Hammock Dunes Club in Palm Coast, Florida celebrates 20 years of membership with Audubon International (AI) this year. The Oceanfront Links Course, an 18-hole golf course with oceanfront views, joined AI’s Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf in 2001 and swiftly became certified within the year. The second course to achieve ACSP certification was their Creek Golf Course, a unique 7-hole course which achieved certification in 2004.
Audubon International’s ACSP for Golf certification requires members to undergo recertification every 3 years. At this time, each member summarizes their efforts in 6 different environmental focal areas including outreach and education, wildlife habitat management, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, water quality monitoring, and a case study. Since Hammock Dunes most recent recertification, the Creek Course has established significant acreage of native vegetation, minimized maintenance to natural areas and continues protecting the habitat on course with environmentally sensitive area signage nearby. The Links’ course continues to focus on increasing water conservation and water quality by selectively irrigating, regularly testing water quality, and maintaining vegetative buffers around water bodies to reduce nutrient pollution.
Located next to the golf club is Hammock Dunes oceanfront golf community, which includes 1,012 acres and 2.3 miles of beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean. The community is in one of the last maritime hammocks on the east coast and the Hammock Dunes Owners Association (HDOA) took the initiative to pursue Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities certification to conserve and support this environment. The efforts of the HDOA Audubon International Committee are well received by their residents and Hammock Dunes achieved certification as an Audubon International Sustainable Community in 2018 – making Hammock Dunes the 1st certified private community in Florida and the 10th in the world.
Through AI’s Sustainable Community certification process, the HDOA developed a long-term sustainability plan. This plan focuses on how the HDOA will achieve their goals in 15 different focal areas, some of which include resource use, public health, governance, and environmental issues. Hammock Dunes’ initiatives include projects like their Audubon trail, sea turtle patrol, and the dune restoration efforts – all of which showcase how the community prioritizes health, reduces environmental impacts, and creates a high quality of life.
Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities certification serves as a catalyst for citizen-driven planning and community actions, and facilitates partnerships with governmental agencies, businesses, academic institutions, and other organizations to reach the goals envisioned in each community. If you are interested in learning more about Audubon International’s certifications, please visit: auduboninternational.org. Audubon International, an environmentally focused non-profit organization, offers members numerous certifications and conservation initiatives to protect the areas where we live, work, and play. Their certifications are designed to increase environmental awareness, encourage sustainable environmental efforts, and educate both their members and their communities.