Moundsville Country Club Naturalizing

The Moundsville Country Club is in the process of naturalizing six areas of its golf course.

Former River High School and Georgetown University golfer Chris Ice, now superintendent of the course, said the effort will not only make the golf course more environmentally friendly but more inviting to wildlife native to the area. In addition, the areas will require less maintenance and save the club money.

Ice, who has been at the club for three years, said “It’s a work in progress.”

Eventually there may be as many as 15 natural sites on the course. He also hopes to someday have the areas certified by the Audubon Society. Ice is currently working with the West Virginia University Extension Office and the Department of Natural Resources to assure plants, and wildflowers, being introduced to the grounds are native to the area.

Since the project was started, about one ago, Ice said he has already seen more wildlife in the area including birds of prey.

“My job has changed,” Ice said. “I’ve done this at other clubs. You now have to take care of the environment. You also have to be careful with chemicals like fertilizers.”

“It’s different,” club professional golfer Brian Hamric said. “People wonder what we’re doing. They think we’re just letting these areas go, but there’s a plan. We’re making other changes on the course as well, like taking out certain old trees. This should not only make the course better but it should be nice to look at when it’s done. It helps the aesthetics of the course and gives it some color.”

Club President David Buzzard said, “It’s kind of unusual to have a private country club that is interested in making its golf course more environmentally friendly. We may be the only club in the state doing something like this.”

Other improvements, are also being made at the club. They include a new pump to retrieve water for use on the course, improvements to several bunkers. A new driving range was also recently completed.