The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) has donated $26,000 to the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), to support First Green, which provides hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at golf courses.
Prior to GCSAA assuming leadership of First Green in 2018, the WSGA had been a long-time supporter of the program, which had its origins in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1997, First Green is the only STEM education and environmental outreach program that uses golf courses as learning labs. Each field trip averages 75 students who learn about golf and the environment. For most students, these “outdoor classrooms” represent their first exposure to a golf course.
With this donation, WSGA joins the EIFG’s Platinum Tee Club, which recognizes organizations that donate $5,000 or more. They are also in the Executive Club level of the EIFG’s Cumulative Giving Program for donors who have contributed $25,000 – $49,999 since 1987.
WSGA’s Executive Director Troy Andrew also serves as executive director of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association. In 2018, that organization expanded its Patrons of Golf donation program to allow for designated donations to First Green.
“We have very ambitious goals for First Green as we expand its reach across the country, and WSGA’s support will help those come to fruition,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “Their gift helps us show the important role golf courses play in communities, the important role superintendents play, and introduces many students to golf for the first time.”