Green Initiative Program

Green Initiative Program

Madden’s on Gull Lake is committed to environmental protection and sustainability guided by our Green Program. The Green Program, a company-wide stewardship program, strives to minimize our property’s impact on the environment through resource conservation and best practices.

A Green Committee, comprised of members of our management team and seasonal employees, guides our Green Program. Our goal is to educate everyone involved in the tourism industry…colleagues, guests…to share the responsibility of taking care of our environment.

Madden’s Property-Wide Recycling Program

2008 was the first full year of our Green Program and we experienced a 135% increase in our recycling efforts…nearly 143 tons of recycled materials to date. Here’s how…

Guest Rooms

Guest rooms contain informational signage for sheet and towel changing program, recycling bag and card encouraging guests to recycle plastic, glass, aluminum and newspapers; reminders to turn off lights and air conditioning when leaving room and asking them to advise the front desk of necessary maintenance issues. Madden’s guest rooms are designated ‘non-smoking’.

Madden’s Food & Beverage Departments

Madden’s strives to bring the highest quality wines from all over the world to our guests. We have begun to incorporate more wines from vintners practicing sustainable or organic viticulture. In essence, those who practice sustainable viticulture strive to produce the finest and healthiest grapes; meanwhile conserving resources, maintaining the environment, and cultivating positive relationships with employees and the surrounding communities. Wines labeled organic must be produced in accordance with standards set in that state or country. The basic tenet of organic farming is the avoidance of all chemical fertilizers and chemical pest control. Our wine list at Madden’s includes several organic or sustainable wines, and for our guests’ convenience we have clearly identified those wines on our menus.

  • All outdoor bars will utilize reusable drinkware.
  • All outdoor dining areas use reusable drinkware. We have previously converted to reusable dinnerware for outdoor functions.
  • Placemats replace table linens in many of our dining areas to save laundry energy consumption
  • An on-property chef’s garden, as well as herb and vegetable plants placed throughout resort gardens, supply many of the fresh herbs used in Madden’s restaurants

Madden’s Property Management Department

  • Water reduction: we are installing energy efficient faucet aerators in guest rooms. All new remodeling/construction will have energy efficient products. Installed compact fluorescent lights (CFL’s) throughout the property.
  • Converting emergency ‘Exit’ lights to LED bulbs.
  • Examine areas where heating and air-condition efficiencies may be improved with additional insulation.
  • Purchase of energy efficient air conditioning units

Energy Conservation

Reducing the amount of energy we consume at Madden’s is another significant facet of our Green Program. We work closely with our entire staff on ways to conserve energy through on-going education and promote the motto:

“When Not In Use… Cut The Juice”

Golf & Grounds Department

Madden’s has turned back the clock on golf course management in an effort to promote better environmental practices and fewer disruptions during the season. In 2008, we began implementing the “Greenway” method of managing turf grass on our golf courses. In some ways, we are adopting methods used in the early days of the resort when far fewer “inputs” were used to maintain a golf course, but with some modern twists.

The program will allow the bent grass surfaces to be more competitive with the poa annua while reducing thatch, resulting in firmer, smoother and superior playing surfaces. By controlling thatch and growth there will be an improvement in the playing surfaces and a reduction in the need for pesticides. Players will see a reduction in disruptive practices such as aerating greens by pulling cores. Instead, solid “venting” tines that are much less disruptive to play will be used. This program has already shown significant savings in fertilizers. Less water and pesticide usage will be needed. Slower growth will mean less mowing. We believe this is the right approach for the environment, the game, and most importantly for our guests as we strive to provide the best conditions possible.

Beginning in 2011, the Pine Beach East golf course saw more naturalized areas where the fescues will grow naturally . This will include grass bunker mounds, some tee banks and some out of play rough areas. The total acreage is approximately 5-7 acres. These areas are not mowed or fertilized and receive minimal irrigation resulting in savings in both labor and fuel, and watering. We think it helps add character and definition to the golf course as well.

We also compost grass clipping and leaves to use as future soil for our many resort gardens.


Madden’s retains a full-time employee and vehicle specifically designated for recycling for daily pick up and transference of recyclables. Disposal areas receive:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Paper/magazines/newspapers/office waste
  • Plastics
  • Steel and aluminum
  • Glass

Ozone Laundry System

Our property’s overall carbon footprint was significantly reduced with this new system, greatly reducing our natural gas consumption. Drying time is reduced because linens and towels washed with ozone do not hold as much water. This saves even more natural gas or electricity. Ozone improves sewage water quality by 30 to 50 percent. The laundry facility will require less energy to cool because less hot water and heat is present, thereby improving working conditions for employees. Ozone kills harmful bacteria thousands of times faster than chlorine.

Purchasing of “green” friendly products

  • New room amenities are made of recyclable plastic
  • All new appliances and equipment will carry “Energy Star” seal when available.
  • Conversion in process to Green Seal Certified cleaning products and processes with our ultimate goal to eliminate bleach.
  • All restrooms have been converted with Green Seal Certified soap, and paper towels are made of 100% recycled material, made with a chlorine-free process, which reduces water by 80%.
  • Work with our vendors to raise awareness in reducing our environmental footprint in packaging and transportation costs.
  • Conversion of many of our paper products to eco-friendly containers

Memberships, Partnerships, Awards

  • Minnesota Power
  • Minnesota WasteWise
  • Excel Energy
  • Nisswa Sanitation
  • Winner of the Explore MN Office of Tourism’s Sustainable Tourism Award (2009)
  • Winner of the Golf Digest ‘Green Star’ Award (2010)

Use, Re-use, Donate

Currently working with several organizations in the Brainerd Lakes area:

  • Green Range Renewable Energy, Ironton, MN. All used fryer oil being locally recycled to biodiesel fuel.
  • Guest room amenities (soap, shampoos) donated to local charities.
  • Mattresses and other furniture items donated to local Habitat for Humanity and Bridges of Hope.

Other Green Efforts at Madden’s

  • Increasing our efforts to utilize our own on-site flower gardens with our “cut flower program”, greatly reducing transportation and packaging costs previously incurred.
  • Of Madden’s 1000 acre property, 600+ acres remain undeveloped and allowed to ‘grow wild’
  • Shoreline restoration methods are practiced wherever possible
  • 74 acres of land were donated to the City of East Gull Lake

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