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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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  • 05/03/2011 10:58 AM | Anonymous
    Rio Verde, AZ - The Rio Verde community has earned the Audubon Green Community Award from Audubon International, a non-profit environmental education organization. Rio Verde becomes the first community in Arizona and the second private community nationally, to earn the Audubon Green Community Award for their green initiatives. Members of Audubon International's Sustainable Communities Program are eligible for the award, which recognizes environmental achievements and is an intermediate milestone en route to earning the rigorous designation as a Certified Audubon Sustainable Community. 
    Rio Verde's accomplishments include:
    Food Sourcing and Landscaping- As a private community, Rio Verde is able to purchase community products locally and contribute to the local economy. On-site dining facilities buy locally sourced food and the community maintains rows of citrus fruit trees for community and public consumption. The Homeowners Association requires native vegetation to be used to conserve water and preserve the aesthetic and cultural character of the surrounding landscape.   
    Long Range Planning- In 2008, the Long Range Planning (LRP) Group was formed to complete a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats assessment to guide sustainability efforts in the community. In addition, the group conducted a comprehensive community survey and developed nine initiatives to address areas like events and recreation, communications, landscaping, town center concept plans and resources use.  
    Demonstration Site- In a cooperative effort between the Rio Verde Community Association and Rio Verde Country Club, a 10,600 sq. ft. demonstration garden is in the process of being created to highlight sustainability efforts in the community. The wildlife habitat and native plants area will showcase projects and practices that residents can help with and learn from. The goal is to demonstrate valuable ecosystem services with the intent that residents will be able to use such services in their own backyards. The demonstration site will complement the fruit tree rows, botanical garden, community center solar power project, educational series, and cultural events that make Rio Verde more sustainable.  
    Outreach and Education- Partnering with regional and statewide organizations, Rio Verde has been able to publicize local events to education residents about resource use, healthy living, wildlife habitat creation, lawn reduction, and xeriscaping.  Events such as the monthly Arizona State University Lecture Series, CPR training, health and wellness classes, and the annual "Green and Clean" conference have provided important educational components to life in the community.
    Resource Use- Rio Verde is actively taking steps to reduce water and energy use, use alternative forms of energy wherever possible, and improve water quality by addressing fertilizer and pesticide use. The Rio Verde Country Club utilizes reclaimed wastewater for irrigation, while landscaping crews use integrated pest management whenever possible.  Additionally, the community center has been equipped with solar panels to power the center and pool area. To encourage alternate uses of transportation, the community emphasizes recreational opportunities, walking paths, and golf cart use.  
    Citizen Engagement and Environmental Commitment- To engage residents and encourage environmental commitment, the community has extensive volunteer opportunities to raise funds, provide goods, and build homes in the region.  To encourage a sense of place, volunteer committees have been created to partner neighboring communities, the Desert Botanical Garden, the Heard Museum, Habitat for Humanity, and the McDowell Regional Park.
    "As the first community to receive the Audubon International Green Community Award in the State of Arizona, Rio Verde has demonstrated a strong commitment to the ideals of sustainability - economic vitality, environmental protection, and social responsibility," says Suzi Zakowski, Manager of the Sustainable Communities Program.  "With the surrounding natural landscape of the Tonto National Forest, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, and the Rio Verde River,  Rio Verde has much to celebrate. It is a unique place filled with residents that care deeply about the place they call home." 
    Sal Celona, Rio Verde's Sustainability Coordinator, highlighted the importance of this project for the community.  "We are very pleased that Rio Verde is the first active adult golfing community in the country to receive such an award!  Our commitment to sustainability will enhance the life style of our residents and will serve to attract new residents to our community." 
    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.
  • 04/14/2011 11:02 AM | Anonymous
    Audubon International is proud to announce the two latest renovation and redevelopment projects to join Audubon International's Classic Sanctuary Program. This voluntary education and certification program is designed to work with redevelopment and renovation projects to meet the organization's eco-design and development criteria. These criteria are based on the Principles of Sustainable Resource Management and nearly twenty years of experience working on sustainable land development projects.  
    Club de Golfe Memphremagog: located between Magog and Georgeville in Quebec, Canada, this private 18 hole Tom McBroom-designed course opened in 2008. The 281 acre site is part of the basswood-sugar maple forest bioclimaticzone. Nearly 800 trees have been planted since its opening and a wet meadow was added to naturally filter water. Managing water is of great concern because the course is located only 2 kilometers from Lake Memphremagog. The golf course was certified through the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program in August 2010 and we look forward to continuing work with golf staffers Alain Lavoie and Ron Rainville.  
    Seletar Country Club: Open since its construction in 1994, Seletar Country Club's private 18-hole Chris Pitman-designed golf course makes the most of the natural terrain with a rustic country theme. A renovation of the greens and surrounds of all 18 holes has just been completed in 2010. Water sources for the golf course are two streams, Sungei petai and Sungei Pinang. The project is located just south of the Singapore's Seletar Airport, near the Lower Seletar Reservoir. 
    "We welcome these two new members," states Nancy Richardson, Program Director for Audubon International. "As more redevelopment occurs, we're seeing master plans be re-tooled to include sustainability programming. Land developers are realizing that an organization like ours is poised to provide advice, leadership, and third-party verification of eco-development and sustainability claims."  

    For more information about the Audubon International Signature & Classic Programs contact Nancy Richardson, Director, Audubon International Signature & Classic Programs at, or by phone at 270-869-9419.
  • 03/17/2011 10:20 AM | Anonymous
    Audubon International is pleased to announce that the eleven golf courses that make up the Tennessee State Parks "Tennessee Golf Trail" are working to protect the natural environment through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses.  Currently, eight have earned certification through the program.  The Tennessee State Parks system is a part of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and is the latest multi-course owner/operator to commit to 100% enrollment in the voluntary environmental education and certification program.  Information about the Tennessee Golf Trail is found at:

    "Audubon International's focus on environmental education and promotion of more sustainable land management practices has been a perfect fit for the Tennessee Golf Trail," states Jim Webb, Director of Golf for the Tennessee Golf Trail. "It's good for the staff, the courses, and the state to have all our facilities enrolled in this program. We look forward to having all of our courses earn certification through the program.  The natural beauty of each of our state's golf courses is worth protecting, and Audubon International's program helps us to do that."
    With the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses celebrating its twentieth anniversary, the Tennessee State Parks system joins over two-dozen public and private multi-course owners and operators that have made a commitment to the program.  "Over the last twenty years we've been privileged to partner with, and garner support from, some great agencies and organizations," states Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D., Executive Director for Audubon International.  "We're very proud to be working with the Tennessee State Parks and all the Tennessee Golf Trail facilities working with us to make golf more sustainable. In the difficult economic climate that currently exists for many state and municipal park agencies, the opportunity to promote conservation and efficiency in public park operations is just good business and provides a way to get the community involved."
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