LAKE WALES, FL – Joining six other Florida communities pursuing certification through the Sustainable Communities Program, the private community of Mountain Lake is now working with Audubon International to become a leader in community sustainability.
Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program provides a path to certification, which ensures a community’s economic and social wellbeing are built on a sustainable natural environment. The program tools provide guidance for citizen-driven planning and community actions, facilitate partnerships with governmental agencies, businesses, and academic institutions, and help communities demonstrate success through establishment of measurable goals. Following this framework, Mountain Lake will take a comprehensive approach to community preservation and environmental protection.
“Communities that integrate principles of sustainability into policies and practices should be recognized for their leadership,” said Sustainable Communities Program Manager, Joanna Nadeau. “In cooperation with efforts at the Mountain Lake Golf Club in responsible stewardship, residents are working to implement environmental stewardship throughout the community. Through planning and implementation across a range of focal areas, Mountain Lake will ensure that it remains a great place to live in the future. This is the concept of sustainability, which Audubon International views as the foundation for quality communities of today and tomorrow.”
By joining and participating in the Sustainable Communities Program, Mountain Lake joins 13 other communities as members of the program, four of which have achieved certification. During the three stages in the certification process, Mountain Lake will complete an assessment, define a long-term community vision, choose sustainability indicators as a mechanism for fostering action and measuring success, and implement its plan. After completing a vision plan and reporting progress on chosen goals, members of Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program are eligible for certification and designation as an Audubon International Sustainable Community, which recognizes dedication to the process of becoming a sustainable community.
“Mountain Lake is pleased to be a part of the Audubon International certification program,” stated John L. Delcamp, Jr., Vice President and General Manager of Mountain Lake. “Noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. designed the original layout for Mountain Lake at the turn of the century, and our guests frequently comment that the community has the beauty and tranquility of a nature preserve. Our Board’s commitment to preservation, conservation, and quality are hallmarks of our club and community, and our ongoing partnership with Audubon is another measure of that success.”
Located an hour south of Orlando and east of Tampa, the Mountain Lake community is perched atop the Lake Wales sand ridge in central Florida. With their centennial anniversary coming in 2016, several generations of families have enjoyed this seasonal retreat for birdwatching, golf, and quiet lakeside living. The neighborhood was designated a historic district in 1993 because of a heritage that includes designer Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., mastermind of New York City’s Central Park and the Biltmore Estate. An organic garden available to residents is part of the community’s ethic to live in harmony with the ridge’s unusually large number of endemic plant and insect species. The golf course on site, Mountain Lake Golf Club, recently earned Audubon International’s Environmental Planning Award for its work towards certification as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.