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Bio Blitz

What is BioBlitz?

From May to June golf courses around the globe will engage members to collect biodiversity evidence of plant and animal species in the natural habitats on golf courses. ** Includes a photo contest!

Why does this matter?

BioBlitz shines a light on the environmental value that our golf course contributes to climate science while enhancing the golf experience and increasing efficiency and sustainability.

How can we participate in BioBlitz at Niakwa?

Join the Biodiversity Walk led by Daphne Stapley to track and count plant species and wildlife that supports research and fulfills NCC Audubon Certification commitments.

How to register?

Register on the Event Calendar online or sign up in the Pro Shop. Meet at the Back Shop for the Walk.

Pond Water

Niakwa’s ponds are an important irrigation feature for our golf course. Water entering and leaving the property is tested twice annually and we are grateful to have partnered with the Manitoba Metis Federation and EMFluids inc. in trialling a water treatment tool in our ponds.

The two-year trial involved water testing before and after use of the EMFluids technology in our ponds. Ten water quality metrics were measured as well as sediment analysis. We experienced significant overall improvement in water quality including a 60% and 70% reduction in total phosphorous in each pond and a 42% and 49% reduction in ammonium in each pond. This type of technology will be an important consideration in preserving the integrity Niakwa’s water system.

SAVE OUR SEINE ~ A Reciprocal Community Partnership

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  • Post category:News

The term Niakwa comes from an indigenous word for “winding river” – the Seine River, a prominent feature of the golf course and riparian area along the Seine River Greenway.

Save Our Seine (SOS) and Niakwa Country Club (NCC) have been partners since 2021 working together to better understanding the Seine River Greenway and its management. This partnership has led to significant benefits to NCC.


The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Certification recognizes NCC’s efforts at protecting our environment and preserving the natural heritage of the game of golf by naturalizing non-playing areas and wildlife habitats, and minimize harmful impacts of golf course operations. SOS recognizes this important worldwide environmental role and values the mutual benefit of working together in pursuing shared environmental goals.

As partners, an added critical mass to SOS grant applications has delivered 50 biodiverse trees free to NCC in the fall 2023 with an additional 50 trees in 2024. NCC and SOS volunteers worked together to begin strategic planting of these trees.

Further grant funding and volunteer support will provide a vegetated swail to replace the open drainage culvert on Hole 13.

In response to a community protest to the NCC notice of application of chemicals, SOS was able to provide assurance of the safety and appropriateness of NCC golf course management practices and resolve the complaint.

Consider supporting our valued community partner with a membership.

Read more about the article Homes for Ducks at NCC – a Long Term Commitment
Horticulturist, Daphne continues to maintain the duck boxes on the NCC property.

Homes for Ducks at NCC – a Long Term Commitment

During the COVID winter of 2021, NCC member, Bill James along with Phil Klopak, put together duck boxes for the golf course.  Bill also built additional boxes for his large backyard on the Seine River. However, one of the supporting trees in Bill’s yard fell during the fall. When he went out to remove the tree and find a new home for the duck box and change the nesting material, here is what he discovered: 


Although the eggs had not survived, the success of the duck box for a nesting area was very clear. Wood ducks, common goldeneyes, hooded mergansers, common mergansers and buffleheads are all cavity nesting ducks. These ducks will use a constructed nesting box. Kestrels, tree swallows, great-crested flycatchers or screech owls are also cavity nesting birds. Nesting sites for these birds are limited in number. When they find a good nesting site, there is a very good chance they’ll return in following years.

Read more about the article Partnering with SAVE OUR SEINE to Plant 50 Trees
Christina and Al Kowaluk

Partnering with SAVE OUR SEINE to Plant 50 Trees

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  • Post category:News through their application for grant funding provided 50 trees and shrubs planted in 4 sites along the riverbank: Manitoba Maple, American Linden, Red-osier Dogwood, Skyfest Cottonwood (fluffless), American Elm, Japanese Elm, and Golden Willow This volunteer initiative is part of a long term strategy to thicken up the forested areas, shade out weeds and help connect riparian forest habitats, enhance Niakwa’s environmental sustainability.

Save Our Seine volunteers: Ryan Palmquist, Anita Moyse, Tyler Blashko

Bob Carmichael and Lauren Mulhall

NCC Audubon Resource Advisory Group ~ promoting environmental stewardship.

How do Niakwa honey bees spend the winter

During the golf season, Niakwa bees pollinate plants throughout the golf course and deliver vintage honey in the fall. But how do Niakwa bees survive winter in Manitoba?

Honey bees do not hibernate, like bears, or brumate, like reptiles. Honey bees remain busy and awake throughout the winter living a slower-paced life, spending much of their time flapping their wings to create heat, clustered close together
~ like many over-winter golfers!
To protect the bees from our challenging winters their hives have mouse guards installed on the entrances and the hive body is wrapped in insulation.

Honey bees suffer greatly when too much condensation forms in their hives so paper inner covers are added and airflow is maintained with open entrances and loose layers of insulation.

A large wind barrier has been added made of recycled building materials to prevent drafts. Finally, an insulated tarp is draped over all the hives to prevent snow accumulation near the entrances as well as for insulation.

From Bees to Honey

One of the first signs of fall is the harvesting of honey! Once the bees have filled the frames in their honey supers and covered them in a white wax cap it is time to prepare to harvest.

An escape board is used to separate the bees from their honey, the bees can move down through the maze into the brood chamber (the lower boxes where they live). The board is placed between the supers and brood chambers and after a few days the bees should have left and the frames of honey can be removed.

Once the bees have left the honey supers through the escape boards the frames of honey can be removed.


First the honey is tested using a refractometer, the refractometer measures how light passes through a fluid to determine its moisture content and therefore its ripeness.

If honey is bottled while unripe it can spoil.

The honey is brought to the kitchen for processing where the wax capping is removed with a warm knife, this is known as uncapping.

The uncapped honey is placed in the extractor which spins the frames launching the honey out onto the walls of the extractor, the honey is then passed through a two stage filter and is ready to eat!

Audubon Golf Certification – All 6 Categories approved

NCC Logo

All 6 categories approved and certified: 

  1. Environmental Planning
  2. Wildlife and Habitat Management
  3. Chemical Use Reduction and Safety
  4. Water Conservation
  5. Water Quality Management
  6. Outreach and Education

Certification in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP) is a significant accomplishment. A Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary designated golf course demonstrates environmental leadership in the golf industry.

Golf course staff and members can take pride in knowing that Niakwa Country Club provides significant wildlife habitat and is maintained in an environmentally responsible manner.

By managing the property with a high degree of environmental quality, certified courses provide green space for people and wildlife while contributing to climate conservation for future generations.

Niakwa Country Club has done an exceptional job by completing all 6 certification requirements before the end of the 2022 golf season.