Stewardship News | Volume 16, Issue 3 | Fall 2013

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StewardshipNews Audubon International’s

Volume 16, Issue 3

Golf Courses as Living Classrooms | 8

Fall 2013

Staff Wildlife Encounters | 20

A Hospital Goes Green | 10

AIM for a Greener Earth | 18


Message from the CEO: Advancing our Mission with the Help of Supporters Audubon International’s unique approach to conservation inspires thousands of organizations and individuals to take measurable steps to improve the environment. As a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering the highest quality member services, the modest membership fees Audubon International collects from participating organizations and communities enables us to deliver our mission. For over 25 years, organizational membership fees have been a key ingredient that allows us to continue administering our programs, helping organizations conserve natural resources in ways that improves their bottom lines, and recognizing high-performing facilities that have earned certification by demonstrating significant achievements in environmental sustainability. It is very important to note, however, that our ability to offer members valuable programs and services at highly economical price points is made possible in large part due to the financial support of industry associations such as the USGA and GCSAA, sponsor organizations such as John Deere and the Toro Company, and individual donors from all walks of life. Why should you or your organization consider directly supporting our work? I’m glad you asked… What we do. We help all organizations improve environmental performance and manage natural resources responsibly. While we are best known for the positive environmental impacts we have helped deliver on golf courses, the over 3,000 members we work with are highly diverse and include health care facilities, schools, cemeteries, farms, campgrounds, local parks, neighborhoods, and municipalities. Many of the organizations and communities we assist can’t afford to hire expert staff or consultants to facilitate their sustainable efforts. Our success in helping others – especially those with limited financial resources – implement voluntary practices to help the environment has largely been possible because of the support we receive from our sponsors and donors. We are different. The vast majority of nongovernmental environmental organizations primarily focus their efforts on one of two things: directly acquiring and protecting lands for conservation, or influencing policy through advocacy and litigation. These are important functions, but they Cover photo: children plant a tree at a Live Green! event


can also be very polarizing and do more to promote conflict than finding common ground. In contrast, our approach is:

Voluntary: We promote voluntary and incentivebased environmental practices for all types of properties, whether commercial, public or private. Our approach enables us to work effectively with stakeholders of all political, socioeconomic, and cultural persuasions. The values, objectives, and needs of our members dictate the customized service we provide, and we help them articulate their vision, weigh different strategies for getting there, engage appropriate outside parties, and build shared ownership of both the process and the outcomes. Balanced: While all of us benefit from economic growth, we must take meaningful steps to protect and preserve the natural environment. Finding a sustainable balance among environmental, economic, and social systems is the key to sustaining the quality of life on Earth. Supported: As a 501(c)(3), contributions have helped Audubon International positively impact thousands of acres, protect dozens of species of wildlife, and save millions of gallons of water. You have the ability to make a difference. Together, we can make change. With your support, Audubon International will increase its capacity to help a wide spectrum of organizations and communities achieve significant environmental improvements. By expanding our outreach and education efforts, with your support we will ultimately affect the sort of significant change as more and more organizations and communities proactively address the environmental challenges we face in the 21st century. These challenges are urgent, and include declining native biodiversity, habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species proliferation, water quality issues, and other threats to land, water and wildlife. If you or your organization is committed to protecting the natural environment and promoting sustainability, I hope you will consider making a taxdeductible donation or becoming an official sponsor to help us deliver our mission. Warmest regards,

Ryan J. Aylesworth, President & CEO


Ryan Aylesworth PRESIDENT & CEO

Jennifer Batza


Katie Hopkins



Joellen Lampman


Contents Stewardship News Volume 16, Issue 3 Fall 2013

Announcements | 4 Read what we have been up to

Joellen Says Farewell | 5 Joellen Lampman talks about her time with Audubon International

Part of the Family | 6

Joe Madeira

Staff member Joe Madeira talks about his family approach to caring for the environment

Joanna Nadeau

Featured Photos | 7



Great photos sent in by members

Fred Realbuto

Beyond the Links | 8


Paula Realbuto


Nancy Richardson


How golf courses can be used as living classrooms

A Healing Environment | 10 A hospital in Owensboro, Kentucky goes green

How to Identify Priorities for your Community’s Sustainability Efforts | 14 Important steps for setting your community on the path to sustainability

120 Defreest Drive Troy, New York 12180 518-767-9051

You can reach our staff via email using each person’s first name followed by

Audubon International Certified Environmental Professional Program | 16 Introducing a new individual certificate program

AIM for a Greener Earth | 18 You can help support Audubon International’s Work

Staff Wildlife Encounters | 20 Staff members share memorable experiences with wildlife


Announcements Here are some of the things we have going on: Hollyhock Hollow’een

Audubon International is partnering with The Mohawk-Hudson Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club to host a free community event at Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary in Selkirk, NY on October 26, 2013. The event will feature geocaching, scavenger hunts, live bird and reptile demonstrations, and a haunted house. Our goal is to get kids out into nature to have fun while learning about wildlife and the environment. The event is sponsored by M&T Bank.

New Website Look

We recently updated the look of our website. Check it out!

Send in Your Photos

Audubon International is always looking for great photos from our members to use in Stewardship News and other publications. If you have photos of your property or facility you are happy to share, please send them along with a photo caption to

We’ve Been Busy! Certification requests have been flooding in at Audubon International. While we love that so many members are working hard to achieve certification, it means our dedicated staff is putting in quite a few hours to complete the requests. Thank you for your patience as we review your materials.

Re-certification Email

ACSP for Golf certified members, watch your email inbox for your re-certification notification.

Audubon International

eStore Tell your guests you are proudly certified with these aluminum indoor/outdoor signs. Choose from four designs. Now for an introductory price of


including shipping!


Visit the eStore

Joellen Says Farewell After 16 years with Audubon International, Joellen Lampman, Director of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, will be moving on to work for the New York State IPM Program administered by Cornell University. She will be greatly missed by the staff and by the countless members she has helped over the years. We wish her the best of luck in her new adventure.


hen I joined Audubon International back in 1997, I had my Natural Resources degree and numerous experiences with environmental education. From writing curriculum to wading through creeks with students looking for macroinvertebrates, I loved all aspects of environmental education. I will admit that in the beginning I thought I had left that behind. While the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program was undoubtedly an education program, the immersion in turfgrass management, water quality parameters, integrated pest management, toxicology, and other subjects diluted the environmental education aspects of the program during my early years. Indeed, real impacts were being made on the ground including, but certainly not limited to, the expansion of wildlife habitat, reduced water use, and improved water quality. Over time, however, I found I was able to lessen the amount of times that I needed to say, “That is an excellent question. I will have to get back to you on that.” (Side note: Thank you all for the excellent questions – I learned so much while researching for the answers!) My focus was able to shift to The Story. I have a quote from Andrew Greeley in my office that states “A story does not indoctrinate or educate, it rather invites the reader into the world of the story so that he will emerge from the story with an enhanced view of the possibilities of human life.” What it comes down to is this – when Audubon International’s programs are working at their absolute best, the certified property becomes a model for the entire community as to what sustainable natural resources management can look like. We have included Outreach and Education as a means to build and tell your story. Sure, enhancing habitat, using less toxic chemicals, and reducing waste are good things in themselves, but encouraging others to follow your example beyond the borders of the property you manage is what is really going to help change the world for the better. The highest example of this is when a golf course in Eufaula, Alabama became the model upon which the town’s long-term strategic plan was based, and provided the impetus for the creation of our own Sustainable Communities Program. That course, as with so many of our members, is telling their story. The ways we can tell the story includes old standbys like signs and displays, tours and events, and articles. New storytelling tools have also emerged including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and programs such as First Green. We have staff that are ready to help you tell your story. Thank you for the opportunity to solidify my own story. I have enjoyed your properties, photos, friendships, questions, challenges, laughter, and, sometimes, tears. Because of you I am a more knowledgeable and better educator. I have enjoyed working with all of you through these years and you will be missed. I hope that our paths cross in the future. As I get ready to depart Audubon International for my next great adventure, I have tried my best to pass along the wisdom that I have learned over these past 16 years. As I say to every staff person I have trained, I now say to you – it is okay not to have all the answers. Don’t be afraid to share what you do know and be open to learning about what you do not. You make a difference in your decisions, your actions, and your story. And keep asking great questions.


From Our


Part of the Family New staff member Joe Madeira talks about his family approach to caring for the environment


s the newest member of Audubon International’s staff, I’m honored to be able to provide a bit of background on my career, and some personal insight. Indeed, I am excited and honored to be part of the Audubon International organization. The impressive staff and Board, combined with such a relevant mission creates an indomitable spirit to achieve such an essential undertaking. In fact, I have joined a culture of achievers, experts, and role models—all focused to help the environment.

Joe with his kids in Eagle River, WI

inward. It thrusts its tongue into an anthill (160 times per minute) and as it pulls it out, hundreds of tiny ants (or most often termites) get caught on these barbs. The anteater will eat up to 30,000 insects per day. (What a great alternative to pesticide use!) While I generally don’t make use of this knowledge daily, I’m happy to hold onto it. I believe that a greater understanding of intricate details of the natural world helps feed the imagination and can lead to creative solutions to complex problems. However the greatest value I derived from working with these scientists and individuals was experiencing, firsthand, their passion for the environment. This is what helped foster my own passion. I was inspired by their work and excitement. It’s this passion and caring I hope to spread and pass on.

It’s not the first time I worked in an organization with a culture of helping the environment. My ten years of experience at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum exposed me to individuals, experts, scientists and environmentalists who were exceedingly passionate about what they do. I was fortunate enough to be in a position, as Director of Special Exhibits, to work across a vast realm of disciplines and subjects to develop and produce outstanding exhibitions and public programs. In my time there I worked with some of the world’s renowned researchers and experts in natural science. I also learned a great deal about things I thought I would never need 100% organic pest reduction to know. For example, we did an exhibit called “Anteaters: Fast Food Specialists. I learned that the giant anteater has a tongue which is roughly two feet long, and it is constructed with small barb-like features angled


Outside of work I’m involved in many activities like sports, volunteering, and music, but I draw the greatest joy in life from spending time with my kids. I love watching them grow and seeing the choices they make as individuals. My wife and I have three children between the ages of 10 and 13. As a parent, my desire is to have a positive influence on

them, to be a role model. Their choices reflect my choices. We moved to Vermont in early 2011, and we all immediately felt a connection to the state and embraced an outdoor lifestyle. My family was (and still is) captivated by the mountains, forests, lakes, creeks, streams, and more. I realized my appreciation of nature and the outdoors has rubbed off on my kids. I feel proud to have instilled this appreciation of nature in my children. But with appreciation comes responsibility. This is the part which tends to be a bit more difficult to instill. I can sit out on our porch with my kids and wonder in amazement about the mountains, the color in the trees, and the vastness. Then again, we can also visit our favorite swimming hole in southern Vermont and wonder in disbelief why anyone would leave empty beer cans and trash in this small nook of paradise. It is a bit more of a chore to get my kids to pick it up (since it is another person’s trash). The good news is, we do it together. The simple activity of getting them to care enough to act is a huge success.

Featured Phot s

Matt Park, Stone Mountain Golf Club A hawk dries out its feathers at Stone Mountain Golf Club in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Why am I working for Audubon International? Well, I figure that if I can convince three children to care enough to help the earth, maybe I can help this organization have success in convincing thousands of adults to do the same. Our current members offer a great foundation to build a network of tens-of-thousands of organizations and individuals who care enough to act. And at the end of the day, just like I tell my kids, “you did a great job, I’m proud of you,” here at Audubon International, we tell our members the same. I like to think of our members as family—a family who not only cares about our environment, but is willing to take steps to act.

Alistair Urquhart, Cordova Bay Golf Course

I look forward to working with all of you as the newest member of the family.

A young fawn enjoys its breakfast at Cordova Bay Golf Course in Victoria, British Columbia.

Share your photos! If you would like to see your photos featured here or on our Facebook page, e-mail them to


Beyond the Links {


Golf Courses as Living Classrooms



ears ago, I was working with a superintendent to have the course designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Everything was in place except for naturalizing a pond on the course. Now, we try to be very reasonable and ask that 50% of out-of-play shorelines be naturalized. There are many benefits to naturalizing shorelines, but despite the information we provided, the superintendent was unable to convince the powers that be to allow the naturalization to occur. A few months later he called me to say he was directed to do whatever it takes to have the course certified. Why the change of heart? He had arranged for a school to tour the course to learn about their stewardship efforts. The trip was covered in a local newspaper and the community was seeing and talking about the club in a new light - as a community asset! Golf courses can provide a valuable backdrop for teaching people of all ages about environmental issues, and superintendents across the country have


been helping expand programs at local schools, summer camps, and youth organizations while enhancing wildlife habitat, monitoring environmental conditions, promoting environmental stewardship on golf courses, and changing behaviors both on and off the course. The First Tee Since 2010, Audubon International and The First Tee partnered first with FedEx and then Toro to host environmental education and course improvement days at golf courses across the country. At each event, about 100 participants of ages ranging from six to eighteen rotate through a series of six stations, including three course improvement project stations tailored for each site. Projects have included tall grass, butterfly garden, and tree plantings; mulching and stonescaping; Golf Course Management & Science where participants learn about the science and equipment required to maintain a golf course; Golfer Responsibility & Superintendent Discussion

which explains how golfers can care for the course and be good environmental citizens; and the Web of Life activity which shows how everything in the environment is connected. Sandy Queen, Director of Golf Services for the City of Overland Park, Kansas is one of the many who recognize the benefits beyond the environmental improvements. “The Live Green program conducted at the Overland Park Golf Club this year not only resulted in some very nice golf course improvements, it also served to educate many of our First Tee kids and their parents about the positive environmental aspects of our golf courses. The young children in our community are now much more vested in their golf course because of the program.” The First Green The First Green is an environmental education outreach program using golf courses as environmental learning labs. Golf course personnel host field trips to teach students about golf course ecology. Tailored for the needs of the schools and state curriculum, the possibilities can include tours to highlight biology, math, mechanics, computers, and hospitality opportunities at country clubs. A field trip focusing on ecology might include testing

water quality, collecting and evaluating soil samples, identifying plants, designing gardens, and assisting in stream bed restoration. Mentoring Program Larry Livingston, golf course superintendent at Camp Creek, is participating in a mentoring program with Seaside Neighborhood School. Mentors are local business owners and professionals who share their knowledge and talents with a small group of students six times per semester. Although Larry’s focus for the program is golf course maintenance, he takes advantage of the opportunity to show the course’s positive environmental impact. Larry hopes that students will then start conversations with their families about what they learn, and thus expand the reach of his efforts. Cathy Brubaker, principal at Seaside Neighborhood School, is proud to say that there have been up to 14 different categories in the mentoring program and Camp Creek is “one of the favorites.” The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow and helping them understand what it takes to maintain a golf course and how they can help make golf more sustainable will have far-reaching benefits. How can you influence today’s youth and also highlight your club as a positive asset?

Opposite Page: Joellen does The Web of Life activity with children at the William Land Golf Course in Sacramento, CA during a Live Green! event in partnership with The First Tee of Greater Sacramento. Above: Students from Seaside Neighborhood School release grass carp into the ponds to help control algae as part of their mentoring program at Camp Creek Golf Club in Panama City Beach, FL. Left: Students participating in The First Green program evaluate the water quality of Kelsy Creek at Glendale Country Club in Bellevue, WA.


A Healing Environment A Hospital Goes Green

Nancy Richardson The Facts With their large buildings, 24-7 operations, and resource-intensive activities, health care facilities are often giants both in terms of their physical and environmental footprints. According to the U.S. Department of the Energy, hospitals in the U.S. use 836 trillion BTUs of energy each year, meaning roughly one out of every 100 BTUs consumed in the U.S. is used by a hospital. They produce more than 2.5 times the energy intensity and carbon dioxide emissions of commercial office buildings, emitting more than thirty pounds of CO2 per square foot and racking up energy bills of $5 billion each year. Often energy costs account for one to three percent of a typical hospital’s operating budget or 15% of their profits, so high energy use affects the bottom line. In addition to using a lot of energy, U.S. hospitals produce more than 5.9 million tons of waste annually with an average of 33 pounds of waste accumulated per occupied bed per day. Waste is a problem in every sector, but in health care, the issue of sheer volume is compounded by the complexity of the waste stream which includes hazardous materials


and bio-waste. Hospitals are also high in water consumption. An average hospital in the U.S. uses a grand total of 139,214 gallons of water per day, enough to fill 19 milk tanker trucks. Owensboro Takes Initiative The developers of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital wanted to address issues regarding the health of the patients but also to take into consideration the health of the environment. They saw the interconnections between a healthy environment and human health, and decided to design the hospital so that it has a smaller environmental impact than the average hospital. The hospital’s 157 acre campus is located on the east side of Owensboro, Kentucky near the Ohio River. It includes a nine-story patient tower with supporting building and a five-story medical office building. The surrounding property is enhanced by 15 acres of ponds, 50 acres of grassland, trails, and other outdoor areas. Approximately 70 percent of the site remains natural, open space. “We have created a space that is not only highly functional, but one that projects an environment

of healing through the beauty of nature and our surroundings,” said Dr. Jeff Barber, President and CEO of Owensboro Health. “We take our responsibility to care for our region very seriously and want to respect and care for the land, just as we care for its people.” The Owensboro Health Regional Hospital has recently been designated by Audubon International as the first Certified Signature Sanctuary in the state of Kentucky. It is also the first hospital in the world to achieve this certification. After completing requirements and meeting the strict environmental criteria of the Audubon International Signature Program, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital also holds the distinction of being the 100th Certified Signature Sanctuary worldwide. What Does an Eco-friendly Hospital Look Like? In building the hospital, Owensboro Health worked to integrate eco-friendly features throughout the design. Here are some of the project highlights: • Sustainable Materials – The building is constructed of recycled steel and Indiana limestone from nearby. The flooring is Rapidly Renewable Rubber/cork and carpet made from recycled materials. The building’s materials such as adhesives, sealants, and paints emit very little fumes.

routine cleaning processes and new chemical dosing technologies precisely mix cleaning chemicals with tap water. • Waste Reduction – Stericycle, a hazardous waste removal company, collects bio-hazard boxes daily, sorts the waste, sterilizes the boxes, and returns them to prevent the daily disposal of the boxes. The Surrounding Environment Owensboro Health looked beyond the walls of the hospital during design and construction. The building and parking areas are situated in the center of the property and are surrounded by native grasslands, over 1000 flowering and fruit bearing native trees and selective hardwoods, and eight ponds of varying sizes. Walking trails located throughout the habitat area promote an educational environment for the community. “There’s something about looking at the fields, ponds, and trees, and being able to focus away from your issues that helps the healing process,” says Greg Strahan, Chief Operating Officer of Owensboro Health. The building design with sweeping lines and nearly floor-to-ceiling windows on each floor that open up to an outside view of the Ohio River, ponds, courtyards, and 1,000-plus trees make the hospital itself a part of the healing process.

• Water Conservation – All sinks and toilets utilize low-flow water-saving devices. • Energy Conservation – All appliances including computers and refrigerators are Energy Star rated. LED lighting reduces energy use and eliminates heat from lighting instruments, minimizing the need for extensive temperature cooling during surgeries. Motion sensors turn on lights only in areas that are in use, and the building’s design utilizes daylight throughout the hospital. • Chemical Reduction – Green Seal products are used for many

The Healing Pond is a distinctive feature on the hospital campus, a soothing spot that people will see as they enter the hospital, look out the windows of patient rooms, or walk by on the fitness trail. What they won’t notice is the Healing Pond is part of an elaborate system that will prevent flooding and provide irrigation. The storm water management plan includes capturing all building runoff and directing it to the Healing Pond which serves as an irrigation reservoir. To aid in the collection Above: The rooftop garden outside of the maternity ward. Opposite: Photos of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital and its of building runoff, the carefully-planned landscape.


hospital installed a rooftop garden outside of the maternity ward. Beneath the soil is a system of pipes and drains designed to collect excess water and send it down to The Healing Pond. This pond is connected to the seven other ponds on the property to provide an even water level.

prevent erosion. A 20-foot “no spray zone” ensures that pesticides will be absorbed before they reach these water bodies. Regular water quality monitoring in the retention ponds and the nearby creek ensure landscape and water management practices are not degrading quality.

Other aspects of sustainability addressed outdoors include:

By designing with the environment in mind, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital will save 3.5 million gallons of potable water and $540,000 in operating costs annually. In addition, the Hospital has the opportunity to educate thousands of staff and visitors every year about the importance of resource conservation for the health and longevity of our current and future generations. As hospitals worldwide continue to use enormous amounts of resources to effectively provide care for their patients, Owensboro serves as a model to show it is both possible and in the best interest of a hospital to make progress toward environmental sustainability.

• Transportation – Bus stops at the hospital make it easily accessible by public transportation. Multiple bike racks and shower facilities encourage employees to leave their cars at home. • No Smoking – The facility and the grounds are strictly smoke-free. • Sensor Lighting – Because patients and visitors arrive at all hours of day and night, outdoor lighting uses dusk till dawn sensors that provide light during the night hours and shut off automatically as the sun rises. • Xeriscaping – Landscape architects planted drought-tolerant species to reduce the need for irrigation and maintenance. By using drip irrigation in designated zones, there is a reduction in irrigation times and evaporation rates. Sensors built into the landscape determine when irrigation is needed. • Vegetative Buffers – Tall, native grasses along the edge of water bodies help to filter the water and

Below: A pond at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.


To learn more about Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, visit their website at The entire construction process was documented and can be seen in a fiveminute video. It is amazing to watch the project come to life through the seasons. Oh, yes, and if you go there, be sure to ask about the valet parking at the front door.

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Why we don’t like plastic bags or... WHY WE REALLY LOVE

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Every year, Americans alone use approximately 102 BILLION plastic bags, creating a whopping 600 MILLION pounds of landfill waste...


did you know




...but just how heavy is that, anyway? you

blue whale 100 feet long and weighing in at 400,000 pounds, the blue whale is the largest animal to ever inhabit the earth (and that includes dinosaurs!)


600 MILLION pounds of landfill waste is the SAME WEIGHT as 1,500 fully grown blue whales...





REDUCE > REUSE > RECYCLE a n d do it in t hat ord er!


Tips & Tools

How to Identify Priorities for Your Community’s Sustainability Efforts Joanna Nadeau nce your community makes a commitment to become more sustainable, the world is your oyster – every aspect of community life may be considered for improvement! The next question is where to start. Set priorities early in the process to avoid getting overwhelmed with more projects than you have time and resources. In Stage Two of AI’s Sustainable Communities Program, the member embeds priorities in a vision plan for sustainability. The vision plan contains goals, targets, timelines, and indicators set by residents to focus community sustainability efforts.


on preserving and enjoying local natural resources. Similarly, if your community has articulated the need to better address stormwater management, the open space and environmental issues focal areas within the sustainability plan could include green infrastructure projects. Existing community plans may articulate sustainability goals, such as reducing energy consumption or creating wildlife habitat. These topics should be included in the sustainability plan, where you can further explore practical actions and measurable indicators that will ensure these goals are achieved.

1. Identify general priority areas

• Local Organizations – To get a sense of what community residents are passionate about, think about volunteer and advocacy groups that are already active in your area. If there is a local bicycle coalition or a local foods movement in your community, these represent areas where residents have already committed energy and may be looking for additional guidance on projects.

Your community should identify 5-10 focus areas to be your top priorities. AI helps members choose individual issues for focus based on a Community Baseline Assessment, the input of community leadership, and our perspective on sustainability and the best way to implement it in a particular community. Places to look to identify community priorities:

• An Existing Community Plan – Your community’s leaders may have already laid out a general or comprehensive plan that identifies key initiatives along with pressing challenges facing your community. Initiatives and challenges represent opportunities for developing resources and projects that apply sustainable solutions. For example, if your leaders are interested in economic development, incorporate economic development as a priority area in the sustainability plan and identify methods for ensuring the local economy is based 14

• Comparison to Similar Communities – AI can provide insight about where your community needs to focus based on our principles of sustainability and by comparing your community to similar communities. Using data from your community, AI staff can work with you to identify areas where your community is furthest from the average and therefore has the most to contribute to improving the baseline (the “lowest common denominator” effect). For example, compare your community’s water use to the average per capita (per person) water use levels of several Southeastern communities to see if water use is an issue [2005,

USGS National Water-Use Information Program,]: • Barbour County, AL (pop: 27,000) – 157 gallons per capita daily (gpcd) • Martin County, NC (pop: 24,000) – 167 gpcd • Broward County, FL (pop: 1,7500,000) – 152 gpcd

• Community Meetings – Gather resident input through community meetings. Use meetings to present existing information about current sustainability issues, and then invite community members to vote on the areas they think are the highest priority for your community.

2. Identify specific projects and targets To begin fleshing out details within each priority focal area, select goals and projects to include in the plan. For example, a strong project idea is one that already has local stakeholder support, no known obstacles, and clear partners with whom you already have a working relationship. Ideally, detailed feasibility studies and maps have already been created around that concept. An important foundational step in preparing a plan, the Sustainability Portfolio Table collects information across all focal areas about projects in place, opportunities, resources, obstacles, costs and funding. Based on the this table, stakeholders, experts, and interested residents should brainstorm goals, reasonable policies and practices, and indicators that the community can implement and measure. And consider:

Once you have a list of projects and goals, it’s time to prioritize among them. Within each priority focus area, choose several short term projects that participants think they can complete in the next six months to a year.

3. Include the public in setting priorities for sustainability Members of conservation and environmental groups, long-time residents, and people who are active in the community are good candidates to become involved in creating the plan. Including the public in local environmental planning is essential because the residents of your community are the ones who will end up paying for or volunteering time to most new programs, and they will also benefit from sustainability planning and management. In addition, if concerned and responsible community leaders are involved in the process, they are more likely to generate broader support for the environmental plan and for the work needed to carry it out.

Set priorities to avoid getting overwhelmed with projects.

• On what issues do people want more information? Distribute a survey to collect data about best practices that community members have committed to do in their own lives. Your steering committee can use this information to identify key topics for educational outreach and instruction, which will help local residents with implementation. • What projects do local residents most want to see happen? We strongly recommend you conduct focus area-specific community meetings led by the steering committee or a reliable partner. • AI can help in generating additional ideas for projects under your priority focus areas, based on best practices from other communities, emerging literature, and our expertise.

The public will better see the benefit of planning if you can find out what projects local groups have already started, and brainstorm how these can be promoted and connected with other related efforts. Also, look for organizations that have already executed successful projects and may be looking for their next project.

4. You’re Done Prioritizing When… You have a list of initiatives and investments sorted into immediate, medium-term and long-term priorities. The list of priorities can then be integrated into the business plans and budgets of the municipality and its partners. The intended outcome of the planning phase is to get projects started. Plans are only as good as the actions they ultimately generate, which is why AI requires members to demonstrate implementation of several short term projects before being eligible for certification. AI helps members select measurable indicators to help you track progress on prioritized goals and projects. Gathering data on indicators and reporting project outcomes leads to certification and is critical for conveying your accomplishments to residents and local leaders, as well as to share your sustainability story with the world. Seeing your commitment to sustainability through to action is what will make your community a great place to live, work, and play for years to come.


Introducing the

Audubon International Certified Environmental Professional Program Laura Karosic


e are excited to introduce the Audubon International Certified Environmental Professional (AICEP) program, a brand-new individual-level certification program. The program was developed for individuals seeking to increase their capacity to sustainably manage natural resources on a wide range of property types, including recreational, agricultural, commercial and industrial lands. As our members know, for the last 25 years, Audubon International has administered certification programs that evaluate and recognize the environmental performance of facilities, operations, (i.e., golf courses, resorts, residential developments, agricultural lands, etc.) and communities. AICEP will build on these long-standing programs by offering professional training – and subsequently conveying the appropriate credential – to individuals. The AICEP program offers concentrations in specific industries, including: • Golf Course Management: For golf course superintendents (head or assistant), greens keepers, golf course horticulturalists, golf course agronomists, and other golf course managers. • Land Management: For ski area managers, cemetery managers, park managers, grounds managers, timber harvesters, landscape management companies, utility ROW managers, and many others. • Building Operations Management: Intended for professionals focused on operations and functions of built infrastructure at the facility level, including operations managers of schools, resorts, hotels, hospitals, and other facilities.


• Hospitality and Tourism Management: For professionals focused on the business aspects of hospitality, leisure, and tourism, including general managers of hotels, resorts, ski areas, cruise ships, and other facilities. • Sustainable Community Planning: For professionals involved in community and regional planning and decision-making, such as community planners, municipal officials, private association officers, commercial and residential developers, and others. • Architecture and Design: For professionals focused on planning and designing the built and natural environment, including those who design (or plan to design) ski areas, hotels, resorts, golf courses, landscapes, hospitals, schools, arboretums, commercial and residential developments, and other facilities. Here at Audubon International, we have long known and worked with the many professional organizations and university research departments that provide current and relevant training in each of these areas. When designing AICEP, it was our goal to incorporate this extensive knowledge and experience into the AICEP curriculum. Thus, a unique curriculum model was born – individuals acquire AICEP credit through academic credit or professional training that they have taken in the past or plan to take in the future as part of a degree program or in fulfilling continuing education requirements for another professional designation. This means that academic credits earned in a bachelor’s program or education points gained from a GCSAA conference workshop may count toward the AICEP requirements. Because relevant

trainings are constantly being created and evolving, there is not a set list of acceptable trainings. However, a starting list may be obtained from Laura Karosic, Audubon International’s Special Projects Coordinator. Generally, trainings and courses for each concentration must fall within the following categories: • Environmental and conservation science, natural resources, and ecology • Water resources OR energy resources (varies by concentration requirements) • Communications, public speaking, and leadership • Industry specific training (varies by concentration requirements). An example of the industry specific training for the Architecture & Design concentration is a 3-credit Green Building Design course and a series of workshops on other environmental/ecological design fundamentals.

Once individuals have acquired the total training hours and have completed the practicum, they are eligible to sit for the AICEP Qualifying Exam. Passage of the exam designates the student as an Audubon International Certified Environmental Professional, specializing in the concentration of their choosing, such as Golf Course Management, Building Operations Management, etc. We are pleased to be offering this valuable and useful credential that is truly one of a kind. While there are many sustainability and natural resources management certificate programs out there, AICEP is unique in that it is designed specifically for professionals who encounter natural resource issues as part of their job as property or facility managers, landscape architects, or planners. Furthermore, the curriculum is highly customizable to meet the needs of each individual working across a range of different industries. For more information, please visit https://www. or contact Laura Karosic:

There are additional requirements to the AICEP designation apart from the curriculum itself. A practicum component is required, whereby individuals demonstrate the skills and knowledge gained from their training in a real world scenario. In most cases, leading the Audubon International certification of a facility will satisfy that requirement. Those affiliated with an Audubon International certified facility or community may be eligible for special discounts on enrollment fees.

A Break-down of the 273-hour AICEP Training Program Academic Track

1. Curriculum

12-15 credits Environmental and conservation science, 3 credits ecology, natural resources

Professional Track

180-225 hours 45 hours

3 credits Communications, leadership, public speaking 3 credits Industry specific training 3-6 credits 3-6 credits 2. Practicum

45 hours 45 hours 45-90 hours 45-90 hours

3. AICEP Qualifying Exam

3 hours

Water resources or energy resources

3 hours


AIM for a Greener Earth Audubon International rolls out a new individual support program | JOE MADEIRA


ver the last 25 years, Audubon International has developed and administered membership programs to organizations across the world. We have enrolled thousands of facilities, properties, businesses and communities in these highly effective programs. Our programs have always been focused on providing members valuable technical resources, education and recognition to help advance environmental sustainability efforts being undertaken organization-wide. Our efforts to engage entire organizations and communities have been largely successful. However, we understand that “it takes a village” to accomplish sustainability goals, and individuals play important roles in this process. Throughout the years, we have worked with truly outstanding individuals— people who can single-handedly inspire change in organizations ranging from the size of small businesses to large corporations. In the past we have had many who individually support what we do through contributions. Throughout our history, we have achieved small steps with voluntary programs aimed at motivating individuals to act. Programs like the Green Golfer, Links to the Bay and Treasuring Home were all aimed at encouraging individuals to engage in environmentally sound practices at a “microlevel.” In November, we will roll out a new vehicle for


individual support and involvement, which refreshes and combines many of these past initiatives, but, more importantly, provides a way in which an individual can get involved with our organization, join our efforts, and get recognized for their support of our mission. The new program will encompass broad interests and appeal to a diverse constituency, but all will share a passion for the environment and community wellbeing. The Audubon International Members for a Greener Earth (or AIM for a Greener Earth) program is an exciting new model of support and involvement that supports our broader mission. Individuals may choose a category (and a level of support) where they feel they can have the greatest impact on the environment. Perhaps it is on the golf-course as a Green Golfer, or at your home with a Treasuring Home membership, or at your own school in the AIM for Students level. “We are trying to inspire people into action by connecting them to the environment through their everyday activities or interests like golfing, skiing, or even working in their garden or mowing their lawn,” says Ryan Aylesworth, President & CEO of Audubon International. “By linking these activities to the environment, it creates a compelling reason for individuals from all walks of life to become more connected with the natural world and join our efforts to responsibly steward and protect resources that benefit present and future generations.”

One of the most important success criteria of the AIM program is in building lasting relationships between individuals and Audubon International. Since many organizational members may have connections with several individuals who are committed to sustainable practices, and may not have heard of us before, this program serves to build and deepen those relationships and expand awareness and familiarity with Audubon International. “It’s one thing to purchase a membership with an environmental organization; it’s another to get actively involved, meet our expert staff, consider how your own daily activities impact the environment, ask questions, talk about concerns and issues, or just say hello. This is what being part of the AI family means,” says Aylesworth.

The AIM for a Greener Earth program will officially launch in November. Memberships vary in type and range from $15 for students to $35 for Green Golfer to $50 for the Treasuring Home member. In addition to our special gift for joining, the membership includes a subscription to our newsletter, access to conservation and educational resources, tips and suggestions. Premium levels also exist, including the Sustaining Level, which is $10 per month and is deducted automatically from your checking or credit card account. For more information please contact Joe Madeira, Associate Director of Advancement at 518-767-9051, ext. 105. Or email

Sammy the Squirrel Steals the Show The first day of the President’s Cup at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio left people chattering about a member of the local wildlife. Davis Love III started feeding a young squirrel he found at the second hole, eventually scooping it up and carting it around for the day. The squirrel, dubbed Sammy, captured the attention of the camera crews and became a media sensation. Afterwards, he was placed in the care of the Ohio Wildlife Center, which will nurse Sammy to a healthy weight and reintroduce him to the wild. This story demonstrates that golf courses can double as habitat for wildlife, a point that we emphasize in our programs. In most cases, however, it is better to avoid touching wildlife and to leave any animals where you have found them.

Do you have a comment about Sammy the Squirrel? Chime in on Twitter @AudubonIntl #sammysquirrel


Audubon International staff members share memorable encounters with wildlife Katie Hopkins, Outreach & Communications Coordinator While camping with my family in Wisconsin, we took a hike at dusk to look for deer. We came across a doe and her fawn about 30 feet off the trail. The fawn was delighted about our presence and got closer to check us out. It suddenly went running off, making a circle around its mother and then coming back to us. It did this several times, much like a dog trying to get someone to play. The doe seemed completely unphased that her fawn decided to make friends with humans.

Joe Madeira, Associate Director of Advancement I was on a beach in Florida (Atlantic Ocean side) about 6 years ago when my wife spotted a huge shape swimming parallel and very close to the shore. What we thought was a massive shark, turned out to be a manatee. I distinctly remember seeing it’s entire body in the curl of the wave before it broke right in front of me. It was a rare sight in the ocean and standing so close, I was able to fully grasp the enormity of these amazing creatures.


Jennifer Batza, Membership Coordinator My grandfather built a nesting box in our backyard 20-some years ago. Every season, chickadees make good use of it. This spring, I was looking out the window, and I saw a blue color that did not belong to chickadees. Though I could hardly believe it, there were Eastern Bluebirds examining the nestbox. I quickly ran and grabbed the camera, and they posed for me before deciding they’d rather nest elsewhere.

Joanna Nadeau, Associate Director of Environmental Programs My husband and I went canoeing on a river In the Adirondacks this summer. Not long into our trip, we saw a little head moving through the water right in front of the canoe. It was too small to be a beaver and too furry to be a fish. Once we got closer, we realized it was a chipmunk, who had picked the wrong time to swim across the channel. I had no idea chipmunks could swim!

Laura Karosic, Special Projects Coordinator When I was working in Denali National Park a couple of summers ago, I was always on the lookout for grizzlies. Early one morning I was up for a walk. I was whistling and occasionally clapping my hands together like they taught us in bear safety training, when I rounded the corner and found myself in the shadow of a huge, behemoth…. ALASKA MOOSE. She towered over me at 7 feet tall and must have weighed over 1,000 lbs. She also had a calf right next to her. I froze and waited for her to make the next move, as they can be just as surly as grizzlies when babies are present. Luckily, she seemed unperturbed by me so I snuck away quietly while I could. Even though it wasn’t a grizzly, it was pretty alarming to come across her and her calf when I was least expecting it!

Share your wildlife story by commenting on our Facebook cover photo. Select stories may be featured in an upcoming issue of Stewardship News!

New Members and New Certified Members New Members ACSP Texas Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, Plano

ACSP for Golf California Merced Golf & Country Club, Merced Outdoor Resort Indio, Indio Outdoor Resort Palm Springs, Cathedral City Colorado The Club at Flying Horse, Colorado Springs Florida The Club at Boca Pointe, Palm Beach North Carolina Forest Creek Golf Club, Pinehurst South Carolina Greenville Country Club, Greenville Texas Bay Oaks Country Club, Houston The Retreat, Cleburne Woodforest Golf Club, Montgomery

Sustainable Communities Program Kentucky Owensboro North Carolina Bald Head Island

New Certified Members ACSP California Santa Barbara Adventure Company, Santa Barbara

ACSP for Golf Colorado The Club at Flying Horse, Colorado Springs Florida John Prince Golf Learning Center, Lake Worth Maine Bangor Municipal Golf Course, Bangor

ACSP for Golf International

Texas Bay Oaks Country Club, Houston

Malaysia The Royal Selangor Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur

ACSP for Golf International

Quebec, Canada Braeside Golf Club, Senneville

Ontario, Canada Coppinwood Golf Club, Goodwood Petawawa Golf Club, Petawawa

Classic Program Tennessee

Signature Program

The Course at Sewanee, Sewanee

Kentucky Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, Owensboro

Green Lodging Program

Tennessee Wolf River Boulevard Extension, Germantown

Florida Courtyard by Marriott, Daytona Beach Give Kids the World, Orlando Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites on the Ocean, Daytona Beach Residence Inn by Marriott, Daytona Beach Georgia York House Inn, Rabun Gap


Audubon International Sponsors

The AHC Group advises companies about the critical areas of corporate governance, energy, environmental strategy, product innovation, and sustainability strategy.

GIE Media’s Golf Course Industry has been a trusted, independent resource for superintendents and other golf/ turf professionals since 1988.

M&T Bank Corporation is one of the 20 largest US headquartered commercial bank holding companies.

Sediment Removal Solutions uses an extremely clean and costeffective way of removing the sludge and toxic gases without interfering with wildlife.

CourseVision is a product of GroundLinkx, the leading provider of software solutions for golf course asset management.

The Center for Responible Travel is a nonprofit organization promoting reposonsible tourism policies and practices.

John Deere is a world leader in agricultural, construction, forestry and turf care equipment.

Lafarge North America is the largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the United States and Canada.

Ostara is a clean water company that recovers valuable nutrients from used water streams.

Toro is a leading worldwide provider of innovative turf, landscape, rental and construction equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is the nation’s oldest technological university and is well-known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace.

United States Golf Association is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Joe Madeira at


Audubon International Partners

Club Managers Association of America works with Audubon International to educate, assist, and inspire club managers to become stewards of the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency encourages environmental stewardship at golf courses through the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program.

Equine Land Conservation Resource serves to preserve land and promote access for all types of equestrian use.

The First Tee is an international nonprofit youth development organization introducing the game of golf and its inherent values to young people.

The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary initiative that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources.

Golf Course Superintendents Association of America promotes environmental education and stewardship to the thousands of golf course superintendent members of the association.

The National Ski Areas Association’s primary objective is to meet the needs of ski area owners and operators nationwide and to foster, stimulate and promote growth in the industry.

New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association promotes and markets the Audubon Green Lodging Program to over 1,300 lodging and tourism members throughout New York State.

New York State Integrated Pest Management Program develops sustainable ways to manage pests and helps people to use methods that minimize environmental, health, and economic risks.

The Sonoran Institute inspires and enables community decisions and public policies that respect the land and people of western North America.

Sustainable Landscape Integrated Pest Management Network is a coalition of educators promoting integrated pest management practices.

Clean the World recycles soap and amenities bottles used by the hospitality industry to keep them out of landfills and to save lives by preventing bacterial infections.

If you are interested in becoming a partner please contact Katie Hopkins at


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