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On course

Mini-golf scores as green learning center

"Mini-golf” and “environmentalism” are words you might not expect in the same sentence. But it’s just this matching of the trivial with the serious that delights Laurel Gamm about Putting Green EcoCenter in New Ulm, Minn.

Laurel Gamm puts mini-golf into an
Laurel Gamm puts mini-golf into an environmental learning context in New Ulm, Minn.

It’s the brainchild of Gamm who continues to be the driving force behind the 4-year-old Putting Green Inc., a nonprofit organization with wide community support.

An emergency room doctor at New Ulm Medical Center, Gamm is an advocate of multidisciplinary education. Youth helped design and now operate Putting Green, exposing them to science, art and business principles.

Students in the center’s Learning Green EcoEducation and EcoPreneur classes annually plan a project to meet a “triple-bottom line”: financial performance, social contribution and environmental impact. The 9-acre site features an interpretive trail along the Minnesota River and a solar-powered clubhouse.


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