Latest updates on projects and events

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 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.

Niakwa Turf Team’s Milo wins 2022 Dog of the Year

  • Post author:
  • Post category:News

Dog of the Year honours are awarded annually at the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of  America Conference and Trade show in February with Milo taking top honours over 12 other  calendar finalists and featured on the cover of the 2022 calendar. Milo is a 1-year old German  shorthaired pointer who was just 10 weeks old when he joined the team at Niakwa.  

Milo starts his work days running from hole to hole, looking for an opportunity to chase resident  squirrels, deer and geese. In the afternoon he catches a ride in the cart with his owner and  NCC Assistant Superintendent, Shane Bell, or catches up on sleep in the office. Outside work,  Milo can be found chasing rabbits from the garden or cuddling on the couch!  

Shane is an assistant superintendent at NCC and a valued member of the turf team where he  has worked for nine years. A graduate of the Greenspace Management Program at Red River  College Polytech and a 4-year member of the GCSAA, Shane enjoys ice fishing and winter  camping.

Friends of Farlinger Raise $2500

Niakwa Country Club Members recently raised $2500, to support Audubon Society Certification, in memory of Dave Farlinger. Dave’s friends and associates got together to buy a memorial bench and contributions far exceeded the cost of the bench.

As Chair of the Course Committee, Dave made a significant contribution to the design and installation of the slit drainage that is so important to the condition of our course. As a civil engineer with extensive experience in flood control, and government relations, Dave managed the building of the dike on the 13th hole. His ability to steer the approvals process through multiple government departments was critical. Dave’s memorial bench will be placed on the 13th tee.

Dave Farlinger

Dave was a committed environmentalist and the profit from his bench donations will be used to help fund several projects that are part of Niakwa’s Audubon Certification efforts. These projects include a monarch butterfly habitat preserve near the 12th tee and the development of beehives in the waste area left of the 5th green.

The Audubon Certification Committee will be raising additional funds in the future, but if any Member wants to make a contribution in Dave’s memory, please e-mail Wade Nybakken. A contribution can be charged to your account.

Niakwa Partners with Save our Seine

As part of Niakwa Country Club’s effort to obtain certification under the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf, Niakwa Country Club has entered into a partnership with Save Our Seine River Environment Inc. The word ‘Niakwa’ comes from an indigenous term for ‘winding river’. The Seine meanders for two kilometers through our property.

Save Our Seine is one of the most prominent and successful non-profit environmental groups in the province. The organization’s mandate is “to preserve, protect, enhance, restore and repair the Seine River greenway, to raise public education & awareness of and improve public access to the Seine River greenway, and to work in partnership with governmental, business, and other non-profit organizations for stewardship planning of the Seine River greenway.”

This mandate is perfectly in tune with the objectives of the Audubon program.

Opportunities for cooperation include:

  • Coordination of environmental projects
  • Knowledge sharing and technical support
  • Shared resources for weed removal and native tree and shrub planting
  • Coordinated public outreach
  • Assistance and cooperation in funding projects

Niakwa draws water from the Seine for our irrigation ponds. The Club is committed to the responsible use of that resource through water conservation and through careful management of water quality. Preserving and enhancing the natural habitat along the Seine is good for the environment and enriches the golf experience of Members and guests.