Over the course of twelve years and in cooperation with some of the brightest minds in turf science today Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance (TWCA) has developed the protocols and technologies for turf evaluation that are now standard industry wide. The key for TWCA, in the quest to define drought tolerance in turfgrass, is open and clear channels for communication.
Beginning 2018 TWCA established the Cooperator Calls system. In the first iteration cooperator calls were voluntary and served mainly as an opportunity to communicate turf trial standards and requirements to the cooperator team. Three annual calls communicate the standards and trialing expectations, while providing remote snapshots of the program at any location.
While incredibly useful, this tool also has obvious limitations. Chief among them is frequency. The opportunity to improve led to the creation of the Cooperator Check-In Project (CCIP). CCIP incorporates an optional monthly program to address the issue of frequency and a mandatory component to ensure the quality and consistency of the program over time across all trialing locations.
Beginning 2024 TWCA trial cooperators must participate in at least one Cooperator call prior to the initiation of drought stress annually. Supplementing the mandatory component is a monthly check-in for cooperators. These virtual office hours give cooperators the opportunity to drop in, compare notes with other cooperators, and "check-in" with the program. The first monthly check-in took place 28th April 2022. These open voluntary meetings run continuously from 8:30 - 9:30 am (UTC -08:00) on the last Thursday of each month.
The mandatory component includes participating in Cooperator calls to set and communicate trialing standards and expectations. These brief 45-minute calls are scheduled for the 2nd Tuesday of February, June and October annually.
CCIP combined with the existing tools enhances the transparency, consistency and reliability of the TWCA process. CCIP is the latest development from TWCA supporting other recent programs such as:
TWCA continues developing new programs to enrich the collaborative experience, ensure data accuracy, and enhance communities preparing for the effects of climate change.
To learn more about the current trial, the CCIP program or Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance, contact Jack Karlin at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a non-profit, TWCA relies on membership dollars to provide drought tolerance evaluation. Your support helps TWCA in our mission to conserve water and preserve the ecological benefits of turfgrass in the managed environment. Together we grow the livable, sustainable communities of tomorrow, today.
Jack Karlin is the Program Administrator for TWCA. His interest is in using policy and the built environment to create livable and sustainable communities.