30 September 2022

Sustainability In Full Swing at Apes Hill Barbados

“We’re trying to build something that is here forever.” 

Ed Paskins, our Golf Course Superintendent at Apes Hill Barbados Golf Resort and Community, offers this succinct statement. 

 

Sustainability is truly the foundation for everything that’s done on and off the golf course. 

We believe we’re not just building another green sustainable golf course; we’re building an eco-system, if you will, a community rooted in sustainability which positively impacts the course and residents of our ultra luxury resort. 

 

 

Our golf course is sustained by rainwater.

Our drive to be one of the most sustainable golf courses in the world starts by paying close attention to how and from where we consume water. 

 

Barbados is an island paradise, yet this country is still water scarce. To maintain a nourished, healthy turfgrass while protecting the supply to our neighbouring communities, we’ve designed rainwater-based irrigation to Apes Hill Barbados. Our golf course is supported by a 58 million gallon water reservoir that catches rainwater to feed the course among other uses. It’s a solution that our Golf Course Superintendent describes as ‘incredible’.

 

Paskins explains the process of catching rainwater off of forest and farmland. “We have 58 million gallons of water in a reservoir, a big pond with beautiful peacock bass, coconut trees around it. From there we pump it across to an 8 million gallon reservoir.” 

With some ingenuity and cutting-edge technology – we’ve proven that a golf course doesn’t have to drain a community’s water supply.

 

The entire system is computerized, indicating how many gallons of water are being used, what the psi is, and everything that’s vital to know about the irrigation system. This keeps the grass healthy and nourished, and maintains rainwater supply.

 

No water is taken from the desalination plant, no water is taken from the community. 

 

The efficiency of water usage at Apes Hill has also been significantly improved with the decision to plant Zoysia grass which is a low water consumption, drought resistant grass. It’s hardy, insect resistant, and thrives in the Barbados climate. We were able to reduce the number of sprinklers required for irrigation on the course here at Apes Hill by around 44%, helping to create a sustainable golf course. By also decreasing the number of bunkers during the redesign, Apes Hill Barbados has made significant savings to the volume of water required without affecting the enjoyment of the game or health of the turfgrass. 

 

Within three years, we aim to be chemically free, severing any reliance on chemically manufactured fertilisers. Instead, we are producing fertilisers made from seaweed, chicken manure and composted material. In addition, through our farming and agriculture initiatives we’ll rear our own livestock and grow our own food.

 

 

Sustainability beyond golf: forest, fruit and farming

Apes Hill Barbados is more than golf, we’re a community with the potential to be solely self-sustainable.

 

From our elevated vantage point at 1,000 feet above sea level, your eyes first feast on the lush yet rugged canopy and cliffs of the Scotland District. This district is critical in Barbados’ history: the area is part of an underwater mountain range that emerged from the ocean millions of years ago. Currently, it is an ancient landscape of gullies and indigenous forest and we make every effort not only to preserve it but to promote it as a part of our natural heritage.

 

On site, we’re surrounded by thousands of fruit trees, palm trees, banana trees, breadfruit trees, soursop, cherry trees, even coffee trees woven around the course. There’s an agave patch and wildflowers growing to attract butterflies. If it can grow in the Caribbean, we are growing it here! 

 

To this end, we can’t overlook the bees – they are crucial to pollination of fruit and flowers and they too have their own place in our story. There are 30 beehives and counting – with the team hoping to hit one hundred in total. The bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects are important for the fruit trees and plants to thrive.

 

Sustainability can come in many forms, and at Apes Hill Barbados we strive to reduce our environmental impact wherever possible. This means not just creating a sustainable golf course in the Caribbean, but sustainable homes, restaurants and travel.

 

Sheep, pigs, goats, chickens and red pole cattle are also on the roster in the approximately 70 acres of agricultural land at Apes Hill Barbados. The menu at the clubhouse has been designed in the farm to fork concept. What makes us unique is that everything you can imagine from your organic veggies and herbs, to tropical fruits, to high quality meats like pork sausages or ribeye steak will eventually be grown here.

 

 

Sustainability even in our construction blueprint

True sustainability must be present on and off the golf course, which is why it is in the blueprint of our environmentally conscious construction. While maintaining elegance, our homes follow responsible, low-impact construction methods using a system-built process. They have been designed and developed according to sustainable building design practices and materials. 

 

We’ve taken care to encourage natural fenestration, passive ventilation, insulation, energy efficiency, water efficiency, photo voltaic electrical generation, and non-toxic green materials. We’ve also included electric vehicle charging points and charging stations for electric golf carts. 

 

These contribute to Apes Hill's position as a sustainable golf resort where the game is on a higher level but the commitment to leading from the front on an environmentally conscious and sustainable community is even higher.

 

From horticulture, aquaculture and agriculture – we’re designing a place at Apes Hill Golf Resort and Community.

 

There are not many golf courses in the world where you can go and catch a peacock bass. Go for a hiking trail through a forest and pick some cherries on the way. Catch fish or watch freshwater lobsters in the little creeks. 

 

 

Here at Apes Hill Golf Resort and Community, sustainability is truly in full swing. if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact the team