Blog

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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  • 02/14/2018 12:20 PM | Alison Ritchie (Administrator)

    Almost every golf course in the northeast looks like this right now.

    Even though Silo Ridge Golf Club, near Amenia, NY, looks this way on the outside, plants are pushing their heads up through the soil on the inside.

    Back in December, the staff began a series of trials at their green house with various species and mixes of wild flower seed. Over the month of January, the seeds began to germinate. They are currently testing different watering and fertilization methods in an attempt to maximize germination rates and speed up the time needed for the plants to bloom. The crew continues to monitor the plants and hopefully sometime in late February will see some early flowering of the plants.


    Silo Ridge is a member of the Audubon International Signature Program working toward certification as a Silver Signature Sanctuary.


  • 02/12/2018 1:55 PM | Jessica Latus (Administrator)

                        

              

    South Carolina Sustainable Communities Recognition Ceremony

    WHAT:  Ceremony recognizing Hilton Head Island, Oldfield and Seabrook Island as South Carolina’s first Audubon International Certified Sustainable Communities.

    Audubon International will honor each community’s commitment to creating a sustainable future by developing and implementing sustainable management practices around the three pillars of sustainability: healthy local environment, quality of life for citizens, and economic vitality.

    WHO:  Audubon International - Christine Kane, Executive Director 
    Oldfield Community Association - Jill Kombrink, Naturalist 
    Town of Hilton Head Island - Marcy Benson, Senior Grants Administrator  
    Seabrook Island Property Owners Association - Heather Paton, Executive Director

    WHEN:  March 15, 2018; 10:00 am – 11:30 am 

    WHERE:  Oldfield Community Association  
    10 Oldfield Way; 
    Okatie, South Carolina 29909

    HOW:  For interviews or additional information please contact Jessica Latus, 518-767-9051 ext. 124, jessica@auduboninternational.org.

    South Carolina Sustainable Communities Recognition Ceremony.ics

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  • 01/26/2018 11:20 AM | Allie Eustis (Administrator)


    Photo taken by Matt Ceplo, Audubon International Board Member and Monarchs in the Rough participant

    (TROY, NY) Audubon International is the newest partner of the Monarch Joint Venture, the largest collaborative established to arrest the decline of monarch butterflies. With a wide range of programs involving high-quality environmental education, such as the global Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, it is no surprise that Audubon International has made great ecological stewardship gains in communities, neighborhoods and with businesses over the last thirty years.

    “Managing properties for pollinators, like monarchs & other butterflies, is a great way to pull together best practices to protect water quality, diversify wildlife habitat, improve aesthetics of golf and more. While you can’t promote everything on the same acre, we certainly can provide for multiple ecological services needed by communities by providing resources critical to monarch conservation,” says Christine Kane, Audubon International’s Executive Director. 

    The organization’s programs strive to facilitate the sustainable management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. Audubon International achieves this by educating property managers, program administrators and others about best management practices. The Monarchs in the Rough program works to establish monarch habitat on golf courses across the country and beyond. Staff estimates that in the United States alone, there are 100,000 acres of available space to create this habitat. If these areas are improved to have 200 milkweed stems per acre, the program could offer 20 million milkweed stems toward the 1-1.5 billion goal!

    “Golf courses and other lands that dot the landscape have incredible potential to not only create additional monarch and pollinator habitat, but draw attention from the public eye to this important conservation issue,” says Wendy Caldwell, MJV Coordinator. “Audubon International is a welcomed partner in our endeavor to increase habitat for monarchs on all landscapes, including golf courses!”

    Audubon International offers a variety of certification programs alongside habitat restoration efforts. For more information about these programs, visit https://www.auduboninternational.org/programs.


  • 01/23/2018 8:44 AM | Allie Eustis (Administrator)

    Audubon International and Environmental Defense Fund team with golf courses to create habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators


    Photo taken by Matt Ceplo, Audubon International Board Member & Monarchs In The Rough participant

    (TROY, NY) Audubon International and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have partnered to launch Monarchs in the Rough, a program to assist golf courses in the United States, Canada and Mexico in creating monarch butterfly habitat in out-of-play areas. The program is offering the first 100 participants free and regionally appropriate milkweed seeds – enough to establish one acre of habitat.

    “Over the past 20 years, populations of the iconic monarch butterfly have declined by 90 percent. A key reason for this population decline is loss of habitat, especially of milkweed plants, which monarchs need to reproduce and for their caterpillars to eat,” said Marcus Gray, director of the Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf at Audubon International. “As large landowners, golf courses are uniquely positioned to help reverse habitat loss and save monarchs, providing a much-needed refuge while increasing the beauty and sustainability of their courses.”

    Monarchs in the Rough provides course superintendents and staff with the information and technical support they need to incorporate monarch habitat into the unique layout of each course.

    Golf courses occupy approximately 2.5 million acres in the United States. Audubon International estimates there are at least 100,000 acres that have the potential to become suitable habitat for butterflies, if managed appropriately. The program encourages golf courses to adopt other conservation practices in addition to planting milkweed, such as planting wildflowers as a source of nectar, changing mowing practices to support the timing of the monarch’s migration, and protecting sites from pesticide treatments.

    “If we are to succeed in recovering populations of this beloved species, we will need help from all sectors and all types of land uses,” said Daniel Kaiser, manager of California habitat markets at EDF. “It’s exciting to see the golf course community stepping up to do its part.”

    For more information about Monarchs in the Rough, including a resource guide, please visit: www.monarchsintherough.org.


  • 01/22/2018 9:02 AM | Alison Ritchie (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Cateechee Golf Club on the recent recertification as the only Certified Signature Sanctuary in the state of Georgia. Buck Workman, CGCS, superintendent since the course joined the Signature Program in 1997, welcomed a new owner in 2017, Charley and Kelli Schell of Pilot Realty Investment. Since then, the course has undergone renovations including converting putting greens from L93/Crenshaw Bent grass to Mini Verde ultra-dwarf Bermuda grass. This turf species is better adapted to the North Georgia climate and to the high sodium effluent irrigation water used at Cateechee.

    Read about this and the new undertaking at Cateechee where they calculated their Carbon Footprint and provided those results in a Case Study written by Buck’s son, J.B.


  • 01/03/2018 11:51 AM | Allie Eustis (Administrator)

    All individual Environmental Leaders in Golf award winners are superintendents at Audubon International member courses

    18 of 19 ELGA Chapter & Merit award winners also at Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Golf Courses 

    TROY, NY –  Audubon International is pleased to announce that superintendents at its Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary member courses won all of the individual awards at the 2017 GCSAA Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards. 


    Boundary Oak Golf Course, Walnut Creek CA

    Congratulations to top award winners:

    • Anthony Williams of the Four Seasons Golf & Sports Club, Irving TX: Overall and National Private Course Winner. TPC Four Seasons certified ACSP since 2012.
    • Jay Neunsinger of Boundary Oak Golf Course, Walnut Creek CA: National Public Course Winner. Certified ACSP since 2012.
    • Scott Main of Mauna Kea Resort Golf Course, Kohala Coast HI: National Resort Course Winner. ACSP member since 2016. 

    “We send our hearty congratulations to all of these Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program members on their awards. Audubon International is proud that our certification standards are playing such an important role in helping golf courses preserve biological diversity at a time when the rates of species extinction and habitat loss are at an unprecedented high,” said Executive Director Christine Kane. “Our members are contributing to a world-wide system of lands that are being managed for water conservation, wildlife habitat and natural resource preservation.”

    The Environmental Leaders in Golf awards recognize golf course superintendents and their courses for overall course management excellence and best management practices in the areas of water conservation, water quality management, energy conservation, pollution prevention, waste management, wildlife and habitat conservation, communication and outreach, and leadership. 


  • 11/30/2017 11:30 AM | Alison Ritchie (Administrator)

    Kohanaiki Golf Club, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, is the only Certified Audubon International Signature Sanctuary in Hawaii. Its stewards continue their work to improve habitat for the endangered Ae’o. See what progress they have made in 2017 in this article written by Nancy Richardson, Director of Signature and Classic Programs, and Joe Przygodzinski, Director of Agronomy at Kohanaiki. Click here to read more!

  • 10/02/2017 12:26 PM | Alison Ritchie (Administrator)

    Colbert Hills Golf Course is an Audubon International Certified Silver Signature Sanctuary, the only certified Signature Sanctuary in the state of Kansas. It was recently featured in Kansas Senator Jerry Moran's annual "Conservation Tour" and showcased for its commitment to sustainable management through Best Management Practices. Read about the visit here!

  • 09/05/2017 12:37 PM | Allie Eustis (Administrator)

    Hundreds of Volunteers Converge on Golf Courses for International Species-Counting Competition

    Golf courses around the world join third annual competition to document large diversity of species that call golf courses home


    Best Photograph Winner: The Bobcat, The Villages, FL (Photo credit: Tom Lamb)

    TROY, NY – Audubon International’s BioBlitz 2017 recorded almost 2,000 unique species of animals, plants, fungi, and insects living on golf courses around the world. Hundreds of enthusiastic community volunteers, ranging from school groups to birding clubs to professional naturalists, gathered at local events between March 20th and June 21st to discover and document the species inhabiting these important green spaces.

    Christine Kane, Executive Director at Audubon International, says, “It’s wonderful to see so many golf courses around the world embracing BioBlitz as a fun and exciting way to help people spend time outdoors and learn about their local environment.”

    Now in its third year, Audubon International’s BioBlitz creates an opportunity for school children, community members, golfers, and more to take a closer look at the habitats provided on golf courses. In addition to demonstrating the large diversity of species on golf courses, the competition also engages local interest and support of the green space and recreational opportunities they provide to their towns. Participants from North America to South Africa competed for three awards for most species counted, most participants, and best photo.

    “Our participants and staff love this event and hope it continues in the coming years,” said Yank Moore, Conservation Coordinator at Jekyll Island Club, GA, the winner of the Biodiversity Award for the greatest number of species counted. Volunteers at the course spotted, identified, and listed a total of 532 species.

    Park Ridge Golf Course, FL received the Community Engagement Award for having the most participants, with a total of 144 volunteers assisting with the species count and identification. When asked about the success of their event, Phil Henry, Golf Course Manager, responded, “We struck on a really good relationship between our yearly Earth Day golf tournament and BioBlitz which allowed us to involve staff, volunteers, and tournament participants in a fun day of golf, environmental outreach, and friendly competition.”

    The Villages in Florida, one of four new sites to participate this year, won the Best Photograph contest with a spectacular photo of a bobcat. "We are delighted that this honor comes to Tom Lamb, a resident of The Villages and member of the photo club. It is particularly gratifying that his photo in this international contest draws attention to the efforts we have made over the years to make this community an environmentally sensitive one that is a good place to live for wildlife as well as our human residents," said John Rohan, Director of Recreation for The Villages.

    Visit https://auduboninternational.org/BioBlitz2017 to see more photos from the competition and a full listing of first, second, and third place in each category.  

    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, thus leading to more sustainable communities. 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.

    For more information, contact us at 120 Defreest Drive, Troy, NY 12180, (518)767-9051, acsp@auduboninternational.org, or visit the website at www.auduboninternational.org.

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  • 08/11/2017 1:18 PM | Alison Ritchie (Administrator)

    This article deals with climate change and how the prevalence of more violent storms impacts nitrogen levels in waterways.

    Click here to learn how excess nitrogen runoff and global warming are contributing to a significant environmental challenge: algae blooms.


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