Here you can find all the latest Audubon International news! From the great environmental efforts of our members, to where we will be next, to helpful tips you can apply at your golf course, you can find it all here.
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  • 10/02/2015 2:10 PM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    GRANITE BAY, CA – Audubon International announces that Granite BayView from the 18th Tee Golf Club has been recognized for continued sustainable management of natural resources and has been awarded re-certification as a “Certified Signature Sanctuary.” Granite Bay Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones II and Kyle Phillips, was the first private golf course to become certified by Audubon International in California.  

    “To become re-certified, 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 (NRMP). 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,” said Nancy Richardson, Signature Program Director for Audubon International, during the required staff visit to the property.

    Providing habitat for nearly 200 species of birds including the acorn woodpecker, Granite Bay is set on gently rolling topography amidst grasslands, mature oaks, rock strewn wetlands, natural lakes, and dramatic granite outcroppings. It is an 18-hole facility located on 145 acres south of East Roseville Parkway in Placer County, California. Oak woodlands, consisting predominately of massive native blue oaks (Quercus douglasii) and interior live oak trees (Quercus wizlizeii), dot the natural landscape. 


     The golf club began construction August 1993 and opened in late 1994.  It was registered in the Audubon International Signature Program on March 10, 1993 and was certified on May 1, 1998 as only the ninth Signature Sanctuary in the world.  The Signature Program provides environmental planning assistance to new facilities and developments. This program helps landowners design for the environment so that both economic and environmental objectives are achieved. 

    Over the past seventeen years, Granite Bay has gone through management changes, infrastructure additions, and major renovations but has maintained a commitment to the environment.  "Through the ups and downs of an ever changing industry, the one constant for us here at Granite Bay has been our commitment to environmental stewardship that began with Audubon International almost twenty years ago,” stated Matt Dillon, superintendent at Granite Bay Golf Club. “Audubon International has truly been a partner in these endeavors and the relationship we have forged is valuable, and one we look forward to maintaining for many years to come.“

    For the past several years, the historic drought (now in its fourth year) has been the main focus of their environmental practices, as California has seen annual records of lowest precipitation, lowest accumulated snowfalls as well as records for highest temperatures.  In addition to these records, the local water district imposed a 25% conservation reduction in 2014 and a 36% conservation reduction in 2015.  

    To address water conservation, Dillon, a certified superintendent (CGCS), created the Granite Bay Golf Club Drought Contingency Plan: a 25 page document covering Granite Bay’s site assessment, best management practices, tracking procedures, written responses to the district’s drought stage requirements and a proposed Alternate Means of Compliance (AMC). This AMC, an important document, was the first of its kind in northern California. It focused on water budgeting, (as well as other methods) to determine a baseline water amount for any given property.  

    The San Juan Water District which serves the community of Granite Bay, is required by the State of CA to conserve 36% from a 2013 baseline. Granite Bay Golf Club’s non-potable irrigation water will meet that conservation goal by the end of 2015 and the combined potable meters on the property are on track to exceed that requirement.

    To learn more about Granite Bay Golf Club, go to

    CONTACT: Nancy Richardson, Director, Signature Program 

    (270) 869-9419 |

  • 09/25/2015 1:12 PM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    To anyone who has ever been stung, the idea of actively attracting bees may raise hackles. But a closer look at bees proves that enhancing habitat for native species presents many benefits and poses no harm.

    Bees vs. Wasps

    People are generally stung by wasps, like yellow jackets or hornets, or by honey bees, a non-native species brought to the New World by Spanish conquistadors. These species live in hives or colonies, so contact with them can create a swarm of trouble. In contrast, most of the more than 4,000 species of native bees in the United States are solitary, non-threatening creatures. Our native bees play a critical role in pollinating the majority of flowering plants including many of our foods.

    Why Protect Bees?

    About two-thirds of plants need insects or other animals to pollinate them, and bees are the most important pollinators. On a typical foraging trip, a female bee may visit hundreds of flowers. She will eat the energy-rich nectar to power her flight, and collect pollen and nectar to take back to her nest to provide food to her offspring. As the bees forage, pollen is moved between plants. Without this exchange of pollen female plant ovules will not be fertilized and neither seed nor fruit will develop. Research evidence is overwhelming—wild pollinators are declining around the world. Chief causes include fragmentation and loss of habitat, pesticide use, and changes to plant communities from different land management or invasion by exotic species.

    Getting Started

    Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to help bees thrive on your property. Not only will habitat enhancements benefit bee species themselves, they will add beauty and diversity to your landscape and provide a valuable ecological asset to your community. To conserve native bees, you must focus on providing two key aspects of bee habitat: native plants for nectar and pollen, and nesting sites. No special equipment or protective clothing is needed when working with native bees, and encouraging native bees will not create any threat to people. Honey bees are a social species, and therefore create hives. Providing nesting sites for native bees, which are mostly solitary species, will not attract non-native, stinging honey bees.


    1. Provide Food

    Adding native plants that are rich in nectar and pollen is the best way to attract and sustain bees. Simply plant native flowers in existing gardens or borders. On golf courses, non-play areas are ideal sites for naturalizing and will provide larger foraging sites. As an added benefit, native plants will also attract wildlife like butterflies and birds, make your property more attractive, and reduce long-term maintenance.

    • Transplant. In most situations, the best way to enrich habitat is by planting pre-grown transplants. Controlling weeds and watering during the first growing season are particularly important.
    • Diversify. Bees need nectar and pollen from early spring through fall, so try to ensure that there is a diversity of local native plants with a range of flowering times in the habitat.
    • Choose native. Some good bee plants include: yarrow, golden rod, and wild mint. Shrubs to plant include: salmonberry, grape, and willow.

    ...AND A HOME

    2. Provide Nest Sites

    There are several simple ways in which nesting sites can be made for bees. Many of these mimic natural features that bees prefer, though not all will be suitable for your site. There are two primary types of nest that you can make: ground nests and wood nests. The location of the nest sites is important. Bees like warm conditions, especially in the morning so that they can become active earlier. Shelter nests from the worst weather with the entrance facing east-southeast. Bee boxes are easy to construct and provide valuable shelter.

    • Logs and Snags: Get some logs or old stumps and place them in the wildlife garden or naturalized habitat patches you’ve created. Drill holes at least 4” deep and 3/32” to 3/8” diameter into the logs. Leave dead tree snags standing when they don’t pose a safety hazard to keep natural nest sites for bees.
    • Nesting Blocks: Bee nesting blocks can be made from blocks of lumber at least 4” by 4” and 8” long. In one side of the block, drill lots of holes 3/32” to 3/8” diameter and almost all the way through the block. This block can be fixed to a stake or tree in a sunny, preferably eastward facing spot.
    • Bare Ground: Simply clear the vegetation from a small area (about 6’ by 6’) and compact the soil. A few rocks placed in the cleared area will improve it by adding basing places and help warm the soil. Where possible create bare areas on south facing slopes or banks. Choose dry, well-drained ground for ground nesting bees.
    • Sand Pits and Sand Piles: If you have lots of room, dig a sand pit about 12’ square and 4’ deep and fill it with fine-grained white sand. Or build up a sand pile about the same size.

  • 09/25/2015 10:02 AM | Joanna Nadeau (Administrator)

    WILLIAMSTON, NC – The Town of Williamston is recognized by Audubon International for their continued commitment to sustainability through recertification as an "Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community.”  Brent Kanipe, AICP, Director of Planning, led the effort to maintain certification status for this town and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International.  The Town of Williamston was designated as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in 2009 and is one of five communities in the world to receive the honor.

    Williamston Mayor Tommy Roberson commented, “Williamston is very proud to receive this designation from Audubon International and is pleased to be recognized for all the efforts of town citizens, staff, and the Town Board of Commissioners.”

    The Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program provides information and guidance to help communities preserve and enhance what makes them healthy and vibrant places to live, work, and play. Certified members define a vision for their future founded in the three pillars of sustainability–a healthy local environment, quality of life for citizens, and economic vitality.

    "Williamston demonstrates a strong commitment to its sustainability program.  They are to be commended for preserving the natural heritage of the area by enhancing wetlands along the Roanoke River and directing development away from critical farmland and into the historic downtown," said Joanna Nadeau, Director of Community Programs at Audubon International.

    Developing riverside camping platforms, signage, and trail maps, purchasing recycled materials, and updating the comprehensive plan with green building and smart growth principles are the top examples why Williamston is considered a leader in sustainability. In the last few years, Williamston has also reduced municipal water use by 50%, installed permeable pavement in two parking lots, and increased affordable housing options. Williamston’s accomplishments have been enhanced by funding awards for historic preservation projects including façade improvements in the historic district and heritage publications.

    "To maintain certification, a community must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a majority of areas," explained Nadeau.  Members maintain certification status in the Sustainable Communities Program by demonstrating continuous progress towards goals in the plan under fifteen focus areas.  Communities go through a recertification process every two years.  Currently, there are 20 communities in the Sustainable Communities Program.

    About Audubon International

    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. Through the Sustainable Communities and Green Neighborhoods Programs, Audubon International works to help community leaders and stakeholders embrace environmental stewardship and sustainability as a central element of planning, policies, and practices.

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


  • 09/23/2015 12:04 PM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    TROY, NY – Audubon International is proud to partner with EYE DOG from Fredericksburg, VA as a newest corporate sponsor.  EYE DOG uses highly-trained border collies to provide superior, humane, sustainable Canada geese management for golf courses in the Washington DC metropolitan area. 

    “We are proud to work with EYE DOG because their program for controlling geese on golf courses aligns with our recommendations for dealing with nuisance species,” said Doug Bechtel, executive Director for Audubon International. “We encourage methods that are humane, non-lethal, and sustainable.” 

    EYE DOG’s border collies are from exceptional North American and imported European working sheepdog lines. They are trained professionally on sheep and geese and are under voice and whistle command. Both the USDA Wildlife Service and US Fish and Wildlife approve this hazing method.

    Jeremy Austin, owner of EYE DOG has privately trained with top border collie handlers including Tom Wilson, renowned Scottish handler, who has won multiple prestigious US trials including the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials and the Bluegrass Classic Stockdog Trial.

    “I am thrilled to support Audubon International due to their commitment to educate property owners about responsible practices to protect all species.” said Mr. Austin.  “Geese,” he added, “are savvy and highly adaptive. It takes a real or perceived dire threat, like the border collies, to convince the birds to relocate. Employing trained, working border collies and a skilled handler is the most humane and effective way to deal with this all to common and growing problem.”


    About EYE DOG

    EYE DOG provides superior, humane, sustainable Canada geese management to Fredericksburg, VA and the surrounding areas, including Charlottesville, Richmond, and Washington, DC. Their border collies are from exceptional North American and imported European working sheepdog lines. They are trained to the highest professional level on sheep and geese and are under voice and whistle command. EYE DOG uses hazing strategies based on various wild pack hunting canids such as those of coyotes and gray wolves, the most common predators of adult geese, to simulate the most realistic predation threat possible. Mr. Austin’s comprehensive hazing practices have a considerable advantage in that he works multiple dogs (up to three) simultaneously on land and water to more decisively apply predatory pressure and condition a relocation response in the geese. A Wildlife Ecologist and Senior Environmental Analyst provides technical consulting services for animal damage management and environmental stewardship strategies. For more information on EYE DOG, contact Jeremy Austin at 540.220.5722. For media inquiries, contact Rob Solka at or visit EYE DOG’S website at 


  • 09/16/2015 9:48 AM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    NEWARK, DE – Linne Industries announced that the company has partnered with Audubon International as a corporate sponsor of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP).  Linne Industries supports AI’s mission, particularly programs that work with recreational lands to improve environmental management practices.  Linne’s green products offer dynamic solutions for customers seeking energy saving solutions while conserving habitat and natural resources.  Linne Industries has designed and manufactured a sustainable energy product called PondHawk® —a solar powered subsurface aeration system that works without the need for grid electricity.

    The ASCP is an award winning education and certification program that helps entities such as golf courses, parks, and businesses protect the environment and enhance the valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats that these operations provide. In becoming a corporate sponsor, Linne Industries executives have made their support for Audubon International publicly known, demonstrating their commitment to sustainable solutions for improving water quality and enhancing critical wildlife habitat. 

    “It is really exciting to work with an organization like Linne Industries because, like Audubon International, they are committed to improving water quality on all types of properties using innovative technologies,” said Doug Bechtel, executive Director for Audubon International. “I foresee many businesses who care about environmental sustainability embracing this technology.”

    “Clean water is such a pressing issue“ said Sandra Burton, President and CEO of Linne Industries LLC.  “Audubon International’s extensive work with businesses and communities that have water features, and require efforts to improve water quality, resonates with our corporate goals and we are proud to provide support to this critical mission.” 

    About Linne Industries LLC

    LINNE Industries LLC is the manufacturer of the PondHawk® Solar Pond Aeration System (pat. pending). Founded in August 2013 and based in Newark, Delaware, LINNE Industries designs and manufactures sustainable energy products that improve the environment while providing best-in-class energy systems that deliver dynamic solutions for their customers. PondHawk is the first fully-integrated pond aeration system that improves water quality, eliminates algae, and restores habitat without power delivery or electric costs. For more information, please visit

    For more information on this or other sponsorship opportunities, contact Joe Madeira, Director of Advancement at (518)767-9051 ext. 105,or  e-mail, 

  • 09/04/2015 11:24 AM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    Wildlife Corridors

    by Tara Pepperman

    Director of Cooperative Sanctuary Programs for Audubon International.

    When human development happens, removing existing wildlife habitat is inevitable. This causes habitat to be broken up into small patches where wildlife can have a harder time surviving. When patches become too small, and aren’t easily linked to other areas, many species can become displaced.

    The best way to mitigate the reduction of habitat is to create what are known as wildlife corridors within your park, golf course or recreation area. These corridors will allow all species access to the food, water and interactions they need to thrive.

    Scientific research shows that all animals, even birds, prefer to travel along habitat corridors rather than cross clearings or other obstacles. In one study, songbirds chose wooded routes to travel between forested patches, even when they were three times  as long as cutting across a clearing.

    Even species that live in more open habitats use corridors for travel. Butterflies, for example, use grassy corridors to move between open clearings surrounded by dense woodland, and their numbers are typically higher in patches connected by corridors than in isolated patches.


    Creating and maintaining these corridors should become an important part of your environmental management plan, whether it be short- or long-term.

    How Do I Start?

    The first thing you need to do is think about the questions you are trying to answer:

    1. What kind of species are on my property? Having an up-to-date wildlife inventory will help with this question! Try to focus on identifying the needs of endangered species or species of concern first.

    2. Where do those animals thrive, and what kind of plants would give the cover they want?  Smaller

    animals require understory or tall grass, while birds and larger animals feel most comfortable with larger trees.

    3. Where can I create these corridors? Look at a map! This will help you identify areas that could be used as corridors.

    Corridors should be just that: pathways for wildlife to cross your property without being in the open.


    Ideally, the corridor would create a path to cross the entire property, but also look for opportunities to connect outside forest habitats with ponds in the center of your course.

    Sometimes habitat corridors can be combined with other conservation projects. Many of our members maintain vegetated buffer zones to protect the edges of streams, rivers, or other water bodies from run-off. These buffers often can be connected to nearby patches of habitat to serve as corridors. The Golf Club at Newcastle in Washington State has a great example of naturalization of their creek area, which is also a corridor from one part of the course to another. Using bridges to allow wildlife to travel above or below paths without disturbance is important when areas used by humans and wildlife cross.

    Sometimes, properties can be ideal areas for wildlife to cross in a flat open state. A perfect example of this is at the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club in Wyoming, where the annual elk migration to the National Elk Wildlife Refuge crosses the course. The course’s open areas, natural to Jackson Hole, provide a great migration path for this species, which travel through in huge numbers!

    Although it is not the best case scenario, having a cart path cross a wildlife corridor is sometimes hard to correct without a major construction project. In this case, high tree cover over the path will still allow this to be a great corridor for birds. Creating signs, such as those at Cozumel Country Club in Mexico, as part of an outreach and education program directed at patrons is important in this situation. 

    How wide/large should my corridor be? 

    There are no simple rules about how wide or tall a naturalized area must be in order to serve as a corridor. One study found that only corridors over 33 feet wide were used by the birds on that site, while another found that a vole used corridors only 1.5 feet wide. Just remember to think about the species on your property, and put yourself in their “shoes.”

    Remember, all living things need these four basic things to survive: food, water, shelter and space. Thinking about this during projects on your property can ensure wildlife are always taken into consideration. Corridors give your property to ability to provide all four of these basic survival needs and make it an ideal place for wildlife to thrive.

  • 08/17/2015 11:45 AM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    TROY NY – Joanna B. Nadeau, Director of Community Programs at Audubon International in Troy, NY has achieved a career milestone by completing the rigorous requirements for certification through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). She joins an elite membership of approximately 15,000 professional planners worldwide that hold AICP certification. The AICP certification is considered the professional standard for town and urban planning professionals. 

    Certified planners bring extra value to their employers and community, demonstrating a higher level of leadership, education and professionalism. As a certified planner, individuals are required to operate in a professional manner and uphold a code of ethics. Planners help government officials, business leaders, and citizens create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live.

    Doug Bechtel, Executive Director of Audubon International, said, ”We are pleased that the American Institute of Certified Planners has recognized Ms. Nadeau’s accomplishments and planning expertise. This advances our ability to offer excellent technical assistance in planning and to maintain high standards for leading environmental sustainability efforts in communities and businesses.” 

    AICP certified planners must meet rigorous standards and maintain their expertise through continuing education and serving community interests. “Achieving AICP certification is not easy and requires a high level of personal and professional commitment,” said Felicia Braunstein, director of Professional Development for the American Planning Association (APA). “The certification demonstrates an individual’s credibility and knowledge, and serves as a standard for the planning profession.”

    APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning -- physical, economic, and social -- so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. The American Institute of Certified Planners provides recognized leadership nationwide in the certification of professional planners, ethics, professional development, planning education, and the standards of planning practice. For more information, visit

  • 07/21/2015 10:55 AM | Meaghan Wilkins (Administrator)

    The month of July is focused on Family Golf, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to get outdoors with your loved ones for not only quality time together but also to show them the beautiful nature and wildlife that surrounds a golf course.  Many courses pride themselves on the variety of plants and animals that call their facilities home and encourage visitors to enjoy the natural setting surrounding the fairway.  At Audubon International (AI) we encourage you to participate in golf, especially at courses that are dedicated to maintaining an environmentally responsible course.

    First Let’s Talk Golf

    There are many dedicated golf course managers that offer family friendly promotions to encourage young people to get out on the course.   Throughout the month of July, PGA and LPGA Professionals at participating facilities nationwide offer reduced or no cost activities for golfers of all ages and skill levels.  In addition, Troon Golf is offering juniors free golf after 3 p.m. when playing with an adult. Juniors also are provided with complimentary Callaway Rental Clubs all day and complimentary instruction when taking a lesson with an adult.

    Another way to get your young golfers more engaged in the sport is by teaching them the importance of a sustainable course.  Audubon International has again partnered with The First Tee, with sponsorship from the Toro Foundation, to bring Live Green! programs to seven courses across the country in 2015. 

     “Live Green!” brings attention to the importance of caring for the environment. Through The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits, health and wellness are the focus when teaching kids about the game of golf –lessons they can incorporate into their personal lives. The local First Tee Chapter encourages young people to explore the health of their community and discover how they can give back and care for the environment.  Live Green! started in 2009 to teach kids the values of environmental management and golf—the program has reached thousands of children across the country. Upcoming Live Green! events will be held in the following locations.

    • ·         The First Tee of Idaho, Boise, ID
    • ·         The First Tee of Monterey, Salinas, CA
    • ·         The First Tee of East Lake, Atlanta, GA
    • ·         The First Tee of Richmond and Chesterfield, Richmond, VA
    • ·         The First Tee of North Florida, Elkton, Fl
    • ·         The First Tee of Raritan Valley, Kenilworth, NJ

    Want to get involved, or volunteer at one of these events?  Reach out to Tara Pepperman, Audubon International Director of Cooperative Sanctuary Programs  at or 518.767.9051 ext. 115.

    What else can you do at a golf course?

    Golf courses can be used for more than just golf.  There are many wonderful stories that AI members share about hiking trails at their course.  This is a great way to get your family up and moving this summer. 

    Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort Golf Club in Arizona has a hiking trail that starts at their course and winds through the desert and North Mountain Preserve.  Hikers will see saguaro cacti, palo verde, creosote bushes, rattlesnakes and roadrunners on their walks. 

    The Callippe Preserve Hiking Trail surrounds the Callippe Preserve Golf Course in California, and is a wonderful way for families to get out and see some great landscape after (or before) a day of golfing.  The trail borders area designated for the species preservation of the callippe silverspot butterfly, and visitors can spot many interesting bird species. At Tam O’Shanter Golf Course in Pennsylvania, they have found a way to incorporate the education and nature trail right into the 18 holes.  Signage at each hole describes the environment to help golfers become more aware of their environment.  For example, at Hole #13 “The View” states:

    “The naturalized area surrounding the tee is designed to attract birds. As you view the distant rolling hills, you can see that the golf course is part of the greater environment. In 1985 a tornado cut a path of destruction up the length of this fairway. Since then over 1,000 trees have been planted on the golf course and the trees gradually been reestablished, leaving little evidence of the natural disaster.”

    Regardless of whether or not you and your children are golfers, you can still enjoy the green spaces that golf provides by taking a hike, bird watching, or learning about water conservation and habitat protection.  If you plan an outing to a golf course, make sure to call ahead to find out what they offer for families and ask about how they are working to protect and preserve the natural plants and wildlife that call their course home.

    AI encourages you and your family to go play on a Signature, Classic or Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) Certified golf course.  These courses are working diligently to protect the natural habitat and your children will enjoy learning about wildlife and water conservation during your time there.  To find a list of members near you, check out our website at:

  • 07/02/2015 12:02 PM | Meaghan Wilkins (Administrator)

    TROY, NY – Thanks to support from the United States Golf Association, Audubon International launched their first ever Global Golf Course BioBlitz 2015 in honor of Earth Day on April 22nd. The goal was to demonstrate 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.  Twenty-eight courses from all over North America participated in this self-directed event which took place from April 19-25, 2015. Participants were challenged to identify species at their course by engaging the community and local wildlife experts.

    Audubon International was pleased with the courses that participated in the event and for their efforts to bring in community members to assist in identifying the species on their courses. Over two hundred individuals assisted in identifying 3,560 species on participating golf courses. Of those three thousand plus species, 2230 were unique to the course where they were identified.

    Jim Schell, General Manager at the Venice Golf and Country Club in Florida, summed it up nicely, “The biggest surprise for me is that most life is so small.  I have always been accustomed to looking up at the trees and the colorful foliage of plants, not at the smallest of creatures.  I had no idea we had so much diverse life on this property.  Even the birds escaped my untrained eye.  Sure I saw the blue herons and wading birds but I did not see the others until they were pointed out to me. We focused our efforts on life that was observed from the golf course property. Everything listed here…although I am certain we missed more than we recorded”.

    Courses who showed exceptional participation in the BioBlitz 2015 were awarded and presented with a framed Audubon Blue Bird print.  Among the winners were, Venice Golf and Country Club in Venice Beach, FL who was awarded a prize for recording the highest number of species.  Volunteers at Venice Beach spotted over 500 plant and wildlife species living on their course.  The Southwinds Golf Course in Boca Raton, FL was recognized for having the most participants with a total of 49 volunteers who assisted in the species count and identification. The final contest was for the “Best Photo”. There were so many great submissions, it was hard to choose just one and both Stonebridge Country Club in Naples, FL and Mohegan Sun Golf Club in Baltic, CT were chosen as winners.  

     “The responses we received from people participating fell into two categories:  those that couldn’t wait to do it next year, and those who were amazed by how much biodiversity lived on their lands,” said Doug Bechtel, AI’s Executive Director.  “We couldn’t be happier with the turnout.  This kind of event educates citizens about the benefits golf courses provide in their community.”

    Pictured above is AI Membership Coordinator Delphine Tseng presenting the award for "Best Photo" to representatives from Mohegan Sun Golf Club in Baltic, CT.



  • 05/21/2015 12:51 PM | Joseph Madeira (Administrator)

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA – The Town of Hilton Head Island has earned the Sustainable Planning Award from Audubon International.  The award is an important milestone in Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program and recognizes the community for completing the second stage of a rigorous three-stage certification process. Hilton Head’s successful completion of this stage means they have defined and adopted a long-term community vision and sustainability indicators.

    “For many years Hilton Head Island has been known for its great natural beauty and for innovative, environmentally sensitive practices,” notes Mayor David Bennett. “The Town of Hilton Head Island was eager to conduct a sustainability self-assessment using a nationally recognized program such as Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program.  This accomplishment enables the Town to build upon its long-term history of sustainability while moving forward into Stage 3 where it will implement the plans listed in the Hilton Head Island Green Blueprint.  The Town of Hilton Head Island is pleased to receive the Sustainable Planning Award and the recognition it conveys.”

    Since joining the program five years ago, Hilton Head has brought together the efforts of residents, local and regional organizations, schools, businesses and community leaders. These partners have addressed priority projects under 15 focus areas such as health and transportation. Within each focus area, goals such as enhancing bike travel and controlling storm water runoff have yielded action items that are being implemented by the Town. 

    Completed projects include:

    • Mobile educational kiosk with information about the Broad River watershed and storm water management practices
    • Energy audit and energy efficient upgrades for Town Hall
    • Rewrite of the Land Management Ordinance to achieve sustainable development goals
    • Design of Chaplin Linear Park, which will improve connectivity and recreation opportunities
    • Improved wayfinding maps and signs for 100 miles of bike paths in the community
    • Increased access for non-motorized water-based recreation through park enhancements
    • LEED-Silver Certified Fire Station constructed with pervious paving, construction waste recycled, and underground rainwater harvesting system

    “The award demonstrates the commitment by the Town and the strides they have taken toward creating a more sustainable community. Hilton Head is continuing its legacy of living in harmony with nature by prioritizing community challenges, drawing on community assets, and compiling a strategic sustainability plan with reachable goals that will have a real and positive effect on the community and its residents,” says Joanna Nadeau.  “Finishing Stage 2 of this program is a significant accomplishment.  Hilton Head is rightfully proud of earning this well-deserved award.”

    Hilton Head will now move forward into Stage 3 of the Sustainable Communities Program, during which the community will implement additional projects listed in the action plan and report progress to achieve the designation as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community.

    About Hilton Head

    The Town of Hilton Head Island, incorporated as a municipality in 1983 and well known for its eco-friendly development and beautiful outdoor amenities, is located on a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina.  The island encompasses 54 square miles and includes 13 miles of beaches.  The Town of Hilton Head Island is comprised of a diverse and active collection of residents who come together as one community.  Hilton Head Island not only has a large permanent population (38,000) but also enjoys an assortment of visitors and tourists each year that increases the population during summer months upwards of 80,000.

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