Perspectives Online

College honors those who made field lab possible

Dean Wynne (second from left) presented plaques to (from left) Sam Lang, Gene Maples and Bob Bell, and Maples led ceremonies in honor of Dr. Bill Gilbert (below left).
Photos by Becky Kirkland

The 2005 Turfgrass Field Day in early August, held for the first time at the new Lake Wheeler Turfgrass Field Laboratory, provided an occasion for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to honor some of the people who helped make the facility possible.

Dr. Bill Gilbert and Gene Maples
Dean Johnny Wynne presented plaques to three members of North Carolina's turfgrass industry in appreciation of their efforts to make the new field lab a reality. Sam Lang with Fairway Green in Raleigh and Charlotte; Bob Bell, with Smith Turf and Irrigation in Charlotte; and Gene Maples, executive director of the Turfgrass Council of North Carolina, received plaques. A plaque also went to Walker "Mac" MacNeill, university field labs director, for his efforts to develop the new facility. And Dr. Bill Gilbert, retired professor and founder of the College's turfgrass program, was honored. The new turfgrass facility is located along Lake Wheeler Road within the larger Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory, and the road leading to the facility has been named Dr. Bill Gilbert Way.

The new field lab provides facilities that rival any in the country, said Dr. Fred Yelverton, co-director of the College's Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education, including 320,000 square feet of land under irrigation. The field day featured presentations by turfgrass faculty on subjects such as warm- and cool-season turfgrass variety trials and disease and pest control. Attendees were provided an opportunity to visit with faculty and discuss other research, while vendors of machinery and other products used in the industry were given an opportunity to display their products and visit with people in the industry. More than 400 people attended the field day.

-Dave Caldwell