After site preparations, grass plots were planted in the north section of the arboretum in May. Once mature, the grasses will become part of the Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI), relocating to the arboretum in 2018.
The GTI — established in 1987 – is recognized as a world-class centre for turfgrass research, education, service and professional development.
Institute members study environmental aspects of pesticide use; evaluation of grass species, varieties and seeding methods; sports field construction; and biological and cultural disease control. The GTI is home to the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation, the Ontario Golf Superintendents’ Association and Sports Turf Canada.
U of G manages the institute under its enhanced partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). U of G’s Board of Governors approved the relocation during its June 2015 meeting.
Plans call for construction of a new facility in 2017. The GTI building will remain open until its planned relocation in fall 2018.
The new location is a nearly seven-hectare parcel in the arboretum off College Avenue East, southeast of Cutten Fields Golf Club. The land is now mostly old-field meadow.
The proposed plan includes installation of turfgrass research plots and greens, an irrigation pond, two storm water retention ponds and an upgrade of existing facilities at the new site.