Tree Maintenance Plan & Water Features
First let me share that the BoD abhors losing trees be it by storms, disease, or maintenance requirements on our golf courses. Each year we replace, not necessarily in the same location, trees on the golf course for both golfers’ and residents’ enjoyment. More for the residents than for the golfers. Last year the Club replaced 22-25 trees.
Each year the USGA Agronomist visits both golf courses and provides a report on the course health and recommendations for keeping grass, landscape, trees, tees, fairways and greens healthy. The reports are available on our Member web page.
In the 2020 report, and reports that go back as far as 2016, tree extractions around our greens on both the Lakes and the Vistas have been part of the annual tree removal and maintenance program. A major issue on any golf course is that of sun exposure for the greens in order to stay healthy. Greens do not thrive when shaded over an extended period of time and nearby trees pull the nutrients from the ground away from the green for their own survival. The Club has delayed extraction as long as possible. The greens are showing extensive damage caused by lack of sun exposure more each year.
The 2020 report, once again, recommended extraction at the greens located on, Vistas #3, Vistas #4, Vistas #10, and Vistas #16. We are in the process of completing the tree removals as recommended at these green locations. Failure to follow these recommendations could cause the loss of those greens.
David Escobedo, Golf Course Superintendent, continues to work with nurseries to identify appropriate plants and bushes which will enhance appearance of the area where trees have been removed, as well as throughout the golf course. We, like all residents, are restricted to the approved list of low water, low maintenance, desert choices for trees, plants and shrubs. And like the HOA and every homeowner, a budget is the driving force for the when and how many.
Any member or resident with a desire to assist in the speed of which replacement trees can be planted are welcome to make contributions to the WBVGC Tree Fund. They may contact the Administrative Office at 623-566-4548 Ext.4. Although the donor may offer a specific location, they do not have a voice in the final tree selection or placement and no “donated by” markers are permitted.
I realize it is not always noticed what the Golf Club does for the Community, but trees, are one of those things we contribute at our cost. Another is the beauty of the water features (fountains) throughout both phases of Westbrook Village.
WBVGC has six lakes with thirteen fountains operating in them. The maintenance cost alone for those fountains is approximately $12,000 annually. Electrical costs are approximately $25,000 per year.
There are only three circulation fountains which are necessary for the movement of water from one water space to another. The remaining fountains are solely aesthetics and have no impact on aeration for we have no stagnant lakes. Recently we placed 200 lbs of tilapia in our lakes (behind #17 and #6 Lakes Golf Course) which feed on the algae and keep the lakes healthy. Fishing is NOT allowed in the lakes for these fish have work to do and the fishing lines get tangled around the pumps and cost a pretty penny to repair.
The Board just completed an analysis of the costs and options to the use of water feature fountains. We have reduced the running time of the fountains. We have identified bottom diffuser systems which can replace the fountains. While that would reduce our repair and electrical expense by so doing, the Board realizes the fountains are part of the Village aesthetics. Where we are aware that the fountains are not part of the golf game but are part of the Village “look” , challenges sound budget decisions. It is difficult to imagine the Westbrook Village Golf Club lakes without the beauty of these fountains. What I ask nonmember residents to remember is the burden of these expenses fall solely on those residents who have chosen to be a member of the Club and pay annual dues. The HOA provides NO FUNDING for operational or maintenance expenses. And finally, the Club will fail in its charter if it does not pay attention to the requirements of keeping the golf courses a central focal point of the Village. Like the HOA does their job well to keep the resident portion of the Village marketable, the Golf Club does their job well to keep the golf courses marketable. And both the HOA and the Club place this responsibility over trying to make everyone happy.