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Stewardship News A P U B L I C AT I O N O F A U D U B O N I N T E R N AT I O N A L

Volume 6, Issue 6 • November–December 2003

Loons, Acid Rain, Energy Use, and You B Y J E A N M A C K AY

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nder gorgeous blue skies and surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the country, Audubon International’s Fred Realbuto joined a team of wildlife biologists and researchers from the Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program to monitor and band loons on a number of lakes in New York’s Adirondack Park in July. By day, Fred previewed seven lakes to mark the presence and location of loons and their nests so that crews could return under the cover of darkness to capture, take samples, band, and release the birds. The purpose of this year’s mission was to test the feathers and blood of adult and young loons for the presence of mercury. Mercury is closely associated with acid rain, an unwanted byproduct of coal-fired power plants, which falls out in the

Adirondacks and elsewhere in the Northeast and New England. Because mercury accumulates in the body and is passed through the food chain, its impact on reproduction and the survival of young loons can be measured by monitoring loons over time. “When you catch a bird for the first time you have a snapshot of its mercury level, but when you recapture it in later years you begin to get a history of the bird’s condition,” explains Realbuto. “Since loons tend to nest in the same lake each year, you also track what’s happening in the lake.” Each of the lakes chosen for study has been known to be negatively impacted by increased mercury levels. The team was pleased to find adult loons with at least one chick and, in most cases, two, at every lake.

Our consumption of energy has a real impact on the health and survival of Common Loons.

Taking the next step After just three years of monitoring and data collection, it’s still too soon to make assumptions about what the results will reveal. The initial years of monitoring form a baseline from which to compare data collected in years to come. In the case of chicks sampled in 2003, comparative data won’t be available for years. Since young loons take four years to mature into breeding adults, this year’s chicks won’t even return to Adirondack lakes to breed until at least 2007. In the meantime, there’s plenty to do. “Loons are beautiful birds— the black and white patterns on their feathers are astounding—and their eerie call almost symbolizes our wilderness areas,” says Realbuto. “But we have to go from enjoying loons to seeing that our consumption of energy has a real impact on their health and survival. We’ve got to make connections between what we do and the quality of our environment—which ultimately requires our support for energy conservation and a sound energy policy.” It’s not very often that we think of loons or even our own health when we switch on a light, or check e-mail, or turn up the thermostat or air conditioning, or any of the other myriad Continued on page 5


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A U D U B O N

I N T E R N A T I O N A L

N E W S

Dear Members and Supporters, The environment is right here, right under your feet. It’s right inside your house and just outside your doorstep. It’s the gas in your car, the air you breathe, the water in your tap, the birds at your feeder. It’s the farmland down the road, and the vegetables in your supermarket. It’s the water that drains off your driveway into the nearest storm sewer or stream. It’s woods, wetlands, and fields—the ones we preserve, the ones we pave over, the ones we simply pass by. The “environment” is all around us, all the time—and what we do, or don’t do, has an impact on it, as well as on the quality of our lives: good, bad, or neutral. The quality of the air, water, and landscapes we rely upon is up to us—it’s up to all of us. What that means is that we can’t just sit back and think that state or federal environmental regulators or environmental organizations can be solely responsible for making sure that we have a healthy environment. For sure, they have a critical role to play, but their reach is limited. We can do more. That’s why Audubon International focuses on giving people the tools and information they need to be better stewards of the environment. Our programs for homeowners, schools, businesses, golf courses, development projects, and communities all have the same goal: Fostering more sustainable human and natural communities—One person, one place at a time. We can’t thank you enough for being one more person in one more place joining us in this worthy effort. Regards, J E A N M A C K AY

Director of Educational Services P.S. If you want to do even more, make a tax deductible contribution to the Audubon International “Earth Fund” and we’ll put your dollars to work in some pretty special places! For information, visit our website at www.audubonintl.org and click on “Earth Fund” or call (518) 767-9051, extension 10.

In this issue… 1 Loons

Research on Common Loons in New York’s Adirondack Park sheds new light on how energy consumption is impacting loons and other wildlife. 6 Fifty in Five

Members of our Golf Advisory Council and other ACSP supporters have been hard at work making Fifty in Five happen. 7 Conserve a Little, Save a Lot

No matter where you live and work, saving energy will help you contribute to a healthier environment. Get started with the latest tips and technologies. 7 Breaking New Ground

Florida’s highest rated green home is unveiled at WCI’s Evergrene Community, Audubon’s first residential Gold Signature Sustainable Development. 7 Green at School

From nest boxes to living laboratories for environmental education, exciting projects are underway at schools across the country. 8 The Nature of Golf

Find out how an exciting partnership is giving environmental golf a boost in Central and South America, and preview results of Audubon’s 2003 Golf Survey.

46 Rarick Road Selkirk, New York 12158 (518) 767-9051 www.audubonintl.org ADMINISTRATION

Ronald Dodson, President, rdodson@audubonintl.org Kevin Fletcher, Director of Programs and Administration, kfletcher@audubonintl.org Howard Jack, Vice President, hjack@audubonintl.org Mary Jack, Executive Assistant to the President, mjack@audubonintl.org Paula Realbuto, Executive Assistant for Operations, prealbuto@audubonintl.org AUDUBON COOPERATIVE SANCTUARY SYSTEM

Jennifer Batza, Membership Secretary, jbatza@audubonintl.org Peter Bronski, Staff Ecologist, pbronski@audubonintl.org Joellen Zeh, Staff Ecologist, jzeh@audubonintl.org AUDUBON SIGNATURE PROGRAM

Nancy Richardson, Signature Program Director, nrichardson@audubonintl.org Linda Snow, Administrative Assistant, Signature Program, lsnow@audubonintl.org AUDUBON SOCIETY OF NEW YORK STATE

Fred Realbuto, Director, frealbuto@audubonintl.org EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

Jean Mackay, Director of Educational Services, jmackay@audubonintl.org ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING DEPARTMENT

Natalie Archambault, Administrative Assistant; natarc@audubonintl.org Kraig Marquis, Sustainable Communities Coordinator, Florida, kmarquis@audubonintl.org Alicia Oller, Project Manager, aoller@audubonintl.org Miles (Bud) Smart, PhD, Director of Environmental Planning, bsmart@audubonintl.org Larry Woolbright, PhD, Director of Research, lwoolbright@audubonintl.org MIS DEPARTMENT

Eric Dodson, Director of MIS, edodson@audubonintl.org Alicia Karas, Database Manager, akaras@audubonintl.org


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Fifty in Five: Big. Bold. Why settle for anything less? BY KEVIN FLETCHER

Educational Seminars • In the past year, Audubon International staff has offered seminars to promote the ACSP to a variety of golf and environmental stakeholders from state and local agencies, university extension services, non-profit organizations, etc. These have included: Businesses for the Bay in MD; Casco Bay Estuary Project and the Maine Non-Point Source Training & Resource Center; Midwest Regional Turf Foundation; National IPM Symposium; NYCDEP and Cornell Cooperative Extension; New York State Turfgrass Association; PA Turfgrass Association, Philadelphia Water Department, Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District, and FX Browne in PA; and the Virginia Turfgrass Council. • Numerous GCSAA chapters have hosted full and half-day seminars to engage golf courses in the ACSP. Our thanks to Cactus and Pine GCSA in AZ, Carolinas GCSA,

Connecticut Association of Golf Course Superintendents, Florida GCSA, Louisiana and Mississippi Chapter of the GCSAA, Maine GCSA, MetGCSA and Long Island GCSA in New York, Mid-Atlantic Association of Golf Course Superintendents, and Western Washington GCSA.

• Griffin Industries, makers of Nature Safe, previously enrolled all of their facilities in the ACSP for Businesses as a way to inspire and lead others in the golf course industry to participate. • Holeview is working with us to provide yardage books at a discounted price to Audubon certified golf courses. These yardage books include environmental information so that golfers better understand the steps these courses have taken to improve their environmental performance.

Outreach Campaigns and Membership Drives • The Delaware Golf Association paid for the ACSP membership of all Delaware golf courses. We are working with the Delaware Department of Environmental Protection to host a seminar on Developing an Environmental Plan to help courses get certified. • The Florida GCSA has launched an impressive ACSP membership drive to achieve its own Fifty in Five goal of having 50% ACSP enrollment in the state. • Westchester County in New York registered all of its golf courses in the ACSP and hosted a presentation on the program for all golf course staff.

Golf Industry Collaboration • Audubon International is working with the Club Managers Association of America, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Club Association, National Golf Course Owners Association, and the United States Golf Association (USGA) to encourage golf courses to actively participate in the ACSP. Educational seminars and articles, targeted mailings, and participation in conferences and trade shows are on tap in the coming months. Since 1991, the USGA has provided generous financial sponsorship of the golf program.

In the Lead • Colorado leads the way in terms of active participation in the program—30% of its golf courses are enrolled, 20% have begun certification, and 10% have achieved designation as Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries. • 76% of the golf courses in the Everglades GCSA chapter in south Florida are enrolled. DARREN DAVIS

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n February 2003, Audubon International launched its Fifty in Five Initiative—an effort to get 50% of all golf courses in the U.S. enrolled and active in its programs by 2007. For sure, this is an ambitious goal, but it mirrors our desire to make a meaningful impact on ensuring that environmentally-sensitive management is a golf industry standard. Why settle for anything less? As part of this effort, Audubon International created a Golf Advisory Council—representing interests from across the golf industry in support of Fifty in Five. Council members are currently providing advice for improving our programs and getting more golf courses actively involved. Here are a few highlights of our progress to date:

Regular updates to the Fifty in Five initiative and details of the above activities can be found at http://www.audubonintl.org/projects/ 50in5/index.htm. If you have taken an active role in supporting Fifty in Five, please let us know. ●

Olde Florida Golf Club, FL


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G E T T I N G

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Conserve a Little, Save a Lot B Y J E A N M A C K AY

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nergy. No doubt about it—it’s key to our lives and livelihoods. When the lights went out across the Northeast on August 14, 2003, it didn’t take long to see just how quickly life-as-usual came to a screeching halt. In our office, it took about 30 seconds—no lights, computers, or telephones, no gas for that almostempty tank needed to get home. Is it any wonder that energy influences politics, policy, national security, the economy, the environment, and our wallets? And no matter where you live and work, saving energy—at your home, business, maintenance shop, or school—will help you contribute to a healthier environment and save you money. Saving energy directly translates into reductions in acid rain, air pollution, and carbon dioxide and other gasses that trap heat and result in climate disruption. Energy conser-

vation also reduces soil and water pollution caused by power production and the extraction, transportation, and use of fuel.

Where to begin To discover ways to save energy, first look at how and where you use it and how much it costs. Consider your use of gasoline, electricity, and heating fuel. By looking at your primary uses and greatest costs, you can figure out where best to invest to see the greatest return. Look for ways to save in these major areas: • Lighting • Building Insulation • Heating and Air Conditioning Systems • Appliances and Electronic Equipment • Vehicles

Lighting Lighting accounts for anywhere from 30% to 70% of the total residential electrical consumption. You can save energy quickly and easily using a variety of methods. • Energy-efficient fluorescent and compact fluorescent bulbs are widely available for most types of household, office, and industrial lighting fixtures. Compact fluorescent bulbs are four times more efficient and last up to 10,000 hours longer than standard bulbs. Think of it this way: if a standard light bulb lasted just 24 hours, a compact florescent would last more than two-and-a-half years. • Some utilities will help customers buy and install efficient lighting equipment. Check your billing statement for information about energy efficiency audits or programs or contact your utility’s customer service. • Other ways to save include using smaller, more efficient lights near work areas requiring illumination, rather than lighting an entire room, and installing controls, such as timers or sensors, for turning lights on and off as needed. Take advantage of daylight and sunlight for general illumination, too.

Building Insulation Though upgrading insulation is undoubtedly the most involved and costly of all energy saving measures, it is the most effective way to cut energy expenditures. Improved insulation also leads to greater comfort for family, staff, or customers. • Isolate unused spaces—spaces that aren’t often used may not require heating or cooling. Isolate these areas by closing heating and cooling vents or covering exterior windows. Even the simple steps you take to save energy directly translate into reductions in acid rain, air pollution, and carbon dioxide emissions.

• Heat always flows from a warmer environment to a cooler one—so when it’s cold out, heat leaks out.


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In hot climates, the same happens with cool, conditioned air. Caulk or weatherstrip leaks in walls, windows, doors, ceilings, and floors. Likewise, seal the space around air conditioners to prevent air flow. • Improve insulation in walls, attic, and crawl spaces. If your roof has not been insulated, use six to eight inches of insulating material to insulate the ceiling of the uppermost floor from above.

Heating and Air Conditioning Systems The age and maintenance of your heating and air conditioning system play a major role in household or workplace comfort, energy use, and expenses. Heating and cooling systems represent as much as 70% of home energy bills. • An easy first step is to replace dirty air filters regularly and keep up with yearly inspections and maintenance on your furnace and cooling system. Routine maintenance improves efficiency and can make a difference in your energy bills. • Typical duct systems can be a source of energy loss. Use duct tape to seal duct joints and elbows and insulate duct work in unconditioned spaces, such as attics, crawl spaces, and basements. • Install programmable thermostats to regulate system start-up and set-back schedules and realize as much as a 50% rate of return on energy dollars. • Adjust your hot water temperature and insulate your water heater and pipes to reduce heat loss.

Appliances and Electronic Equipment Large appliances, such as refrigerators and freezers, washers and dryers, and air conditioners, are the greatest energy users around the home. Use common sense when deciding when to use and whether you need such appliances, and follow these guideline for purchasing them. • Choose energy efficient models with EPA’s Energy Star label when purchasing appliances and electronic equipment.

• Calculate and compare the life-cycle energy costs of various appliance models when making a purchase, e.g., purchase price ($) + lifetime energy cost ($/year x # of years life expectancy) = life-cycle cost ($). A higher priced, energy efficient model may be more cost efficient in the long run. • Did you know that many electronic items, like home entertainment systems, computers, fax machines, and power tools, draw power even when not turned on? Plug electronic items into a power switch that you can turn off, rather then directly into wall outlets.

Vehicles America’s roadways are increasingly dominated by energy-inefficient SUVs, minivans, light trucks, and luxury cars. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s Green Book, an environmental guide to cars and trucks, “The average fuel economy of all new cars, passenger vans, SUVs, and pickups has declined over the past decade…[falling] to 20.4 MPG in 2001, the lowest level since 1980 and a drop of nearly 2 miles per gallon from the 1987–88 peak of 22.1 MPG.” • Improve your vehicle’s efficiency by keeping your tires inflated and keeping up with routine maintenance. Proper timing improves gas mileage. • Remove unnecessary weight from your car or truck, since the lighter the vehicle, the less gas it uses. • Look for ways to combine trips to reduce the amount of running around you do for everyday errands. • Car pool, bike, walk, or use mass transit when you can. • When buying a new car, look for one with good gas mileage; www.GreenerCars.com is a good resource for finding out about the best and worst vehicles on the market. Before buying an SUV, van, or pickup, compare the cost of operating such a large vehicle with the cost to rent such a vehicle as needed. ●

Loons Continued from page 1

things we do that require electricity. Nonetheless, the power plants that supply that electricity are churning it out day and night, and emitting pollutants at the same time. It’s all connected—the health of people, wildlife, and our environment are inextricably intertwined. Likewise, the steps you take to conserve energy help to reduce pollutants that harm air, water, and wildlife. What goes around, comes around, they say. In the end, we all benefit from active environmental stewardship. ● The Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program is a partnership of the Audubon Society of New York State (ASNY), Biodiversity Research Institute, The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, The Wildlife Conservation Society, and The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. ASNY volunteer Loon Rangers have been monitoring loon breeding on Adirondack lakes for the past sixteen years.

Did You Know? ➤ Common Loons breed on lakes and ponds throughout the northern parts of North America, from Alaska through Canada and south to the Great Lakes, northern New York, and New England. They spend the winter in coastal waters from Newfoundland to northern Mexico. ➤ Coal-fired power plants produce 55 percent of the electricity in the United States, but are responsible for 80-99 percent of the pollution from the electric power industry. This pollution causes acid rain, ozone-smog, global warming, and toxic mercury contamination of lakes and streams. ➤ Coal-fired power plants emit numerous toxic chemicals, such as mercury, dioxins, arsenic, radionuclides, cadmium, and lead, which are known to persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in the food chain.


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Breaking New Ground Highest Rated Green Home in Florida in Audubon’s First Residential Gold Signature Sustainable Development BY KAREN CHILDRESS

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his fall the WCI/Audubon International partnership crossed a new threshold in promoting sustainable development. On September 3, 2003, WCI unveiled the highest rated green demonstration home in Florida and introduced green building into the principles of sustainability in its Evergrene community in Palm Beach County. For this, the company was awarded the John James Audubon Environmental Stewardship Award, only the fourth time such recognition has been given by Audubon International.

options, Geni-G promotes the principles of sustainability through energy efficiency, conservation and reuse of resources, and indoor air quality. Geni-G was built with many materials made from sustainable sources. The bamboo floor that lends the ambiance of hardwood is actually not hardwood but rather a grass that is readily renewable. Unlike traditional hardwoods, a bamboo forest can reach maturity in as little as five years. Cork flooring used in the den is also renewable as only the cork bark is harvested by peeling it from the tree;

To address indoor air quality, the home’s air conditioning system includes an ultraviolet light that kills mold and mildew as air passes over the light. In addition, the system does not use ozone damaging Freon, but rather Puron which does not harm the environment. The paints and finishes inside the home dramatically reduce the unhealthy fumes that are commonly found in many housepaints, and the cabinets are made of solid wood, thereby eliminating any fumes from glue used in particle board cabinets.

Building green: worth the cost?

WCI Evergrene’s Geni-G is the highest rated green demonstration home in Florida. Audubon International recently awarded WCI the John James Audubon Environmental Steward Award for demonstrating green building practices in the design and construction of the Green Model Home and for motivating individuals to incorporate green building practices in their home ownership decisions.

Green building, a term for a collection of processes designed to reduce the environmental impact of land development and construction, is gaining popularity around the world. This 1,555-square-foot concept home is appropriately named Generation Green or Geni-G for short. With more than $75,000 in energy-saving

the tree itself remains to continue growing more cork bark. Also, the plush beige carpet in the home was made from recycled plastic bottles that are chipped and spun into soft filament, then dyed and woven into a finished product.

To achieve sustainability, social and economic aspects of development are also being addressed. Skeptics of green building techniques argue that such features are too expensive to incorporate into large scale home production. It is true that some green features are more expensive than traditional products right now, but it is also expected that the cost to the consumer will go down as demand for sustainability in America’s communities increases. In fact, according to a recent survey by the Florida Energy Extension Service, the University of Florida, and WCI, 41% of consumers expressed a willingness to pay 10% more for green products. Furthermore, the prospect of lower electric bills was enticing for a dramatic 87% who said they would pay more for green home features if they recovered their expenses within five years. To that end, Geni-G will serve as a research tool for the Department of Energy, which will monitor the home’s energy consumption. Geni-G is located in the first Audubon International Certified Gold Signature Sustainable Development in the country, built under the WCI/Audubon International partner-


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Geni-G will serve as a research tool for the Department of Energy, which will monitor the home’s energy consumption.

Bamboo flooring is just one of the home’s many unique features.

ship. In 2001, WCI agreed to build ten communities in Florida following the Audubon International Principles of Sustainability. Representing millions of dollars in research and development, this green model concept home is the product of collaboration between dozens of American companies and a brain trust of academics and industry experts. The level of innovation exhibited in the planning, design, and construction of Geni-G has drawn national media attention for Audubon International and WCI’s combined efforts to raise the bar of sustainability. In determining what is required to certify a home as “green,” the non-profit Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) has set a state standard to help homebuilders identify how to build a green home. The FGBC benchmark checklist provides a rating system. By scoring points in eight areas, a home can qualify as a green home when 200 points are achieved. The previous top score granted by the FGBC was 280 for a custom home in Sarasota; Evergrene’s Geni-G received 314 points.

Business not as usual Audubon International and WCI agree that collaboration is key to raising public awareness of the benefits of sustainable practices. In making this energy efficient green home a reality, the partnership worked with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Florida Solar Energy Council, the Florida Green Building Coalition, and Florida

Home buyers not only preview environmentally sensitive options in the model home, they also have a chance to learn more about them in this display area.

Power & Light’s energy savings program for homes, called BuildSmart. Saving the planet for future generations and being a good steward of the environment can only happen when industry leaders commit to change and begin to see the world around them in a different light. We are united in our understanding that Earth has limited resources to handle a growing population, and we are being proactive in our efforts to improve water quality, air quality, and energy efficiency. New milestones lie ahead as WCI broke ground in September for its second green demonstration home at Venetian Golf and River Club in Venice, Florida. Venetian is another WCI property registered in Audubon International’s Signature Sustainable Development Program.

“There is no shortage of pride or enthusiasm among WCI employees working on these sustainable communities,” says Terrey Dolan, Director of Environmental Services for WCI. “As we grow in our knowledge of sustainable development practices and continue to demonstrate WCI’s commitment, everyone is enjoying ‘walking the talk.’” ● Karen Childress is Manager of Environmental Stewardship for WCI Communities, Inc., a leading builder of master-planned communities in Florida.


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Community Pride Built Into Bluebird Nest Box Project at Chandler Elementary School BY JOELLEN ZEH

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efore fourth grade students from Chandler Elementary School in Chandler, IN, even left the town park, bluebirds were moving into the 10 nest boxes they had placed around its pond. Buoyed by their success, the students set their sights on expanding homes for native songbirds around the school and in their own neighborhoods. A big boost for making their plans a reality came from grant monies generously donated to the Audubon School Sanctuary Fund by the Michiana Golf Course Superintendents Association, which also sponsors the school’s membership in the ACSP. The $1,000 grant paid for lumber, paint, and tools to build 150 nest boxes. “This project not only benefited birds, it enabled us to involve students, parents, teachers, and community organizations in improving our school sanctuary and fostering community pride in our school and community,” says Chandler Elementary Science Teacher Maurice Bathon, who spearheaded the project. “Approximately 125 fourth graders have now placed a dozen bluebird houses at school and about 120 in the community.” In addition to the welcome financial support, other assistance helped the project run smoothly. Chandler Elementary’s principal and assistant principal and Warrick County School Corporation offered solid support; a local lumber store gave the school a good price on cedar and cut the lumber for a minimal cost; Bathon coordinated the project and donated his time to partially assemble the boxes; and parents volunteered to assist students with tools, assembly, and mounting on project day. We congratulate Mr. Bathon and his fourth graders for the success of this ambitious project. Their efforts have already made a real difference for birds and the school community, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Fourth graders at Chandler Elementary School have improved habitat for bluebirds and built community and school pride through their bluebird nest box project.

Curriculum Connections An important component of any conservation project is tying it to your curriculum. Here’s what Chandler Elementary students learned: Science: Students researched bluebird life history and conservation status. Continued follow-up will enable them to learn the value of monitoring and keeping data. Math: Marking and measuring the hole and assembling the boxes correctly put math skills into practice. Art: Students painted the nest boxes in art and received a grade for their efforts. Character Education: Giving to the

community and practicing good environmental stewardship is great character building for any age.

You can do it too! Whether you build 10 nest boxes or 100, you can duplicate the success of Chandler Elementary School’s Bluebird Project. Here’s how:

• Read The Nest Box Project fact sheet in the environmental activities packet you received from Audubon International. It’s also available online at www.audubonintl.org/esource/. Click on “Outreach and Education,” then “The Nest Box Project” for background information and instructions. • Designate a teacher or parent volunteer to coordinate. This project can be easily tailored to different grade levels by varying the research and scope involved. • Contact local businesses to gather lumber and other supplies. • Funding for your project may be available from your PTA or a local business sponsor. Because of the extensive connections we have made with golf courses throughout the country, we may be able to connect you with a local or state association willing to sponsor the project. Audubon School Sanctuary Funds also are available on a limited basis. Call (518) 767-9051 or e-mail us at jzeh@audubonintl.org if you have questions! We’ll be glad to help you get started. ●


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Innovative Partnership Between Golf Courses and High Schools Promotes Environmental Education in Washington BY PETER BRONSKI

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his past October, a pair of day-and-a-half long workshops brought together golf course superintendents and high school administrators, science teachers, and agriculture teachers from throughout the State of Washington. The workshops were part of The First Green of Washington, a relatively new program that partners golf course superintendents with local high school teachers to help one another learn how the golf course can be used as an outdoor laboratory to teach environmental education. The program was founded by the state’s golf and turfgrass associations, though the effort was largely spearheaded by Jeffrey Gullikson, CGCS, superintendent at ACSP-member Spokane Country Club. “It’s intimidating for a science

teacher to call a golf course, or for a golf course to know how they can use their property for educating high school students,” explains Gullikson. “What we’re doing is

“The ACSP provides a great stepping stone to talk about stewardship, habitat, and birds.” breaking down barriers and building friendships. Once you’ve formed these partnerships, the door is open to teach what you want to teach.” Originally conceived to partner golf course superintendents and high school agriculture teachers, the overwhelming success of the program has prompted its expansion to

science teachers as well. The recent October workshops, which involved twenty-six high schools from throughout Washington, were the first time science teachers, agriculture teachers, school administrators, and golf course superintendents came together under one roof to discuss environmental education, including an Audubon component. “The ACSP provides a great stepping stone to talk about stewardship, habitat, and birds,” says Gullikson. “What habitats can be found on a golf course? What’s the importance of water, native plants, soils, turf? These workshops are very much focused on environmental science—it’s exciting to teachers.” Audubon International donated twenty-six copies (one for each high school) of A Guide to Environmental Stewardship on the Golf Course, Second Edition for the event. The guides formed part of a materials resource kit that teachers took back to their classrooms. ●

Send us your e-mail!

Jeff Gullikson shows students a soil sample as part of an innovative environmental education program that partners golf course superintendents with high school teachers and students.

E-mail has become an increasingly valuable way to connect with our members, answer questions, send fact sheets or press releases, and receive certification information. We’ve also begun sending out periodic updates on conservation projects and program updates. Please send us your e-mail address so that we can keep in touch with you. If you’re not sure whether we have your address, please err on the side sending it again to acss@audubonintl.org.


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2003 Golf Survey Links Value to Environmental Efforts

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• The majority of respondents cited “improving and protecting the environment” and “addressing environmental problems” as the most important reasons for joining the ACSP. • Roughly twice as many certified member respondents, versus those respondents with no certifications, said they believed they had reduced costs as a result of the ACSP. • Approximately 85% of respondents do not actively track financial costs or

BRECKENRIDGE GOLF CLUB, CO

arlier this year, Audubon International surveyed all ACSP for Golf Course members to find out how aware various stakeholders—golfers, owners, community groups, local governments—are of the program, and to get a better sense of the business value of participating. To date, we’ve received over 170 responses and, while data are still being collected and analyzed, a number of initial results are worth noting:

By responding to Audubon International’s surveys and documenting environmental efforts to achieve ACSP certification, golf courses are helping Audubon International to track and promote the many benefits of good environmental management.

Congratulations! Hinckley Hills Golf Course in Hinckley, OH, was the winner of our drawing for a complimentary one year membership in the ACSP for returning our 2003 Golf Survey by August 1st. “Winning a year’s membership is fantastic, and definitely a surprise to all of us,” said Jean Esposito, superintendent. “We truly appreciate the value of the Audubon Sanctuary Program and are pleased to be a part of it.” benefits of participating in the ACSP. • Members believe that golfers, local communities, and government officials are not well-informed about their participation in the ACSP for Golf Courses. Clearly, greater strides are needed to increase awareness about the value of the ACSP, including environmental, financial, and public relations benefits. Audubon International and its Golf Advisory Council are taking a close look at this issue and developing strategies to address it. We will publish a complete report on this survey when additional responses have been analyzed. If you have not yet completed your survey, it’s not too late to send it in. Though we sent the survey to all ACSP golf members, we have had reports that some people did not receive it. Should you need another copy, please contact Membership Secretary Jennifer Batza, at (518) 767-9051, extension 10, or by e-mail at acss@audubonintl.org. Many thanks to all of you who have already taken the time to respond! ●

Audubon International and TGM Partner to Promote Environmental Golf…en Español

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udubon International recently formed an informal partnership with TGM, a Spanishlanguage turfgrass and landscape management magazine that brings technical information to superintendents, agronomists, landscapers, and other professionals throughout Central and South America. TGM was formed in 1992, with its editorial office in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and also offers TGM Online–English & Spanish, a bilingual technical website and

e-mail newsletter about golf course maintenance. Through the partnership, Audubon International-authored articles about environmentally-sensitive turfgrass management and the ACSP for Golf Courses will be translated into Spanish and distributed throughout Latin America via TGM and TGM Online. The first article, “The Nature of Turf,” appeared in TGM No. 46 at the end of September, and additional articles will continue to appear in each

issue. This comes just months before Audubon International prepares to release the Spanish translation of its Guide to Environmental Stewardship on the Golf Course, Second Edition. TGM also has formal publication agreements with the USGA, GCSAA, Sports Turf Managers Association, and several other organizations throughout North America and Western Europe. Visit http://www.tgm.com.ar for more information about TGM and TGM Online–English & Spanish. ●


M E M B E R S H I P

N E W S

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AUDUBON COOPERATIVE SANCTUARY PROGRAM NEW MEMBERS

South Carolina

Golf Program

Country Club of Charleston, Charleston Reserve at Lake Keowee Club, Sunset Sun City Hilton Head, Bluffton

California

Champions Golf Links, Sacramento Cherry Island Golf Course, Elverta IGM–Date Palm, Cathedral City

Virginia

Birdwood Golf Course at UVA, Charlottesville

Florida

International

Abacoa Golf Club, Jupiter Grey Oaks Country Club, Naples Maple Leaf Golf and Country Club, Port Charlotte Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Grande Lake, Orlando Shadow Wood Preserve, Ft. Myers

Bonnie Doon Golf Club, Pagewood, Australia Cromer Golf Club, Sydney, Australia Grand Golf Club Ltd, Gilston, Australia Pennant Hills Golf Club, Sydney, Australia

Illinois

Billy Caldwell Golf Course, Chicago Burnham Woods Golf Course, Burnham EdgeBrook Golf Course, Chicago Highland Woods Golf Course, Hoffman Estates Indian Boundary Golf Course, Chicago Joe Louis “The Champ” Golf Course, Riverdale Meadowlark Golf Course, Hinsdale River Oaks Golf Course, Calumet City Indiana

Liberty Country Club, Liberty Michigan

Lakeside Links Golf Club, Ludington New Mexico

Angel Fire Resort Golf Course, Angel Fire New York

IGM at Rolling Oaks, Rocky Point Kingswood Golf Club, Hudson Falls Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course, Woodburg North Carolina

Broadmoor Golf Links, Fletcher

School Program North Carolina

Heritage Elementary, Wake Forest RECENTLY CERTIFIED AUDUBON COOPERATIVE SANCTUARIES

Beaver Creek Golf Club, Avon, CO Country Club of North Carolina, Pinehurst, NC Eagle Ranch Golf Course, Eagle, CO Hawk’s Nest Golf Club, Vero Beach, FL Idlewild Country Club, Flossmoor, IL Kuhlman’s Property, Kingwood, TX Lawrence Links Golf Course, Antelope, CA Mt. Prospect Golf Club, Mt. Prospect, IL Riverside Golf Course, Fresno, CA Sanctuary Golf Club, Sanibel Island, FL White Hawk Golf Club, Bixby, OK RECERTIFIED AUDUBON COOPERATIVE SANCTUARIES

Apple Creek Country Club, Bismarck, ND, certified since 1994 Blackberry Patch Golf Club, Coldwater, MI, certified since 2000 Carmel Country Club, Charlotte, NC, certified since 1996

Great Results! The Club at Carlton Woods, in The Woodlands, Texas, converted a five-acre waste bunker into a healthy, thriving wetland. Native plant species, such as river birch, bull rush, and pickerel weed were planted to create beautiful wildlife habitat. Within two weeks of completing the conversion, Wood Ducks and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were seen nesting in the wetland, and today many more species, including Great Blue Heron, deer, and muskrat call the wetland home. Under the direction of superintendent Eric Bauer, the club is actively working toward certification in the ACSP.

Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club, Clearwater, FL, certified since 2001 Farm Golf Club, Rocky Face, GA, certified since 1998 Fox Hollow at Lakewood, Lakewood, CO, certified since 2000 Heron Lakes Golf Course, Portland, OR, certified since 1996 IGM–Links at Brigantine Beach, Brigantine, NJ, certified since 1999 Lords Valley Country Club, Hawley, PA, certified since 1996 Old Marsh Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, certified since 1998 Old North State Club at Uwharrie Pt, New London, NC, certified since 2000 TPC at The Canyons, Las Vegas, NV, certified since 1998 Westchester Country Club, Rye, NY, certified since 1996

AUDUBON SIGNATURE PROGRAM New Signature Members Jackson Valley National Golf Course, Freehold, NJ Rarity Pointe, Lenoir City, TN Yoho Head Golf Course, Machiasport, ME Recently Certified Signature Sanctuaries Ballantrae Golf Club, Ballantrae, Ontario, Canada, First Certified Audubon Signature Sanctuary in Canada WCI–Evergrene, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, First residential project certified as Gold Signature Sustainable Development WCI–Sun City Center Ft. Myers, Ft. Myers, FL, Certified as a Gold Signature Sustainable Development Recertified Signature Sanctuaries Bonita Bay Club East, Naples, FL, certified since 1998 The Club at TwinEagles, Naples, FL, certified since 2002 Cypress Ridge Golf Course, Arroyo Grande, CA, certified since 1999 Granite Bay Golf Club, Granite Bay, certified since 1998 Longaberger Golf Club, Newark, OH, certified since 2001 Oak Grove Golf Course, Harvard, IL, certified since 2001 ThunderHawk Golf Club, Beach Park, IL, certified since 2001 The Villages of Marion—first 36 holes— (Nancy Lopez Country Club [Ashley Meadows & Erinn Glen], Briarwood Executive Nine / Walnut Grove Executive Nine), The Villages, FL, certified since 2002 West Bay Golf Club, Estero, FL, certified since 2000


R E S O U R C E S

Stewardship News

Check It Out

Audubon International publishes Stewardship News six times a year. Inquiries, contributions, or letters to the editor should be addressed to:

This U.S. Department of Energy website offers information on transportation, building a new school, retrofitting an existing building, resources and information for teaching about energy, energy efficiency, and renewable energy, and includes a special section for kids.

www.airhead.org

This lighthearted, but serious website focuses on air pollution as a direct result of energy usage. An emissions calculator helps you to estimate your monthly emissions and offers suggestions for reducing the amount of energy you consume. www.dsireusa.org

The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) provides information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy.

www.energystar.gov

Energy Star is a government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through energy efficiency. This website offers information on making your existing home or business more energy efficient, building for efficiency, and how to find energy efficient products.

Or sent via e-mail to: jmackay@audubonintl.org Layout and Design: 2k Design,

Clifton Park, NY Printing: Benchemark Printing,

Schenectady, NY Audubon International is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and the environment through education, conservation assistance, and research. Programs seek to engage people in environmental stewardship and sustainable resource management and development where they live, work, and play. Funding is provided by memberships, donations, and program sponsorship. The ACSS Golf Program is sponsored by The United States Golf Association. The newsletter is printed on recycled paper.

Helping people help the environment

Find out more about the natural history of the Common Loon (Gavia immer) and the effects of contaminants and human interactions on the loon population in the Adirondack Park at the Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program website.

Jean Mackay, Editor Audubon International 46 Rarick Road Selkirk, NY 12158

Audubon International 46 Rarick Road Selkirk, New York 12158

www.energysmartschools.gov

Phone: (518) 767-9051 Web Page: http://www.audubonintl.org e-mail: acss@audubonintl.org

www.adkscience.org/loons/

Help us to keep up to date!

These websites offer more to explore on the topics of saving energy and protecting loons.

If you have a change of address or contact person, please let us know. Call (518) 767-9051, ext. 12 or E-mail jbatza@audubonintl.org

12

Profile for Audubon International

Stewardship News | Volume 6, Issue 6 | Late Fall 2003  

Stewardship News | Volume 6, Issue 6 | Late Fall 2003  

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