Located in stunning Naples, Florida, only a few short miles from the sun-soaked beaches, is TPC Treviso Bay Golf Club, a certified member of Audubon International’s Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) for Golf. TPC Treviso Bay is one of more than twenty premier golf courses in the PGA Tour’s Tournament Players Club (TPC) Network and is one of only a handful that remain accessible to the public in the summer months.
The PGA TOUR requires all its TPC Courses to join and seek certification in the ACSP. Treviso Bay has maintained certification since 2009 and continues to recertify every three years, rotating between a site visit and a backup documentation submission. During a recent recertification site visit, Scott Turner, Environmental Program Specialist at Audubon International, met with TPC Golf Course Superintendent, Rusty Thorn to document, observe and recommend creative measures to expand TPC Treviso Bay’s efforts in the six focus areas of ACSP for Golf certification: environmental planning, water conservation, water quality, wildlife and habitat management, chemical use and safety, and outreach and education.
Wildlife and Habitat Management
During the tour it was clear that TPC Treviso Bay’s picturesque 18 holes are unlike many of the traditional golf courses found in Florida. While many of the state’s golf courses are lined with homes, TPC Treviso Bay is lined with untouched native vegetation, wetlands, and lakes, which provide a stunning contrast between the beautifully maintained fairways and lush greens.
In addition to developing several acres of quality wildlife habitat and corridors, TPC Treviso Bay also works with Brian Beckner, owner of Native Bird Boxes, to determine the most suitable locations for nesting boxes for raptors, purple martins and songbirds as another part of their Wildlife and Habitat Management initiatives. As you walk from tee to green you can’t help but feel that golf and wildlife coexist in harmony.
Water Quality Management & Outreach and Education
To support the health of the lakes and ponds on site, the TPC Treviso Bay team continues incorporating Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect surface and groundwater as part of their Water Quality Management initiatives. By following ACSP certification guidelines, TPC Treviso Bay has increased the native vegetation surrounding their lakes, to act as a buffer and prevent chemical runoff and leaching from negatively impacting water quality. Taking these measures not only compliments the golfer’s experience and the club’s aesthetics, but also ensures aquatic wildlife and habitat will remain healthy and in equilibrium.
Like all of Audubon International’s certifications, ACSP Certified members are encouraged to network and collaborate with local colleges, communities, and members to expand the reach of their environmental efforts. TPC Treviso Bay has done just that working with Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) to conduct sustainable and effective algae control research on the property’s surface waters. Found floating among the birds, turtles and alligators living in the club’s lakes, are FGCU’s multiple buoys that use ultrasonic waves to mitigate the property’s seasonal algae bloom. While the research is still ongoing, this state-of-the-art technology has showed promising results, which would mean a future without aquatic herbicides and better water quality for wildlife.
To learn more about how your local golf course, community or resort can gain recognition for your environmental efforts or to learn how to expand your initiatives through Audubon International’s numerous environmental certifications, visit www.auduboninternational.org.
Audubon International, an environmentally focused non-profit organization, offers members numerous certifications and conservation initiatives to protect the areas where we all live, work, and play. Their certifications are designed to increase environmental awareness, encourage sustainable environmental efforts, and educate both their members and their communities.