Operation Pollinator® program from Syngenta Turf & Landscape continues to buzz
Pollinating insects are a vital part of our ecosystem. They are responsible for the successful pollination of many food crops as well as a wide range of plants that serve as food sources for birds and animals.
Syngenta Turf & Landscape’s Operation Pollinator® program aims to provide professional turf managers with the tools and information to successfully establish and manage attractive wildflower resources that are crucial for bees and other pollinating insects. It also aims to enhance the visual appearance of the site, and the overall playing experience for sports turf areas. Turf managers around Australia are well-placed to establish and preserve habitats and make a positive impact on the environment. In Australia the program is facilitated with Kate Torgensen from Environmental Golf Solutions, who consults on the site establishment process from start to finish.
“The Syngenta Operation Pollinator® program has been running around the world for many years and we are very proud to be hosting the program in Australia for the second time, and to expand it into New Zealand as well. The program started for the Turf industry in Australia with a pilot program in 2022. The process of selecting partners to work with for Operation Pollinator® has seen a large number of organisations putting their hands up to be included.” says Paul Jackson, Business Manager for Syngenta Turf & Landscape.
Growing interest in the Operation Pollinator® program in 2023
Earlier this year, the Syngenta Innovation LIVE Roadshow included a keynote presentation from Kate Torgensen, discussing the importance of Biodiversity in Turf Management systems. This discussion led to many more Turf Managers coming forward to request that the program be initiated at their sites.
“At Syngenta we are very pleased to see how popular this program has become for Urban Land Managers including Golf Course Superintendents. In response to the increased interest in the program, Syngenta have looked at ways to accommodate more clubs into the program for 2023. 2024 will see an even greater number of partners engaged as we rework the funding to cater to more interested partners around Australia.” says Paul Jackson, Business Manager for Syngenta Turf & Landscape.
In response to an overwhelming level of interest in the program, Syngenta Turf & Landscape expanded the number of applicants accepted into the program. They also extended the program’s scope beyond the initial focus on golf courses to encompass the entire sports turf industry, with applications received from various sectors, including universities, TAFEs, cemeteries, local councils, and production nurseries.
Syngenta Turf & Landscape are pleased to announce the successful applicants for the Operation Pollinator® program in 2023 for Australia & New Zealand are (in alphabetical order):
Barwon Valley Golf Club, Victoria, Australia
Cromer Golf Club, New South Wales, Australia
Deakin University at Warun Ponds, Victoria, Australia
Mount Lawley Golf Club, Western Australia, Australia
Pacific Golf Club, Queensland, Australia
Penrith City Council, New South Wales, Australia
Remuera Golf Club, Auckland, New Zealand
Wembley Golf Club, Western Australia, Australia
Looking to the future
Syngenta Turf & Landscape are keen to continue with the program and are looking for ways to expand it even further. Keep an eye on www.syngentaturf.com.au for updates on how to be involved.
Syngenta’s Operation Pollinator® Program – Inspecting potential plot sites at Penrith City Council, August 2023
An update on the 2022 pilot program from Kate Torgensen
In 2022, Bonnie Doon Golf Club, Moore Park Golf Course, and Indooroopilly Golf Course were selected to partake in Syngenta Turf & Landscape’s Operation Pollinator® pilot program.
The site preparation occurred over a 12 month plus period, to allow all weed seeds to be eliminated as much as possible from the seedbank. Whilst the sites were being prepared this allowed several local indigenous nurseries to propagate and grow our orders. After this extensive site preparation process, these locations were ready for planting.
In August 2023 Bonnie Doon Golf Course and Moore Park Golf Course – the two Sydney sites – undertook planting within their pollinator plots. Both sites planted over 500 plants comprised of a variety of indigenous species grown from local nurseries. The species selected specifically for these sites holds significant ecological value not only for pollinators but also for the critically endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS) vegetation community, which faces a concerning decline. Both clubs are committed to promoting and safeguarding ESBS species.
Syngenta’s Operation Pollinator® Program – Planting on site at Bonnie Doon Golf Course, August 2023
In Queensland, Indooroopilly Golf Club – currently undergoing an extensive reconstruction project – was the third club to engage in the pilot program. The planting of the Operation Pollinator® site will be carried out with the dedicated assistance of enthusiastic volunteers from the club. The plant species selected for this location significantly differ to our Sydney pollinator plots due to distinct vegetation communities throughout Australia. Planting at Indooroopilly is scheduled for October, a decision influenced by ongoing construction works and the usually rainy season of spring/summer season in this region.
For more information on Operation Pollinator® Program, access https://www.syngentaturf.com.au/operation-pollinator