where the world’s first long-term research in reduced-input practices began in 2000. Now at Battle Island, always a hot spot for white grubs, Belowski is working with Cornell entomologists to test if augmenting native nematodes – microscopic worms that populate the soil – can kill grubs and persist over time, so managers won’t have to pay for expensive annual applications.

Some of the other projects Belowski helps with are common to all state-owned golf courses in New York, and if Belowski’s careful scouting uncovers a sudden pest outbreak, says Cornell University horticulturalist Robert Portmess, “he alerts people at other area courses.”