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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  • 03/19/2018 2:27 PM | Jessica Latus (Administrator)

    OKATIE, SOUTH CAROLINA –  On March 15, 2018, Audubon International recognized Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA), the Town of Hilton Head Island, and Oldfield Community Association as South Carolina’s first Audubon International Certified Sustainable Communities. Audubon International held a recognition ceremony to 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 a vital economy.

    To become certified, Sustainable Communities Program members must develop and implement management practices and policies according to a community-driven Long-Term Sustainability Plan that has timelines and measurable goals addressing 15 focal areas: agriculture; economic development and tourism; education; environment; governance; housing; open space and land use; planning, zoning, building and development; population; public safety and emergency management; recreation; resource use; transportation; and volunteerism and civic engagement.

    “We are excited to honor these communities for their commitment to creating a sustainable future,” said Christine Kane, Executive Director at Audubon International. “As the first communities in South Carolina to receive the Audubon International Sustainable Communities certification, Hilton Head Island, Seabrook Island, and Oldfield are demonstrating a strong commitment to the environment that will benefit us all for many years to come.”

    Seabrook Island Property Owners Association achieved certification in 2017, and is the first Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in South Carolina, and is 6th overall to receive this designation. “SIPOA residents have been tremendously supportive of the efforts to focus on preservation, conservation and sustainability within our community,” said Julie McCulloch, SIPOA President. “The hard work and many months of meetings and synthesis of materials and views has firmly established our relationship with Audubon International, culminating in this exceptional award.” 

    Also achieving certification as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community before the end of 2017 was the Town of Hilton Head Island. They are the first municipality in South Carolina, and the 7th overall to receive this designation. “Development on our Island was born in a climate of sustainability, and the Town of Hilton Head Island strives to continue our partnership with nature via public education, public-private partnerships, the use of green building techniques and a deep respect for our natural environment and the many natural services it provides our residents and visitors,” said Sally Krebs, Sustainable Practices Coordinator.

    Oldfield Community Association received designation as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in February of 2018. They are the fastest community to ever achieve certification, completing the work in only a year and a half, and are the 8th community overall to receive this designation. “Oldfield residents, management and staff joined in a common cause to mold the community in accordance with the precepts established by Audubon International,” noted Steve Massas, Oldfield Club board member. “Oldfield has doubled its emphasis on sound ecological and sustainable practices to ensure Oldfield remains a community attractive to future generations of environmentally conscious individuals. We look forward to a long term, mutually beneficial relationship with Audubon International.”

    These communities’ multi-stage, staff and volunteer led efforts will help to preserve their unique settings and enhance quality of life for all residents over the long run. Seabrook Island Property Owners Association, the Town of Hilton Head Island, and Oldfield Community Association join Eufaula, Alabama; Williamston, North Carolina; Coconut Creek, Florida; Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont; Rio Verde, Arizona; and The Landings on Skidaway Island, Georgia as Audubon International Certified Sustainable Communities.

    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 Audubon International at (518) 767-9051 or visit the website at www.auduboninternational.org.

    About Seabrook Island Property Owners Association 

    Seabrook Island, South Carolina is a 2,400-acre barrier island/maritime forest located approximately 23 miles SW of historic Charleston. Residents of this gated community enjoy miles of pristine, private beach on the Atlantic Ocean and North Edisto River. With 2,600 properties, the island is home to both full time and part time residents. Seabrook Island is also a popular guest/rental destination. Seabrook Island received designation as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in 2017. They are the first community in South Carolina, and the 6th overall to receive this designation.

    About the Town of Hilton Head Island 

    The Town of Hilton Head Island is a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina encompassing 54 square miles, including 13 miles of beaches and a permanent population of approximately 40,000. Since incorporating in 1983 the Town has been known for its “green culture” and sees sustainability as the next logical step in its evolution. Hilton Head Island achieved designation as an Audubon Certified Sustainable Community in 2017. They are the first municipality in South Carolina, and the 7th overall to receive this designation.

    About Oldfield 

    Oldfield overlooks a spectacular horseshoe bend in the Okatie River, deep in South Carolina's legendary lowcountry. This private community's 860 acres are replete with magnificent moss-draped specimen live oaks and dramatic marsh vistas for which this area is known. Homes in Oldfield reflect the best of lowcountry architecture nestled along a stunning Greg Norman Signature golf course that was built with respect for the land and the heritage that it brings. Oldfield achieved designation as an Audubon Certified Sustainable Community 2018. They are the fastest community to ever achieve certification, completing the work in only a year and a half, and are the 8th community overall to receive this designation.

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  • 02/26/2018 8:45 AM | Allie Eustis (Administrator)

    Audubon International’s Global Nature Competition Coming in April

    BioBlitz is a free event designed to showcase the environmental value of natural habitats on golf courses

    Audubon International’s 4th annual BioBlitz will run from April 21st through May 13th (Earth Day to World Migratory Bird Day).

    “Each year, BioBlitz brings hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers from communities around the world together to document the large diversity of species that call golf courses home,” said Christine Kane, Executive Director of Audubon International.  “Last year’s BioBlitz participants recorded almost 2,000 unique species of animals, plants, fungi, and insects on golf courses from North America to South Africa.”

    This year’s free event is sponsored by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and is open to any golf course worldwide. Participants such as golfers and their families, youth groups, community members, and local environmental experts gather to enjoy nature while counting plant and animal species located on each property. Many courses choose to host an event around Earth Day, which is what Park Ridge Golf Course, the 2017 winner of the Community Engagement Award for most participants, did last year. “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,” said Phil Henry, Golf Course Manager.

    Awards will be given for Most Species, Most Participants, and Best Photo. Following BioBlitz, Audubon International will compile the lists of plant and animal species recorded and report on the findings.

    To register for BioBlitz 2018 and receive your free toolkit, please visit https://auduboninternational.org/event-2813521.

     

    About Audubon International

    Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental organization 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. 

  • 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!

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