Stewardship News A Publication of Audubon International
Volume 13, Issue 1 • Winter 2010
Adding Culture to Golf at St. Eugene J o s h u a C o n w ay a n d G r a e m e D o u g l a s
hat sets many golf courses apart is frequently determined by playability and atmosphere. Whether it is impeccably manicured greens and fairways, or an inviting 19th hole, the unique ascpects of each course contribute to its popularity. The St. Eugene Golf Resort Casino in Cranbrook, B.C., is no exception. “We want to be more than a golf resort,” says Dallas Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer. “We want to be able to educate people on the Ktunaxa and aboriginal people as a whole. We see it as something unique we can offer as part of that whole experience
The Ktunaxa also known as Kootenai, Kutenai or Kootenay, are an indigenous people of North America. Consisting of seven communities, the Ktunaxa Nation spans from Idaho and Montana to southeastern British Columbia. The goals of the Ktunaxa Nation Council include preservation and promotion of Ktunaxa traditional knowledge, language and culture, community and social development and wellness, land and resource development, economic investment, and self-government.
you are just not going to find anywhere else.” Through a coordinated effort by staff and Ktunaxa elders, golfers at the St. Eugene Golf Resort Casino can now learn a few words in Ktunaxa as they play a round of golf. The tee box markers throughout the golf course are being renamed in the Ktunaxa language—with phonetic spelling and translation. In keeping with the Ktunaxa culture, the nature of the course and the overarching environmental ethos of the resort, the hole names reflect far more than distance and shape. In fact, Ktunaxa names show an intimate knowledge of the environment that developed over 10,000 years of aboriginal history and 11 years of first-hand experience with the course. For Graeme Douglas, CGSA, Manager, Golf and Hotel Facilities, the path to creating the markers started with the inspiring phrase, “The Ktunaxa
“We have a lot of wildlife out here. Sometimes you’ll see an eagle chasing an osprey for its fish. We have Kingfishers that actually fish in Joseph Creek, deer that give birth here and a badger’s den,” says Mr. Douglas. “But it’s more than just looking at the wildlife—some holes were named for their natural character like ‘Rising Spirit’.” continued on page 7
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, At a recent meeting of Audubon International’s Board of Directors an interesting question was raised by one of our newest members: With the recent struggles in our economy, how is it that Audubon International is involved in so many things, so effectively, with so little staff and budget? It is true that compared to many national or international environmental nonprofit groups, we are fairly small. With a meager operating budget and a small staff, I am constantly amazed what we accomplish considering the work we do around the world. Yet, we do it somehow and our results are real and substantial. I think the reason depends on a number of factors: a solid staff, a well-thought action plan, agility, good leadership, an excited set of volunteer “cheerleaders” and supporters around the world, and most importantly, a stabile and loyal group of program members. In the end, we don’t measure success by the size of our parking lot. Rather, success is measured based on the impact we help to make, one person, one place, and one community at a time. Best,
Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D. Executive Director
You can reach our staff via e-mail by typing the person’s first initial, full last name @ auduboninternational.org. Administration
Ronald Dodson, President Kevin Fletcher, PhD, Executive Director Mary Jack, Executive Assistant to the President Paula Realbuto, Executive Assistant for Operations Jessica DesLauriers, Development Manager Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs
Jennifer Batza, Membership Coordinator Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist Joellen Lampman, Program Manager
In this issue…
Audubon Signature Program
1 Adding Culture to Golf at St. Eugene: Through a coordinated
effort by staff and Ktunaxa elders, golfers at the St. Eugene Golf Resort Casino can now learn a few words in Ktunaxa as they play a round of golf. 4 Sustainability Planning in Action:
As the first municipality to receive the Audubon International Sustainable Community Certification in the State of North Carolina, Williamston has demonstrated a strong commitment to the ideals of sustainability.
From left to right, Graeme Douglas, Manager, Golf/Hotel Facilities, Dorothy Alpine of the Ktunaxa Nation, and Richard Bellerose of the Golf Course Turfgrass Department.
46 Rarick Road Selkirk, New York 12158 (518) 767-9051 www.auduboninternational.org
8 Sustainable Multi-Family Living:
Circle at Concord Mills demonstrates that eco-sensitive living is not limited to homeowners. Those wishing to lease for the short-term can also enjoy a healthy or green lifestyle.
9 Tear-Out Fact Sheet: Save the
Bluebirds, But Don’t Forget the Nuthatches!
Nancy Richardson, Director Linda Snow, Administrative Assistant Education Department
Joshua Conway, Manager of Education and Communications New York Operations
Fred Realbuto, Director Sustainable Communities Program
Suzanne Zakowski, Manager
Green Leaf Environmental
1280 Old Innes Road, Suite 801 Ottawa, ON K2B5W7 (613) 244-1900 Kevin Gallagher, President email@example.com
A u d u b o n
I n t e r n a t i o n a l
N e w s
Want to Meet When We’re In Your Neighborhood?
nterested in having an Audubon International staff person speak at your local community group, Chamber of Commerce, club, or other venue? We may be in your neighborhood soon. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a talk or meeting. Some of the places we’ll be in the coming months include the following: • 57th PGA Merchandise Show, Orlando, FL, January 27-29, 2010. “The Greening of Golf” presented by Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D., Executive Director. • Philadelphia Water Department Green Infrastructure Training, Philadelphia, PA, January 28, 2010. “The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program” presented by Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist.
• Sustainable Landscaping and Onsite Systems Seminar, Albany, NY, January 29, 2010. “Principles of Sustainable Landscaping” presented by Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist. • New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Seattle, WA, February 4-6, 2010. “Small Town Sustainability” presented by Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D., Executive Director. Conference sponsor at booth #20. • Golf Industry Show, San Diego, CA, February 9-13, 2010. Nancy Richardson, Audubon Signature Program Director, will be available to answer questions about changes to the Audubon International Signature Program. Booth #2951. • New York State Associations of Towns, New York, NY, February 14-17, 2010. Conference sponsor at booth #5.
Audubon International Takes Initiative In 2008, Audubon International launched a new strategy to affect change in four specific areas. Each of these Initiatives will provide a focus for our work in the years to come.
Community Engagement, Planning, and Action The summary report from the latest Sustainable Communities Summit, a focus on New York’s GeneseeFinger Lakes Region, is now available to download. www.SustainableCommunityInitiative.com
Environmental Stewardship and Management The new website is live—providing news, resources, and information for homeowners, hoteliers, business owners, municipal park managers, and anyone interested in being a better environmental stewards. www.EcoManagementInitiative.com
Eco-Design and Development New report, Lessons for Eco-Design and Development: Fifteen Years of the Audubon International Signature Program, available for free download. www. EcoDevelopmentInitiative.com
Golf and the Environment See what some of the larger golf course owners and management companies are doing to protect the environment through Audubon International. How do they compare? www.GolfandEnvironment.org
• New Jersey State Recreation and Parks Annual Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, March 2, 2010. “Environmental Management Systems for Parks and Recreation,” presented by Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist. • New York State Recreation and Park Society Conference, Saratoga, NY, March 21-24, 2010. “Greening Your Maintenance Facility” and “Environmental Management Systems for Parks and Recreation,” presented by Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist. • American Planning Association Conference, New Orleans, LA, April 11-13, 2010. Exhibitor and “Using Sustainability Indicators for Small Town Sustainability” presented by Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D., Executive Director, and Suzi Zakowski, Sustainable Communities Program Manager. Booth #407.
Audubon Signature Program Opened Up to Consultants
tarting in 2010, any consultant interested in providing technical services to Audubon Signature and Classic Program members may do so with prior approval from Audubon International. After fifteen years of providing members with certain required technical services exclusively through Audubon Environmental,” states Nancy Richardson, Program Director, “we are now welcoming a wider set of consultants to get involved.” Consulting teams will be permitted to enroll or work with land development projects in the Audubon Signature or Classic Programs, with final designation of Gold, Silver, or Bronze subject to achieving certain performance criteria. Anyone interested in learning more about the changes to the Signature Program, should contact Nancy Richardson, Director of the Audubon International Signature and Classic Programs at email@example.com.
A u d u b o n
I n t e r n a t i o n a l
N e w s
ver the last two decades, Audubon International has made great strides in our effort to help golf courses enhance their valuable natural resources and wildlife habitat areas, improve efficiency, and minimize the potentially harmful environmental impacts of operations. Critical to our success along the way has been support from our members, industry partners, and Initiative Sponsors. Our Golf and Environment Initiative Sponsors recognize the positive impact our programs have on the nature of the game of golf. Many of them offer products and services they feel can assist our members in achieving their environmental management goals on the golf course. All choose to support our efforts and the important work of our members by contributing annually to the Golf and Environment Initiative. Aquatrols: One of the charter contrib-
utors to the Golf and Environment Initiative, Aquatrols is a family owned, specialty chemical company that has been supporting our organization for years. Aquatrols has a strong record of environmental stewardship. In addition to their financial support of Audubon International programs, Aquatrols participates in conferences and seminars worldwide addressing water repellency and eco-friendly water management strategies and funds research that seeks to further more efficient natural resource use, particularly water, and promote environmentally sound management of golf course turf. Aquatrols has chosen to “walk the walk” when it comes to environmental stewardship by enrolling in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for businesses with the purpose of operating their business and managing their property in a manner that is consistent with their company goals, values, and objectives regarding more efficient use of natural resources. The Toro Company: One of the newest
additions to our growing group of Golf and Environment Initiative Sponsors,
The Toro Company has been providing professionals and homeowners with equipment to care for their properties since 1914. The Toro Company’s commitment to improving the environment and quality of life through financial contributions and support of biodiesel in its product lineup is clear. The Toro Giving Program administers scholarships and grants, donates products, and organizes employee volunteerism with the goal of enhancing the health and well being of the environment through outreach and involvement. Agrium Advanced Technologies:
A ‘Sustainer’ Level Golf and Environmental Initiative Sponsor, Agrium Advanced Technologies (ATT) is a leading manufacturer and marketer of slow- and controlled-release nutrients and pest control products for agricultural, and professional turf and lawn care markets. In addition to their earth-friendly products, AAT is committed to supporting environmentally responsible organizations such as Audubon International. AAT also supports the Environmental Institute for Golf’s e-Learning grant and is a proud sponsor of both Project EverGreen and Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment® (RISE). We are proud of all of our sponsors and hope that you take some time to learn more about them. For a complete listing of all Audubon International Initiative Sponsors, please visit www.AudubonInternational.org/ initiativesponsorship.html. To learn more about these, and our other Golf and Initiative Sponsors, please visit www.GolfandEnvironment.com. To become an Initiative Sponsor, please contact our Development Office at 518-767-9051, ext. 120, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
C o m m u n i t y
E n gag e m e n t ,
Sustainability Pla Williamston, Nor
Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D. and Suzann
ecoming a more sustainable community isn’t easy. It would seem that the benefits far outweigh the effort, for sure, but it takes determination and persistence to make real and lasting changes. A community faces an even greater challenge, however, when economic forces threaten to undermine its progress. An unstable or distressed local economy can turn the path to sustainability into a case of “one step backward for every two steps forward.” Consider, for instance, Williamston, North Carolina—a rural community in eastern North Carolina where the median salary is 22% below the national average; where the unemployment rate is 67% above the national average; and where one in five people live at or below the poverty level. Williamston, a town of about 6,000 residents, is a place where economic forces could theoretically prevent sustainability from ever getting off the ground. Yet, it has made great strides towards becoming a more sustainable community. What Williamston needed at the start was a strategy that would engage its residents and still meet three important criteria. The strategy had to be: 1) inexpensive, 2) easy to implement, and 3) responsive to residents’ needs and concerns. The town also wanted the chosen strategy to raise awareness about sustainability and local environmental issues and motivate residents to participate in helping to address those issues. Members of the Williamston Chamber of Commerce contacted Audubon International about its Sustainable Communities Program, and, over three years, with the help of a sustainability coordinator, the town has worked to include its residents in identifying sustainability indicators and developing a strategic plan that responds to the environmental, social, and economic issues of their town. “The program has made us realize that we, the citizens of Williamston, are responsible for our future,” says Dr. Tom Ward, Williamston’s sustainability coordinator.
P l a n n i n g ,
a n d
A c t i o n
anning in Action: rth Carolina
Williamston’s accomplishments in connection with the town’s sustainable community efforts to date include:
n e Zak o w s k i
“As our small town seeks to compete in today’s global economy, we’ve increased our focus on the pillars of sustainability: our environment, our economy, and our people. We’ve realized that two of our significant strengths are our caring community and our undisturbed natural resources. As a result, we want to take care of our land, water, wildlife, and air as never before, because they will define our future.” Williamston has made tremendous strides in raising public awareness about sustainability and in demonstrating on-theground results that will have a real and positive effect on the community and its residents. To members of the Steering Committee assembled to initiate this process—a cross-section of members of the community and local government leaders—the effort has been to create a community-wide acceptance of these sustainability goals through active and public projects, while driving a communityled planning efforts as well. In the Sustainable Communities Program, the Town completed a plan under fifteen focus areas called Williamston 2020. The plan outlined goals for the region, partners, resources, and timelines. To achieve certification, the number of short term projects that were completed must be greater than those not yet completed. While working to document the progress, Dr. Ward found that each of the one hundred and twenty seven goals, ranging from short term to long term, had a partner with unique resources. It was not the sole responsibility of the municipal government to work towards progress; citizens, through individual actions, and local organizations were completing the tasks. Yet, action on specific “sustainability indicators” for the community has helped to make the planning process real to citizens of the Town.
Roanoke River Preservation
Health and Quality of Life
The Town has completed several projects along the Roanoke River that both attract visitors and preserve the natural elements. In partnership with several organizations and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Town has allotted twenty-five thousand acres to remain forever wild.
Several new trails have linked the Town to recreational opportunities, including new Rail Trails, bike paths, and River Boardwalks. All of these linkages are mapped and available to the general public. Also, North Carolina State University students have developed a trail system that links all trails through residential areas.
Environmental Education in Local Schools
Water Quality and Stormwater
The school system has introduced a mandatory new class into the high school curriculum called Earth and the Environment, and students have constructed and continue to maintain a water quality project on campus including cisterns, rain gardens, eco-swales, permeable pavement, and riparian buffers. The project further calls attention to the diminishing fresh water supply in the Town, and educates students about the importance of sustainable water management practices.
To address the large amount of runoff from parking lots and roads, the Town has constructed numerous eco-swales and bio-retention ponds. All new developments must use permeable pavement, as adopted into the Town Code. The Town has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect wetlands and natural areas surrounding the Roanoke River and has held several educational seminars for residents.
C o m m u n i t y
E n gag e m e n t ,
P l a n n i n g ,
a n d
A c t i o n
Williamstonâ€™s accomplishments (continued):
Arts and Culture
The Town has an active Historical Society which holds outreach events, develops educational materials and publications, documents the heritage, and preserves properties. To date, including the downtown (which is a walkable, mixed use area) sixty-six pieces of property have been acquired and preserved. Several area organizations participate in festivals that attract tourists and revenue, highlighting the history of the region.
Williamston is located in rural Martin County, with a lot of the land dedicated to agriculture. The Cooperative Extension has helped with outreach and education so that seventy-five percent of the farms use strip-till or no-till farming methods. A farmersâ€™ market venue has been constructed so area farms can sell excess produce.
As the Martin County seat of government, the Townâ€™s arts and cultural organizations are active county-wide. Several non-profit cultural organizations hold events monthly in rehabilitated downtown buildings owned by the Arts Council and Historical Society with help from donations and grants. The regular events are features by local artisans, including gallery work, local photography, quilt circles, plays, and music.
The Town has implemented codes to reduce sprawl and encourage the use of existing structures. The Arts Council and Technology Center, Economic Incubator, and the Roanoke Landing and Technology Center have occupied existing buildings, and the Downtown Facade Grants Program encourages the use of downtown buildings. A down-payment assistance program encourages the purchase of existing homes
In partnership with several agencies and organizations, the Town has purchased a majority of the land adjacent to the Roanoke River. Several birding paths linked to the North Carolina Birding Trails, educational signage that highlights the historical significance, camping platforms, boat launches, and recreational opportunities along the newly constructed boardwalk are just a few of the completed projects that draw in residents and visitors.
The Town has implemented sustainable practices and policies into the framework for government. In addition to zoning codes, the Town has revised the permitting process for new development to include sustainable practices, prioritizes beautification projects, provides incentives to homeowner and business practices, encourages waste reduction and recycling, and emphasizes preservation.
G o l f
a n d
t h e
E n v i r o n m e n t
Adding Culture to Golf at St. Eugene Continued from page 1
Several local businesses are educating residents and visitors about sustainable practices. Morningstar Nature Preserve is a privately owned preserve with trails and educational displays teaching the history and science of nature. Big Mill Bed and Breakfast is located on an old preserved tobacco farm that is zero waste and seventy-five percent selfsufficient, with on-site gardens for food. Economic Development
A large percentage of equestrian tourists has led to the construction of an Equestrian Center, and several area businesses have adjusted hours to accommodate the tourism. As the first Municipality to receive the Audubon International Sustainable Community Certification in the State of North Carolina, The Town of Williamston has demonstrated a strong commitment to the ideals of sustainability—economic vitality, environmental protection, and social responsibility. With the surrounding natural landscape of Eastern North Carolina and a rich heritage, Williamston has much to celebrate. It is a unique place filled with residents, businesses, and community organizations that care deeply about the place they call home. Yet, it is this set of visible actions and accomplishments that has helped to drive the whole planning process from within the local government and with involvement from the community. Williamston achieved certification as an Audubon International Sustainable Community in October 2009. For more information about Audubon International or the Sustainable Communities Program, please visit www.AudubonInternational.org. l
language has no word for extinct. Let’s keep it that way.” Since the course’s inception, he explains, the resort has always worked to diligently preserve the environment by leaving wildlife corridors, buffer zones, and paths to water, and taking other measures to reduce its impact on the area. But renaming the holes wasn’t as easy as coming up with a fitting name. The Ktunaxa written language, like many aboriginal written languages across this country, is a new and evolving initiative. In fact, until 1979 the Ktunaxa language had no written lexicon. “If you look at the history of our people or the condition of our language today—I could be the last of the fluent speakers,” says Dorothy Alpine. “If we don’t do what we can to preserve what we know and hopefully pass it on to the younger generation, this language is going to be extinct. I get a special kind of good feeling when I hear people trying to speak it. On the course, with the phonetic spellings, people who don’t understand can at least try and say the words. We are in Ktunaxa country and I want people to know that.” Along with renaming the holes on the golf course, St. Eugene also hosts an Aboriginal Day to celebrate the
On June 21, 2009 St. Eugene Resort Casino celebrated the Canadian Aboriginal Day. For this event, community members were invited to St. Eugene to learn more about the Ktunaxa culture through story-telling, dance presentations, basket weaving demonstrations, and the raising of a tipi.
history and culture of the Ktunaxa. The St. Eugene Resort Casino is owned in equal partnership by the Ktunaxa Nation, the Samson Cree Nation, and the Chippewa’s of Rama First Nation. Home to an 18-hole championship golf course, St. Eugene has been a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses since March 2002. “The outreach and education component is often the most difficult for members to complete; the efforts of St. Eugene to tap into the local culture is a great example of how this can be done,” states Joellen Lampman, Program Manager for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. l
Links to the Bay Partnership Project Launched Audubon International has launched a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other associations, businesses, and community leaders throughout the watershed to help improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. “There needs to be a better connection between the environmental stewardship actions taken by golf course operators, business leaders, property managers, homeowners, and within our communities and the overall health of this special natural resource,” states Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D., Executive Director for Audubon International. “Through a set of strong partnerships and with the dedication of program members, we’re looking to help play a role in the restoration of the health of the Bay by making this connection.” An initial leadership summit was held in November, with the full effort commencing in early 2010. Visit www.LinkstotheBay.com for more details about this new partnership project.
E c o - D e s i g n
a n d
D e v e l o p m e n t
Sustainable Multi-Family Living Na n c y R i c h a r d s o n
rescent Resources Multi-Family Development Group, a division of Crescent Resources, LLC, recently completed Phase I of Circle at Concord Mills (CCM), the first multifamily community in the world to be certified by Audubon International as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary. The community also made history when it opened as the first smokefree community in the Charlotte, North Carolina region. Crescent’s goal with Circle was to create an eco-sensitive apartment community setting focusing on providing residents with a sense of community. To achieve this goal, Crescent focused on three main aspects—wetland protection, habitat creation, and a focused green building program. The 1, 2, and 3 bedroom rental-unit project was built on 52 acres of a 109-acre tract that consists of two adjoining parcels located north of Concord Mills Boulevard and west of Interstate 85 in Concord, Cabarrus County, North Carolina. The site is rolling terrain of the Piedmont region, surrounded by rural residences, the Concord Regional Airport, and several large commercial shopping centers. The Rocky River, which lies within the
Yadkin/Pee Dee River Basin, parallels the northern property boundary and an unnamed tributary traverses the southeast portion of the site. The development envelope for this multifamily unit was old farm land that had been used for fill and debris storage for the nearby Concord Mills Mall development. Building envelope vegetation was limited to small pine saplings none of which were preserved during the development process. Protecting the Wetland
Managing site disturbance during clearing and construction is an important step in minimizing ecological damage to the property. Without a doubt, the neighboring wetland was the greatest natural resource for CCM so limiting disturbance to the wetlands was top priority. Two large sediment basins were created to serve as filtration for runoff from streets, roofs, and basically the entire hardscape, as well as any sheet flow over turf. These basins will also help in recharging groundwater. There are two major areas of habitat adjacent to those structures: the wetland near the first basin and the forested area behind the second larger basin. Aquatic plant species were planted in the storm water ponds to further aid in filtration. In addition, numerous more layers of
dog park Two “stepping stones” of habitat for use by small animals and residents alike.
Best Management Practices (BMP), including rows of silt fence, silt sock, and rip rapping-were set in place to protect the natural resources To stabilize the slopes near the wetland and to provide a buffer of vegetation on the slopes behind and between buildings and the wetland, a special native grass mix was created. Seeding behind buildings 5-12, which are adjacent to the Rocky River forested habitat and wetland, consisted of a Native Reclamation Mix of tall and hard fescue, switch grass, Indian grass, little bluestem, and smooth brome at 35-55 lbs/acre. A total of 4.25 acres were seeded with the native mix at a cost of $352 per acre. The contiguous wetlands are now buffered and are basically behind buildings 5, 6, and 7. Habitat Creation
Within the community, “stepping stones” of habitat were created to provide connections strategically placed for
A view of the wetland from behind a residential building.
continued on page 11
Fact Sheet c e l e b r at i n g
w i l d l i f e
Save the Bluebirds, But Don’t Forget the Nuthatches! Ma r k S t a n b a c k , Da v i d s o n C o l l e g e
T ear along perforation
Photo by Austin Mercadante
he Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) is a cooperatively breeding bird endemic to the southeastern United States. But for nearly half a century its numbers have been in decline. Habitat degradation is usually blamed; Brown-headed Nuthatches are said to be habitat specialists—dependent on old growth pine forests. As development overtakes more of the Southeast, there are fewer old pine stands usable by these birds.
Audubon International © 2009
At the same time that these nuthatches have been in decline, another cavity-nesting species has increased dramatically in number in the same region—the Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis). Bluebirds tend to fare well in a variety of humanaltered habitats. Moreover, bluebirds have been the beneficiaries of nest box programs throughout their range. My students and I hypothesized that the burgeoning bluebird population
c e l e b r at i n g
w i l d l i f e
1.5” entrance holes (left) accommodate both bluebirds and nuthatches; smaller holes (right) exclude the larger bluebirds.
in the Southeast may be negatively impacting Brown-headed Nuthatches if bluebirds are monopolizing nesting boxes in areas where they coexist with Brown-headed Nuthatches. We tested this hypothesis in two ways. First we measured the density of pine trees near all of our golf course nest boxes. We then provided a subset of our boxes with smaller entrance holes that excluded bluebirds, but not nuthatches. Although the nuthatches do require a certain level of pine density in order to be present, we found that size of the entrance hole was a far better predictor of box use by nuthatches than was local pine density. This suggests that in appropriate habitat, competition with bluebirds is more important than pine density for this pine specialist. We then conducted a large-scale experiment in which we provided a third of our nest boxes on each of three golf courses with “bluebirdproof” nest boxes (with small holes). On three control courses, all boxes retained large, “bluebird-friendly” holes. All courses started with few or no nuthatches, but over three years we observed dramatic increases in the numbers of nesting nuthatches on our experimental courses. Control
courses remained unchanged. This demonstrated that exclusion of just a subset of bluebirds allowed for the successful breeding of Brown-headed Nuthatches. Again, this suggests that in the absence of management intervention, bluebirds outcompete nuthatches. Finally, to demonstrate that the above results were not biased, we reversed the treatments on our six golf courses. When we provided smaller holes to a subset of boxes on our control courses, the numbers of nuthatch nests increased significantly (after four years of no nuthatches). However, on the three courses where nuthatches had become common breeders as a result of our providing boxes with bluebird-proof holes, we observed widespread usurpation of nuthatches by bluebirds when large holes were returned to these experimental boxes. Our data suggest that golf course nest box programs can make a significant contribution to the recovery of the Brown-headed Nuthatch if boxes are provided with smaller entrance holes. We recommend that Southeastern (eastern Virginia to eastern Texas) golf courses that already have nest boxes consider retrofitting a subset of them (at least one third) with 1” entrance holes. Although 1.25” holes can accomplish the same result, 1.25” holes also accommodate house (English) sparrows, which usurp boxes from both nuthatches and bluebirds. Retrofitting can be accomplished by attaching a block of wood with a 1” hole on top of the 1.5” standard bluebird-sized hole. Although we found that nuthatches are not limited to piney areas, we suspect that boxes in such areas will be discovered and utilized more quickly by this
nuthatch. Alternatively, if there are old nest boxes on a course that need replacing, we recommend that they be replaced with boxes with 1” holes. And of course, if golf courses are interested in initiating a nest box program, simply make sure that both bluebirds and nuthatches are provided for. Bluebird lovers (many of whom are responsible for the monitoring of golf course nest box programs) may be initially reluctant to reduce opportunities for bluebirds. Two facts should help persuade them. First, the North American Bluebird Society includes all cavity-nesting birds in its mission statement. Second, numbers of bluebirds in the Southeast has quadrupled over the same period that nuthatch numbers have declined. Nest boxes have rescued bluebirds; now it’s the nuthatches’ turn. And finally, most bird enthusiasts are thoroughly charmed by the charismatic, squeaky, group-living Brown-headed Nuthatch. l
E c o - D e s i g n
a n d
D e v e l o p m e n t
Sustainable Multi-Family Living Continued from page 8
use by small animals as they move through the community. In addition to the setbacks, connections were created in the form of parks and gardens. Located near the largest sediment basin is a dog park featuring turfgrass, seating, pergolas, trees, and reused boulders from the site. The park provides an exercise area for resident pets and also serves as a resting and perching site for birds and as a birding observation area above the forest and basin for use by residents. The second type of stepping stone habitat is the small gardens located in each building area. With covered seating and a variety of shrub and tree species, these gardens not only provide communal interaction areas for residents, but like the dog park, serve to entice wildlife, especially birds. In landscaping throughout the property, plants native to the Piedmont region were incorporated into the plant palette by the local company Eco-Scape. During Phase I, 604 trees, and 11, 778 shrubs created a total of 99% native plantings in the development. Common areas (5.25 acres) were planted in fescue. Green Building Program
Community design is the first step in any green building program. Simply put, you have to provide the amenities that your residents are used to in a way that is cost effective and has less of an impact on the natural environment. Crescent focused their green building program on two categories—public infrastructure and transportation, and green product selection and use. Circle at Concord Mills chose their site location well because it is close to the Concord urban core. In fact, sidewalks and bike racks provide easy access to Wal-Mart, the mall, and many restaurants. To further
To meet Audubon International’s green building requirements, Circle at Concord Mills owner chose to work toward the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the clubhouse.
promote environmental awareness, residents that choose to drive Hybrids and Fuel-efficient vehicles get preferred parking. Crescent also created a centralized recycling center making it very convenient for residents to remember to recycle. Pushing the norm is nothing new for Crescent Resources, and when it came to green product selection and use, they excelled once again. Aside from the usual green products of eco-friendly appliances and products, Circle at Concord Mills also sports CertainTeed exterior siding and insulation, Environmental Stewardship Council certified kitchen cabinets, and an energy efficient SEER 16 HVAC system with no CFC-based refrigerants in the clubhouse. In addition, wood, wallboard, and concrete construction materials were also treated with MOLD-RAM, an EPA-registered product providing long-term prevention of surface mold and mildew growth. Congratulations!
Circle at Concord Mills demonstrates that eco-sensitive living is not limited to homeowners. Those wishing to lease for the short-term can enjoy a healthy or green lifestyle as well and can learn about the many environmental and green options that are available to them when they are ready to purchase their first home. “The search for a more sustainable future must be more about action than mere words,” said Nancy E.
Richardson, Signature Program director for Audubon International. “Through projects like Circle at Concord Mills and partners like Crescent Resources, we’re re-defining what it means to plan, build, and manage our human landscapes. It is sustainable eco-design and development in action.” l
Brian Natwick, Development Manager, talks with prospective residents about the green aspects of the property, including this centrally located recycling center.
Audubon International publishes Stewardship News four times a year. Inquiries, contributions, or letters to the editor should be addressed to:
W e b i n a r A n n o u n c e m e n t:
Joshua Conway, Editor Audubon International 46 Rarick Road Selkirk, NY 12158
Long-term Community Sustainability Planning
Or sent via e-mail to: jconway@ auduboninternational.org
Tuesday, March 2, 2:00-2:45 pm
Layout and Design: 2k Design, Clifton Park, NY Printing: Benchemark Printing, Schenectady, NY
Learn about the how long-term community sustainability planning can benefit your community. Audubon International invites you to participate in a web-based informational session discussing the approach of the Sustainable Communities Program on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 2:00-2:45 pm (Eastern Time). This will be an interactive webinar to answer your questions. Registration is free, but space is limited— so sign up today by clicking on the webinar link at our homepage: www.AudubonInternational.org.
Audubon International is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to fostering more sustainable human and natural communities through research, education, and conservation assistance. Programs seek to educate, assist, and inspire millions of people from all walks of life to protect and sustain the land, water, wildlife, and natural resources around them. Funding is provided by memberships, donations, and program sponsorship. The ACSP Golf Program is sponsored by The United States Golf Association. The newsletter is printed on recycled paper.
Look inside for a tear-out fact sheet! If you have a change of address or contact person, please let us know. Call (518) 767-9051, ext. 12 or E-mail email@example.com
Help us to keep up to date! Phone: (518) 767-9051 Web Page: http://www.auduboninternational.org e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Audubon International 46 Rarick Road Selkirk, New York 12158
Permit No. 55 Delmar, NY 12054
Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage