RUIDOSO, NM – The Golf Club at Rainmakers has recently been designated by Audubon International as a Certified Silver Signature Sanctuary. The golf course is the first in the state of New Mexico to earn certification in the prestigious Audubon International Signature Program. It joins 92 other Certified Signature Sanctuaries in 28 US states and in Puerto Rico, Canada, China, Spain, and Portugal.
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 management, water quality monitoring and management, integrated pest management, water conservation, energy efficiency, and waste reduction and management.
“Working with Audubon International and their team not only allowed us to understand our land and its unique attributes better, but also to set a course of ongoing environmental stewardship consistent with our goals and expectations of sustainable business,” said Dan Stanger, owner of Rainmakers. “We are honored to have worked with Audubon International to achieve recognition as a Certified Silver Signature Sanctuary. We believe the program provides concrete steps to guide design and operation of our golf course as we continue to preserve and protect the beautiful and scenic area that we all here enjoy.”
Protection and conservation of natural resources at any residential golf community in New Mexico is quite challenging. Ruidoso is semi-arid and receives less than two inches of rain per month throughout most of the year. To address this challenge, The Golf Club at Rainmakers employs many water management and design techniques including:
- Sprinkler System – The sprinkler system is controlled by a digital on-site weather system that measures rainfall and humidity and adjusts the water output accordingly. The arc and angle of each sprinkler head can be individually positioned to deliver water in a precise location.
- Water-absorbing Polymers – Polymers soak up the water and keep the soil moist and healthy long after the water stops, saving the golf course 30 percent of its annual water consumption.
- Native Plants – The landscape architecture includes a wide variety of indigenous flowers and grasses that complement the Southwestern ecosystem and require less water and labor. In addition, 90 percent of the re-vegetation on and around the course was accomplished with plants that originally grew on the site.
- Minimal Tree Disturbance – For holes with a steep elevation change or where a hole plays over a ravine, the golf course added an additional 18 inches of soil to allow for line of site without the need to cut trees.
- Surface Water Runoff – The golf course directs water drainage away from the lake and dry arroyos and discharges it over natural vegetation. Stone-lined swales slow the velocity of the run-off before it reaches the vegetated areas.
- Wildlife Habitat – The golf course set aside 135 of its 1,000 acres to be protected as wildlife habitat and conservation areas.
“I don’t believe anyone could visit Rainmakers without being stunned by the scenic vistas at each golf hole,” said Nancy Richardson, Associate Director of Environmental Programs at Audubon International. “We commend the designers and owners for taking such great care to preserve the natural and cultural history of the site.”
About The Golf Club at Rainmakers
The 18-hole Robert Trent II-designed golf course is located near Alto in the southern Rockies of south-central New Mexico. The course sits within the Lincoln National Forest nearly 7,000 feet above sea level with views of the 12,000 foot peak Sierra Blanca and the Sacramento and Capitan mountains. The property is bounded to the east by the Fort Stanton Area of Critical Environmental Concern managed by the Bureau of Land Management.