Nambour Toads fields now organic certified and proud
NAMBOUR Toads Rugby Union Club may be the most progressive sporting club in Australia after recently having their home ground certified organic.
The five-year journey to gain the certification may be an Australian first, club president Don Parry believes.
"To the best of our knowledge we are the first sporting field to be organic certified in Australia," he said.
"It was certified by NASAA and they said they had never heard of a sports ground becoming certified.
"In a lot of ways it's bizarre, but I use the word quirky."
NASAA is an internationally recognised and national award-winning South Australian organic-certification company that focuses on farm produce.
To become the first organic-certified sporting field in Australia the club has cut out pesticides and herbicides, increased mowing to three times a week and used grass clippings as a replacement for fertiliser.
To spray a sporting field for lawn grubs can cost anywhere up to $1700, but the Toads have achieved the same result by naturally increasing the population of worms in their soil.
"Some people put lots of nitrogen in their grass, which makes it pretty but it's also a harsh chemical," Mr Parry said.
The club started the anti-chemical regime five years ago to support the local wildlife, because the main oval sits on the edge of Petrie Creek in Woombye.
"If we have heavy rain the run-off ends up in the creek and then the ocean," Mr Parry said.
"So there is a broader implication than just our field."
Another progressive step for the club was installing LED sports lights that are almost three times more efficient than regular oval lights - another Queensland first.
Mr Parry said it was important for the club to save a couple of thousand dollars a year and set itself up for a low-cost future so it could compete with the larger clubs on the Coast.
"That's a whole heap of hot dogs we don't have to sell," he said. "And no, we're not selling our grass for anyone to eat or smoke."