DRA and Wawenock Golf Club partner in natural pest control project

eastern bluebird perched on a twig

Eastern Bluebird. Photo courtesy of Ken Thomas.

Wawenock Golf Club in Walpole and DRA recently collaborated on a project to control insect pests at the golf course using biological instead of chemical means.

On a sunny and brisk April morning, a crew of around twenty DRA and Wawenock volunteers, including students from Lincoln Academy’s IDEAL program, installed 18 bluebird boxes in open areas around the greens. The boxes are designed to appeal to both Eastern Bluebirds, a member of the thrush family that eats grubs and insects on the ground, and Tree Swallows, which feed on flying insects.

The golf club uses careful integrated pest management practices and hopes it can reduce its pesticide needs by attracting the right kind of birds. The partnership with DRA, a local land trust concerned with clean water and healthy habitat for wildlife as well as people, is a natural fit.

tree swallow on a bird box

Tree Swallow. Photo by John Benson.

Wawenock and DRA are exploring opportunities for further collaboration, including a project to build one or more bat houses at the golf course.

Wawenock Golf Club is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for the entire community — young and old, rich and poor — to learn, play, and practice the game of golf on a high-quality course at the most affordable price possible.

Located on Route 129 in Walpole, the club is a nine-hole, links-style course, in operation since 1928. The fairways are generally open, with very few trees. For more information, call (207) 563-3938 or visit online at www.wawenockgolfclub.com.

Eastern bluebird courtesy of Ken Thomas. Tree swallow by John Benson.