2023 Top Projects: Vegetation establishment in a challenging area

Nov. 21, 2023
Stormwater Solutions recognizes this year’s top stormwater & erosion control projects.

The new owners of the Valhalla Golf Course wanted their Top 50 golf course to look more like a natural part of the Kentucky landscape — they also wanted the soil and turf to better withstand heavy rain and flooding.

Valhalla Golf Club’s project sought to correct the damage caused by years of washouts and to establish dense, deep-rooted turf to withstand the stress of future flooding. With the course’s signature hole positioned next to a floodplain, this required the staging area to be regraded with sustainable vegetation added. The haul road and slopes around the course’s water feature also needed revegetation.

The project area was essentially composed of two areas: a wetland and some steep hillsides with poor soil. To better establish vegetation, the con- tractor used a flexible growth medium and biotic erosion control matrix from Profile Environmental Solutions: Flexterra and ProGanics DUAL.

The project’s work started during the wettest part of the year. Three days after hydroseeding, the sitereceived a rain event that brought 14 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. The floodplain was com- pletely submerged with a strong current for about six hours.

“After the water receded, I remember calling John Martin and saying it was all gone,” said Randy Hoffacker, project designer. “Luckily, Matt Skinner and Derek Oosterhouse, John’s coworkers at Profile Products, were in the area that week and were able to adjust their schedule to do a site visit.

They went to the flood plain with me and we discovered that the Flexterra was actually covered with a layer of silt from the flood. The Flexterra had held the seed and soil in place—unbelievable."

Within five weeks, the area had about 80% turf coverage. The course area is in good shape for its 2024 PGA Championship golfers.

About the Author

Jeremy Wolfe | Editor, Stormwater Solutions

Jeremy Wolfe is a former Editor for Stormwater Solutions.