Penn State creates model nutrient management plan for Chesapeake Bay drainage

Lost Creek Golf Club in Juniata (PA) County is unusual because a high quality, extremely productive wild trout stream runs through it, and Penn State turfgrass scientists recently developed a nutrient management plan for the course to protect the creek.

The innovative project — believed to be the first comprehensive nutrient management plan created for a Pennsylvania golf course — was funded by the Chesapeake Bay program and was part of the Juniata County Conservation District’s restoration of the Lost Creek watershed. State environmental officials hope that the private/public cooperative project will serve as a model for the 600 or so other Pennsylvania golf courses to follow in a wider effort to protect and enhance water quality by limiting the runoff of nutrients.

“In the grand scheme of the Chesapeake Bay restoration program, this was a very small project, and yet it can serve as an example and perhaps a template for other golf clubs to protect water quality — we think that it’s a significant thing,” said Pete Landschoot, professor of turfgrass management in the College of Agricultural Sciences. “This effort was unique because it included water monitoring and a stream bank restoration project on the course.”

Located in Fayette Township just north of Route 35 in Oakland Mills, Lost Creek Golf Club currently has more than 100 members, and golf is available to the public for a fee. The 18-hole course opened in 1965 and was built on land that previously was farmed as pasture. The property is approximately 150 acres and is surrounded by farmland and some wooded areas.

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