Press Archive

Here you can find all the latest Audubon International news! From the great environmental efforts to where we will be next, we will post it here first.
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  • 09/15/2016 10:28 AM | Joanna Nadeau (Administrator)

     


    Today, Audubon International and its sponsors, partners, and member organizations come together to Imagine a Day Without Water, a national campaign to educate the public about the water infrastructure crisis currently facing the United States.


    Organized by the Value of Water Coalition, hundreds of elected officials, drinking water and wastewater providers, community leaders, business and labor groups, policy experts, advocacy organizations and infrastructure experts across the country will partake in events today aimed at raising awareness about the crucial need for investment and action to ensure that no community in America is left without water and the infrastructure that brings it to and from homes and businesses.


    Recognizing that clean and abundant water is essential to securing a bright and prosperous future for generations to come, Audubon International celebrates its certified properties and communities, which ensure that water leaving their properties is healthy for people and wildlife. Audubon International members joining in the campaign include Compass Pointe, an Audubon Gold Certified Signature Sanctuary since 2011. This golf resort and retirement community in Leland, NC has developed a natural resources management plan to intercept and treat stormwater to avoid downstream water quality degradation.  


    Also participating in Imagine a Day Without Water are the Town and public water utilities of Hilton Head Island: Hilton Head Public Service District, Broad Creek PSD, and South Island PSD. The Town of Hilton Head Island in South Carolina is working towards its certification as an Audubon International Sustainable Community. The town has built an award-winning stormwater management and recreation project that exemplifies the many ways Audubon International members work to protect access to clean water for both humans and wildlife.


    When land managers, including golf courses, are careful stewards of the water leaving their properties, water supplies are extended for all users. Environmental management programs make water quality protection practical for land managers. The Whippoorwill Golf Club in Armonk, NY, a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 2009, has developed a stormwater management program, an Integrated Pest Management plan, and a sustainable fertilizer plan, all of which protect water that flows into the Kenisco Reservoir, a major source of water for 8 million people in New York City. Using storm water filters, continuous GPS monitoring, and riparian buffer strips, the ponds and watercourses are protected. “The relationship between the Whippoorwill Club and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection is a testament of how private industry and public agencies can work together for the benefit of all,” said Tara Donadio, Director of Cooperative Sanctuary Programs.


    “We're thrilled that Audubon International is joining Imagine a Day Without Water. This national day of action is educating public officials and engaging citizens about the essential role water plays in our lives, and the threat that aging and underfunded water infrastructure poses to our communities and economy,” said Radhika Fox, CEO of the US Water Alliance and Director of the Value of Water Coalition. “Because a day without water is nothing short of a crisis.”


    The problems our drinking water and wastewater systems face are multi-faceted. Each community faces distinct challenges and will require involvement by all water users and land managers to solve their biggest water problems. Drought, flooding, infrastructure failure, sewer overflows, poor water quality, and climate change are stressing our water and wastewater systems and native ecosystems. Imagine A Day Without Water tells the stories of everyday environmental stewards, and their innovative solutions to our nation’s water challenges, so that no one ever has to experience another day without water.  


    Follow Audubon International on Facebook, Twitter (@AudubonIntl), and Instagram (auduboninternational), where stories of projects that protect water will be featured, and to participate in Imagine a Day without Water on September 15th. You can learn more by visiting the website at www.auduboninternational.org.


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    Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, properties, new developments, and entire communities.


    The Value of Water Coalition is a group of thirty water and wastewater providers, water-reliant businesses and policy organizations dedicated to educating and inspiring the nation about how water is essential and in need of investment. The Value of Water Coalition is coordinated by the US Water Alliance, a national non-profit dedicated to securing a sustainable water future for all.


  • 08/24/2016 3:15 PM | Daron Blake (Administrator)

    Sand Ridge Golf Club was recently recertified as a Signature Sanctuary after an on-site review by Audubon International. Sand Ridge registered in the Signature Program in 1998 and recently passed its eighth on-site review. The golf course was the first club in the state of Ohio to earn and maintain its certification in the prestigious Audubon International Signature Program.


    To become certified, Signature Program members must implement management of the property according to a site-specific Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP) addressing wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement, water quality monitoring and management, integrated pest management, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and management, and green building products and procedures. Receiving designation as a Certified Signature Sanctuary is contingent upon the quality and completeness of the NRMP and its implementation.


    To become recertified, members must also provide an annual update. This includes documentation of education and outreach projects, results of water quality monitoring tests, list of pesticides used, and an on-site review by Audubon International staff.


    Located only 30 miles east of Cleveland, Sand Ridge is home to 102 acres of high quality wetlands cared for by wetland specialist, Dr. Edward J.P. Hauser. Dr. Hauser has worked since 1993 to restore the wetlands to their original state by removing invasive woody species such as buckthorn.  This restoration operation has transformed overgrown thickets into acres of flowering native plants including Joe-Pye Weed in the fall and marsh marigolds in the spring.  “It is always a pleasure to visit Sand Ridge to see what is in bloom, what wildlife can be observed, or what project has just been completed.  This year the focus was the restoration and functionality of the wetland system,”   stated Nancy Richardson, Director of the Audubon International Signature Program during the recent visit.   

     

    In addition to general maintenance projects such cart path renovations, purchase of new equipment, bunker renovation, and storm water drainage projects, the environmental highlights of the property over the years include the following:

    • Conservation Easement. All open space including over 100 acres of natural wetlands, 100 acres of uplands and created lakes, and the golf course are protected by a conservation easement held in perpetuity by the Western Reserve Conservancy of Northeast Ohio.

    • Naturalized Acreage. Since 2000, approximately 65 acres of the original golf course footprint has been converted to upland open meadows.  The annual savings is estimated to be about $65,000. Such eco-tones added new areas for food niches and microhabitats for invertebrate and vertebrate wildlife, especially insects, birds, and rodents.

    • Bio-Diesel Fuel. All major internal combustion equipment now burns a B-20 fuel mixture which produces maximum engine performance, extends engine life, and reduces CO₂ emissions by 50%.
    • Monarch Habitat. Hundreds of milkweed plants have been introduced into the meadow areas to provide habitat for the Monarch butterfly. 

    • Goose Management. A solar powered night-time blinking light helps keep Canada geese off of the course from dusk to dawn.

    • Beaver Dam. Over the past years, the creation of open water zones by a beaver dam impoundment has created new habitat for plants such as Bottle Brush Sedge and Water Loosestrife. The loosestrife in particular has helped stabilize the beaver dam to protect the hydrology of this newly confirmed fen ecosystem.

    • Invasive Plant Removal. Removal and eradication of invasive plants is necessary to prevent their encroachment and impact on native species.  Eradication process of the invasive plant Purple Loosestrife begun in 2001 is now deemed successful. Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula) was prevalent particularly in hole #16 wetland so a manual eradication program was begun in 2001. Invasive species removal continues as a part of the management regime.

    “We are very proud of our accomplishments with the Signature Program,” stated Brent Palich, Director of Golf Operations for Sand Ridge. “Prior to opening in 1998, the club and Audubon International set lofty goals for Sand Ridge. The course was not only expected to be one of Ohio’s best golf courses, but also a leader in environmental sustainability.  The guidelines set by Audubon International helped us reach these goals over the last 18 years.”                                              


    About Sand Ridge Golf Club

     

    Sand Ridge Golf Club, a Tom Fazio-designed 18 hole private golf course, sits in a region of the country known for its maple syrup and within the primary snow belt of northeastern Ohio on 359 acres in the western foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The 17th hole of the golf course is known as “Headwaters” because it is located in the headwater area for the Chagrin River and Cuyahoga River watersheds of Lake Erie.


    Contact Nancy Richardson, Director of Signature and Classic Programs, for more information about Sand Ridge Golf Club or the Signature Program.

  • 08/16/2016 2:47 PM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    TROY, NY - Preliminary findings from a study of golf course businesses throughout the United States reveal that golf courses which participate in voluntary environmental programs (VEPs) experience a variety of benefits. Results of the study also demonstrate that VEP benefits vary by region and club type, and that the extent of benefit largely depends on both resource investments and support from upper management.


    The findings are preliminary results released by Audubon International from a study examining the return on investment and associated benefits experienced by golf courses which participate in voluntary environmental programs. The study was conducted by Greener Futures Consulting, LLC and Audubon International, and was supported in part by a 2015 grant from the United States Golf Association (USGA). The full report will be released later this year.


    The findings also corroborate challenges that limit widespread adoption of environmental programs and practices in the golf industry. While the study sought to analyze financial benefit to courses, the survey found that over 55% of respondents are not motivated by financial return and that reaching high standards requires some investment.


    For nearly thirty years, voluntary environmental programs have operated in the golf industry as a means to promote beneficial environmental management and sustainable practices. While many golf course facilities have adopted VEPs, overall participation rates within the golf industry remain relatively low—an estimated 13-15% of the roughly 15,000 golf facilities in the U.S. are enrolled. The survey of over 450 golf superintendents across the United States provides researchers with valuable information on the motivations, barriers to, and benefits of VEP adoption, including the following:

    • VEPs are highly effective to improve the environmental performance of golf course managers
    • 95% of respondents have experienced a benefit through participation in a program
    • Over 55% are not motivated by cost-saving, and many have indicated that reaching high standards for environmental practice requires some investment
    • VEPs breed innovation and generate creative solutions to the care and stewardship of a course, which in turn, creates value for the property
    • Nearly 60% of participants experience an increase in personal job satisfaction

    “As we look at the various voluntary environmental programs available to golf course owners and operators and the ways to increase participation, information from research such as this helps to steer a more productive, industry-wide conversation about what works,” states Joe Madeira, Director of Advancement for Audubon International. “We all need to have a better handle on what models help improve environmental performance of facilities who commit to raising the level of their environmental practices.”


    Voluntary environmental programs (VEPs), specifically those with some type of third-party verification, certification, or oversight, are increasingly available to industries seeking independent review and confirmation of best practices. VEP’s offer rigorous independent review outside the traditional “command-and-control” regulatory regime. “There’s been quite a bit of similar research conducted on this topic in other industries,” according to lead researcher on the project, Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D. of Greener Futures Consulting LLC. “Reliance on a comprehensive literature review of similar analyses to develop the survey ultimately generated useful and significant results, and the final report should provide additional insights for professionals throughout the industry.”


    The full research analysis will be produced in a final report to become available later this year.


  • 06/30/2016 9:20 AM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    TROY, NY - Audubon International announces a new and exciting partnership with Waterford Press, the leading publisher of folding reference guides to wildlife identification, outdoor recreation, and travel and safety skills worldwide. The two organizations are collaborating to develop unique custom products available to golf courses in North America and around the world— designed to engage golfers with the natural setting and wildlife they encounter while playing on the course. This project will align with Audubon International’s work in generating awareness of responsible environmental management practices on recreational lands, parks, resorts and golf courses which conserve and protect water and habitat.


    “Establishing Waterford Press as our publishing partner lets us develop products that further engage golfers (at all skill levels) with the natural world,” says Joseph Madeira, Director of Advancement for Audubon International. “Following on the incredible results of our BioBlitz on golf courses this spring, we now have evidence that golfers are increasingly active in wildlife identification and seek to understand the various habitats and eco-systems that golf courses can provide. We believe that for many golfers, it is both the game and an appreciation for nature that draws them to their favorite courses.”


    This partnership will explore the publication of course-specific guides with customized maps and information on how the natural elements on a course (ecology, habitat, water, and species) intersect with the playing of the game. “We are entering an era in which the most respected golfers are “green golfers” — those who not only value the natural environment, but understand how much work it takes to preserve it.” Madeira adds.


    “We are excited about this partnership,” said Jill Smith, CEO of Waterford Press. “Collaborating with Audubon International furthers our mission of educating and inspiring people to care for the natural world around us. Golfers represent an important audience when you take into consideration the fact that in many settings, golf courses are often some of the largest remaining urban greenspaces and wildlife habitats.”


    As the country’s leading publisher of guides for wildlife, recreation, travel and safety, Waterford Press already has a significant reach, positively impacting environmental awareness. The guides are specifically designed as multi-use publications; clubs and courses can utilize them as new member gift, souvenirs for tournament attendees, sponsor recognition vehicles, and items for ongoing sales in pro-shops. The main purpose, however, is to strengthen the facility’s brand as an environmental advocate.


    For more information about the Audubon International/Waterford Press custom guide project, please contact Joe Madeira at Audubon International at 518-767-9051 or via email joe@auduboninternational.org.


    For Waterford Press, please contact Mike Onorato at mike@onoratocommunications.com


    About Waterford Press: Waterford Press is a Florida-based publishing company owned by zoologist James Kavanagh & Jill (Smith) Kavanagh. Their 25+ years of adventure travel, nature observation and writing have resulted in more than 500 publications on the flora and fauna of most of the world’s great ecotourism destinations and to the natural world around us. With over 5.5 million copies sold Waterford Press publishes the largest line of folding-format reference guides in the industry. Visit www.waterfordpress.com for additional information.


  • 06/27/2016 1:50 PM | Daron Blake (Administrator)

    Audubon International’s BioBlitz 2016, a species-counting competition held on golf courses across the world, ran from Earth Day, April 22nd, through International Migratory Bird Day, May 14th. This annual competition demonstrates the large diversity of species that call golf courses home, while engaging local interest and support of the green space and recreational opportunities that golf courses provide to their towns. Thirty-three golf courses across the world participated this year, which was the second year of the event. Participants were challenged to identify species at their course by engaging the community and local wildlife experts.


    BioBlitz 2016 participants found a total number of 3118 unique species of animals, plants, fungi, and insects during this year’s competition. This total number of species counted reflected a 40% increase from the results of last year’s BioBlitz 2015. This year, 1274 people participated across the world, which is an incredible 78% increase in number of participants from last year!


    Across the world, BioBlitz creates an opportunity for school children, community members, golfers, and more to take a closer look at the habitats provided on golf course. Sakonnet Links in Rhode Island reported that “Standing in a tide pool, one young participant remarked ‘this is the best field trip ever!’”


    Manager of Membership Services Delphine Tseng co-hosted a BioBlitz event at Bethpage State Park with Director of Grounds, Andrew Wilson, at all five Bethpage courses on Earth Day. Tseng wrote, “Golfers from around the world were enthusiastic to learn about our efforts in creating wildlife habitat on golf courses and wanted to know how they could help.” During the event, a visiting golfer from Scotland remarked, “I wish we had something like this in Scotland!” Of the experience of co-hosting the BioBlitz event, Wilson wrote: “It’s rewarding to show these golfers another side of Bethpage. We have been certified with Audubon International for more than 15 years and it’s important to let the world know what great things golf courses offer.”


    Courses which showed exceptional participation in BioBlitz 2016 are awarded with a bluebird art print.  Venice Gold and Country Club in Venice Beach, FL won first place in the “Most Species Counted” competition for the second year in a row. Volunteers at Venice Beach spotted, identified, and listed 910 species on their course. The Jekyll Island Club in Jekyll Island, GA was recognized for having the most participants with a total of 161 volunteers who assisted in the species count and identification. The final contest was for the “Best Photograph”. With a stunning photo of a Florida Softshell Turtle, Shadow Wood Country Club in Bonita Springs, FL took home first place. Visit https://www.auduboninternational.org/BioBlitz2016 to see more photos from the competition and a full listing of first, second, and third place in each category.  

  • 06/17/2016 4:02 PM | Joanna Nadeau (Administrator)

    RIVERSIDE, CA – The City of Riverside is the first community in California to earn the Audubon Green Community Award from Audubon International for their ongoing sustainability initiatives. Members of Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program are eligible for the award, which recognizes significant environmental achievement and is an intermediate milestone en route to earning the rigorous designation of Certified Audubon International Sustainable Community.  Mayor Rusty Bailey received the Green Community Award on behalf of the City of Riverside from Audubon International’s Director of Community Programs at the Riverside Sustainability Coalition Meeting on June 15.


    In 2015, the City of Riverside joined the Sustainable Communities Program through the support of The Toro Company. Toro’s sponsorship aims to further environmental health and sustainability in communities where Toro has facilities.  Mayor of Riverside Rusty Bailey noted, ”The City of Riverside and its partners are proud of our sustainability efforts that will enhance healthy living and economic prosperity. We are working with Audubon International and local partners to give all residents and visitors the tools to help create a better, greener, more sustainable world.” Sustainability Coordinator Andrew Markis led the effort to obtain the Green Community Award and complete Stage One.


    Riverside’s accomplishments include:

    • Planning & Leadership – Riverside’s Sustainability Policy Statement was adopted in 2012, and the Green Action Plan guides implementation of policies for urban nature, transportation, energy, and other sustainability elements. The City encourages construction of green buildings that reduce energy use, use sustainable materials, and incorporate innovative technologies. City regulations encourage mixed land uses, affordable housing, and preservation of scenic views in new development projects. These elements of development create accessible centers of activity accessible and reduce traffic generation, benefiting the environment and human health.
    • Open Space – Voter-approved initiatives passed decades ago preserved natural hillsides, arroyos, and agricultural lands around the city, and function as a greenbelt buffer between rural and urban land uses. Abundant public lands and open space surrounding the city are enhanced by recreational access points that enable residents and visitors to experience nature firsthand. The Santa Ana River, focus of a recent initiative to address watershed issues, is a natural asset being rediscovered downtown. These natural areas provide important habitat for 39 vulnerable species and are part of the Western Riverside County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan.
    • Energy and Air Pollution – An air pollution reduction plan, the Riverside Climate Action Plan, requires tracking emissions and installation of renewable energy infrastructure to reduce the introduction of particulates into the air from vehicles, industry, and energy production.  The city looks to new sources of energy: solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, methane gas recovery project creating energy from waste. The City of Riverside has several programs focused on energy efficiency in homes and businesses, which use a mix of regulations, upgrades, incentives, and education to change energy use. Credits toward utility bills are offered for planting trees that reduce energy demand and offset carbon emissions.
    • Access to Healthy Living – Riverside’s recreational facilities include many miles of biking and walking trails, parks, and golf courses where people can be active, view wildlife, and enjoy the outdoors. These outdoor amenities support ecotourism and economic development, as natural areas draw people to visit or move to new communities. Residents of all income levels have access to local, healthy food through farmers markets that accept food stamps, as well as classes on nutrition and preventive health.
    • Outreach and Education – An important priority for Riverside has been educating the community regarding environmental and sustainable stewardship. Events like GrowRiverside and a Green Festival and Leadership Summit, the Green Power Report radio program, and websites like Riverside Public Utilities’ Green Riverside (on sustainability activities) and Blue Riverside (water conservation-focused) showcase environmental practices and teach residents about the local environment. Demonstration sites around the city explain sustainable technologies on site, such as a native plant garden with Integrated Pest Management at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, solar panels at Marcy Library, and a LEED Gold-certified McDonalds. Sustainability planning efforts involved citizens at every stage, forming resident committees that provide accountability and facilitate partnerships in implementing plans.

    “As the first municipality in the State of California and west of the Mississippi to receive the Audubon International Green Community Award, Riverside demonstrates a strong commitment to embodying the ideals of sustainability—economic vitality, environmental protection, and social responsibility,” says Joanna Nadeau, Director of the Sustainable Communities Program. “By facing its unique challenges and embracing the beautiful natural landscape, Riverside has much to celebrate. It is a unique place filled with leaders that care deeply about its future.” 


    After a community sustainability plan is approved, communities in the program may apply for certification in the Sustainable Communities Program by demonstrating continuous progress towards goals in the plan under fifteen focus areas that comprise sustainability principles.

     

    For more information, contact Joanna at Audubon International at (518) 767-9051 ext. 124 or joanna@auduboninternational.org, or visit the website at www.auduboninternational.org.


  • 05/17/2016 12:00 PM | Daron Blake (Administrator)

    The Board of Directors of Audubon International has announced that Executive Director Doug Bechtel will be leaving the organization for a leadership position with New Hampshire Audubon.

     

    "Doug has done a superb job for Audubon International since joining us in January 2014 and we wish him well in his new responsibilities," said Chuck Bassett, chairman of the AI board of directors. "He has served as an excellent leader at AI, and he has advanced AI’s mission to promote the responsible, sustainable use of our natural resources."

     

    "His entire career personifies the AI mission, to deliver high quality environmental education and facilitate the sustainable management of land, water, wildlife and natural resources where people live, work, and play," Bassett said.

     

    Doug added a comment: "I am very excited about this new opportunity in New Hampshire.  I know that I leave AI at a time when the organization is strong, healthy, and positioned to deliverable tangible results in multiple sustainability disciplines. I very much appreciate the people I have worked with at AI, the staff and board members, as well as the many individuals and organizations we work with."

     

    A nationwide search to fill Audubon International's top position is underway.

     

    Prior to joining Audubon International, Doug served as the Director of Conservation Science for The Nature Conservancy’s New Hampshire Chapter for more than 15 years.

     

    Audubon International works with private and public lands, including golf courses, communities, cemeteries, ski areas, businesses, and lodging facilities in more than 20 countries, with the goal to help them reduce their impact on nature.  In its 29-year history, Audubon International, a 501.c.3 not-for-profit organization, has enrolled more than 3,000 facilities in its rigorous certification programs and has collaborated with various colleges, agencies of state and federal government as well as golf organizations such as the USGA and the GCSAA.

    Contact: Chuck Bassett, 352-255-6199

  • 05/12/2016 1:16 PM | Joanna Nadeau (Administrator)
    Photo courtesy of Green Mountain College

    POULTNEY, VT--Green Mountain College and Audubon International—two organizations at the forefront of advancing sustainability—have announced a partnership to promote environmental stewardship and make sustainability education programs available to all. Staff at Audubon Internationals’ vast network of environmentally-responsible facilities will receive discounts to enroll in GMC’s cutting edge, online graduate curriculum in one of four sustainability disciplines. Graduate students at Green Mountain College can apply their place-based education by exploring and implementing Audubon International’s programs alongside professional staff.


    Based in Troy, N.Y., Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental organization. Through education, technical assistance, certification, and recognition, Audubon International facilitates the implementation of environmental management practices that ensure natural resources are sustainably used and conserved. To date, Audubon International has enrolled over 3,000 properties (including golf courses, cemeteries, ski areas, housing developments, hotels, and many others) and communities in its rigorous certification programs.


    “Green Mountain College’s program is a model for sustainability training, and a natural academic partner for Audubon International and our member facilities,” said Doug Bechtel, Executive Director of Audubon International. “Continuing Audubon International’s legacy of introducing science-based ecological principles to stewards of developed lands, partnering with GMC expands educational offerings available to the staff at Audubon International’s member organizations. We hope to further develop research opportunities with Green Mountain College faculty and students to advance sustainability science and practices using our real-world examples.”


    “Green Mountain and Audubon International make great partners. Our students get to work hand in hand on sustainability projects with Audubon staff and partners, and people affiliated with Audubon can access award winning and affordable sustainability education right at home," noted Thomas Mauhs-Pugh, Provost at Green Mountain College.


    Green Mountain College has been a leader in sustainability focused education for 20 years. The American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education rates it #1 in the country for its sustainability curriculum. GMC has received the highest score in Princeton Review’s greenest schools category since the category was created, and is currently rated the second greenest school in the country. GMC consistently ranks in the top 15 of Sierra Magazine’s annual coolest schools list. In 2006, GMC launched the nation's first sustainable M.B.A. and first online M.S. in environmental studies. Since then the College has introduced an M.S. in sustainable food systems and an M.S. in resilient and sustainable communities, the first online programs of their kind in the U.S.


    For more on Green Mountain College’s graduate programs, visit: http://www.greenmtn.edu/academics/graduate/


    Contacts: Kevin Coburn, Green Mountain College Director of Communications, 802-287-8926; Joanna Nadeau, Audubon International Director of Community Programs, 518-767-9051 x124


  • 02/01/2016 11:25 AM | Daron Blake (Administrator)

    Environmental nonprofit Audubon International has launched the second annual BioBlitz, a free program for golf courses across the world, which will run from Earth Day, April 22nd, to International Migratory Bird Day, May 14th.


    BioBlitz is a species-counting competition designed to create awareness among golfers and the general public about the environmental value of the habitats supported by golf courses. The program is open to any golf course worldwide, including those unaffiliated with Audubon International.


     “A BioBlitz is a great way for golf courses to bring naturalists and families out to see the natural beauty golf courses provide in their towns,” said Doug Bechtel, Executive Director of Audubon International. Last year’s participants recorded 3,560 total species, representing over 1,592 plants and fungi and 638 wildlife species, for a total of 2,230 unique species identified. Kim Davidson, Horticulturist at Ironwood Golf Course in Michigan, wrote: “We were able to record 279 species! The blitz was a lot of fun and it opened my eyes to all of the species that call our course home…I am excited to share the list with our golfers so they too can see how many species our course benefits.”


    A golf course may invite any number of participants such as golfers and their families, local environmental organizations, youth groups, community members, and local experts to count plant and animal species located on the property. Awards will be given in the categories of Most Species, Most Participants, and Best Photo. Following BioBlitz, Audubon International will compile the lists of plant and animal species recorded and report on the findings.


    To register for BioBlitz 2016 and receive your free toolkit, please email Tara Donadio at tara@auduboninternational.org. The deadline to register is April 20th. Visit Audubon International's website to see photos from last year's competition.

  • 01/20/2016 12:51 PM | Daron Blake (Administrator)

    Vancleave, MS –The Preserve Golf Club, the only golf course in Mississippi to be certified through the Audubon International Signature Program, has been recognized for continued sustainable management of natural resources. The Preserve joined the Signature program in 2004, before construction began. The Preserve opened in 2006, was certified though the Signature Program in 2007, and has been recertified by Audubon International as a Certified Signature Sanctuary.


    In the past few years, The Preserve has renovated greens, collars and bunkers, dug a new irrigation well, and evaluated existing tree shade to improve the health of the greens.  Throughout these changes, The Preserve staff has maintained a commitment to the environment. “The Preserve Golf Club is honored again to be recognized for our commitment to environmental stewardship by Audubon International,” said Stephen Miles, Director of Operations for The Preserve.  “Environmental stewardship is a great business plan for the game of golf.  Environmental stewardship simply means being efficient with the resources we use on a daily basis.  We want the nutrients and medicine we apply to stay on target and not be wasted down our rivers and streams.  It just makes good business sense!” 

     

    The 110 acre golf course has 18 holes and was designed by Jerry Pate. It sits on a 245 acre site with eight acres of lakes and over 4,000 linear feet of naturalized shoreline. Nature Conservancy land to the south, US Fish & Wildlife lands to the west, Old Fort Bayou Mitigation Bank to the east, and Cypress Bog to the north create a total of 1800 acres of dedicated nature preserve surrounding the golf course. The Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge located just west of the property is inhabited by the endangered Mississippi sandhill crane. These cranes occasionally use the golf course for food and shelter. The wetlands of Fort Bayou run through the golf course, providing an excellent wide vegetative corridor for the movement of wildlife through the property. “The native surroundings of pitcher plant bogs, cypress swamps, long leaf pine savannah, live oak groves and native grass prairies all guided the design of the course as it was laid into this natural setting,” said Nancy Richardson, Signature Program Director for Audubon International, during the required staff visit to the property.


    The Signature Program provides environmental planning assistance to new facilities and developments and helps landowners design for the environment so that both economic and environmental objectives are achieved. To become recertified, Signature Program members must demonstrate their continued commitment to the Principles for Sustainable Resource Management as outlined in their site-specific Natural Resource Management Plan. This plan addresses wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement, water quality monitoring and management, integrated pest management, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and management, and the adoption of green building products and procedures.

     

    To learn more about The Preserve Golf Club, go to www.preservegc.com.

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