Stewardship News Fall 2015

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StewardshipNews Audubon International’s

Volume 18, Issue 4

Fall 2015

Don’t Forget the Nuthatches | 6 Teaching Students Stream Monitoring | 8 The Economics of Community Sustainability | 12

It’s Thanksgiving ! Who would you like to thank? | 20


Message from the Executive Director: Our donors support a critical need. For this, we thank them.


inding ways to live sustainably on this planet is growing more urgent every year. With the world population projected to reach 9 billion by 2050, there will be increasingly more pressure on natural resources that provide the essential elements for life: food, air, water, shelter, and recreation. 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, local parks, neighborhoods, and municipalities. We must recognize that nature includes all the green spaces around us, not just remote preserves and scenic mountain ranges. To ensure continued use and enjoyment of nature, it is necessary to take action and protect the natural systems where we live, work, and play. Conservation must be inclusive, and all-encompassing so that we ensure developed areas, recreational lands like golf courses, and urban environments provide green space, habitat, and healthy refuges. This is the vision of Audubon International: a world where developed landscapes exist in balance with a healthy environment that supports and sustains people and strong communities.

Why should you or your organization consider directly supporting our work? We strive to provide future generations with the opportunity to experience nature that we benefit from today. Our work ensures that our families and our communities grow up healthy. A gift to Audubon International supports solutions to environmental protection where we live. Your gift helps us foster new cooperative relationships with businesses, NGO’s and communities to advance voluntary actions that have measurable benefits in our environment. Ultimately Audubon International is improving the health of the planet by mitigating a wide variety of adverse environmental practices and expanding natural areas on properties owned by businesses, individuals, and communities. Your support helps us expand this endeavour—and has a direct connection to ultimately improving your community and our planet. On the eve of this Thanksgiving, 2015, we send out a sincere and hearty thanks to all who have helped Audubon International increase its capacity and enabled thousands of organizations and individuals to take measurable steps to improve our environment. I like to say that our supporters have the ability to make a difference, but together, we make change.

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.

If you or your organization is committed to protecting the natural environment and promoting sustainability, I hope you will consider making a tax-deductible donation or becoming an official sponsor to help us deliver our mission.

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 supporters who contribute and donate to support our mission. The financial support of industry associations such as the USGA, and sponsor organizations such as R&R Products, NEO Energy, Linne Industries, and Toro- (as well as several others listed on our sponsor page in this newsletter) have been critical.

Warmest regards and Happy Thanksgiving,,

Cover photo:




Doug Bechtel


Daron Blake


Joe Madeira


Contents Stewardship News Volume 18, Issue 4

Fall 2013

Announcements | 4 Read what we have been up to

Joanna Nadeau


Tara Donadio


Fred Realbuto

Resources from a Turf Conference | 5 Daron Blake provides resources from the NYSTA conference

Don’t Forget the Nuthatch | 6 When helping Bluebirds, you can also help the Nuthatch


Science in the Field for Students | 8

Nancy Richardson

Learn about our stream monitoring program



Recipe: Roasted Wild Turkey | 10 Cooking Tips from the National Wild Turkey Federation

The Economics of Community Sustainability | 10 Learn about the economic benefits of sustainable practices

Recognize Your Members Campaign | 17 Make a donation to Audubon International to recognize your volunteers

Welcome New Staff Member, Daron Blake | 18 120 Defreest Drive Troy, New York 12180 518-767-9051

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

Daron joins Audubon International as a Program Specialist

Featured Photos | 19 Impressive photos of wildlife from members

Staff Picks on “Who They Would Thank “| 20 Staff members share their thoughts on gratitude


Announcements Here are some of the things we have going on: A Benefit to Your Community

For a limited time, new private communities get 25% off their first year of membership in the Sustainable Communities Program (normally $1,000). To get the first year in the SCP for $750 (a $250 savings), use discount code: NEWJOIN25 when registering your community*. Contact us for an application form or join now on our website at sustainable-communities-join (Note: you will be prompted to enter the discount code after you have submitted a contact email address for a new membership) We look forward to welcoming you aboard! *Discount expires June 30, 2016

Congratulations Tara!

Our Director of Cooperative Sanctuary Program, Tara, was married on October 10, 2015. Some of you may have noticed a name change in our staff listing. Please join us in congratulating Mrs. Tara Donadio.

See you at the Golf Industry Show!

If you’re attending the Golf Industry Show in San Diego, in February 2016, please be sure to stop by the Audubon International booth # 5411. Come meet our staff.

That’s booth #5411 Green Neighborhood News

The Oldfield Community in South Carolina received Audubon International’s Neighborhood for Nature Award in recognition of outstanding efforts to foster environmental awareness and stewardship in the Green Neighborhoods Program. Special thanks to Naturalist Jill Kombrink who spearheaded five projects in one year!

Kids play with a watershed model at Oldfield community event

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


including shipping!


Visit the eStore

Resources from NYSTA As Audubon International’s Program Specialist, Daron Blake helps members access resources and make strong stewardship management decisions. An integral part of her job is to learn about the latest developments in environmental science and land management to best serve Audubon International members.

Daron attended the New York State Turfgrass Association’s (NYSTA) Turf and Grounds Exposition this November in Rochester and was delighted to participate in the many informative, fascinating education sessions. She heard groundskeepers, superintendents, turfgrass scientists, plant diagnosticians, and more speak about their areas of expertise. Here is a summary of three of the most helpful resources she learned about at the Turfs and Grounds Exposition below. Conference List of Resources: ennifer Grant, Director of the New York State IPM Program, gave a virtual tour of Cornell’s newest online turfgrass resources. New resources include a turfgrass and landscape weed identification tool, free iBooks, and how-to videos on lawn care. This winter, there will be a self-assessment tool for golf courses to complement Cornell’s Best Management Practices for Golf Courses, a superintendent-driven set of recommended practices which has been reviewed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.


Access these online turfgrass resources and more at


ichard Buckley, Director of Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services at Rutgers University, led a session on Recognizing Abiotic Stress in Turfgrass. Abiotic stresses such as heat and moisture often damage turfgrass, but can be less easily identifiable than biotic stresses such as disease and pests. Buckley emphasized that if you see similar symptoms on unrelated plants in a landscape, it is likely due to abiotic stress; the uniformity of the symptoms implies that all plants are suffering from the same stress. When diagnosing abiotic stress, Buckley suggests recording weather, analyzing the site, and checking your management program. For more information on Dr. Buckley’s research and the Plant Diagnostic Laboratory at Rutgers University, visit


rank Rossi, Associate Professor of Turfgrass Science and Extension Turfgrass Specialist at Cornell University, spoke about Simple Steps to Reduce Environmental Risk Associated with Pesticide Use. Reducing need, applying with precision, and selecting pesticides with all possible impacts in mind are all intelligent ways to reduce risk. Rossi recommends using the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) as an evaluation tool for pesticide selection. The EIQ includes considerations of the product’s effect on golfers, applicators, and the environment. Find more information and an Environmental Impact Quotient tool at To learn more about the New York State Turfgrass Association, visit their website at If you’d like to talk more about what I learned or any of these resources, please e-mail


Dont forget the Nuthatch when helping Bluebirds

White-Breasted Nuthatch



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, fewer old pine stands are usable by these birds. 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 nestbox programs throughout their range. My students and I * hypothesized that the burgeoning bluebird population in the Southeast may be negatively impacting Brown-headed


Nuthatches if bluebirds are monopolizing nesting boxes in areas where they coexist with Brownheaded 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 “bluebird proof”

nest boxes (with small holes). On three control courses, all boxes retained large, “bluebird-friendly” holes.

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.

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 And of course, if golf courses absence of management are interested in initiating intervention, bluebirds a nest box program, simply outcompete nuthatches. make sure that both Finally, to demonstrate bluebirds and nuthatches that the above results are provided for. Bluebird were not biased, we lovers (many of whom reversed the treatments 1.5” entrance holes (left) accommodateboth bluebirds are responsible for the on our six golf courses. and nuthatches; smallerholes (right) exclude the larger monitoring of golf course When we provided nest box programs) bluebirds.native habitat smaller holes to a subset may be initially reluctant of boxes on our control to reduce opportunities for courses, the numbers of nuthatch nests increased bluebirds. Two facts should help persuade them. significantly (after four years of no nuthatches). First, the North American Bluebird Society However, on the three courses where nuthatches includes all cavity-nesting birds in its mission had become common reeders as a result of our statement. Second, numbers of bluebirds in the providing boxes with bluebird-proof holes, Southeast have quadrupled over the same period we observed widespread usurpation of nuthatches that nuthatch numbers have declined. Nest boxes by bluebirds when large holes were returned to have rescued bluebirds; now it’s the nuthatches’ turn. these experimental boxes. And finally, most bird enthusiasts are thoroughly Our data suggest that golf course nest box programs charmed by the charismatic, squeaky, group-living can make a significant contribution to the recovery Brown-headed Nuthatch. of the Brown-headed Nuthatch if boxes are provided with smaller entrance holes. We recommend that *This article is a reprint from a Southeastern (eastern Virginia to eastern Texas) golf 2009 Stewardship News article by courses that already have nest boxes consider Mark Stanbeck, Davidson College. retrofitting a subset of them (at least one third) © Audubon International with 1” entrance holes. Although 1.25” holes can accomplish the same result, 1.25” holes also


Science in the Field for Students In 2002 staff at Audubon International recieved a grant to help students from a nearby high school monitor a section of the OnesquethawCoeymans Creek. Little did we know at the time that this program would become an AP Biology elective in the school curriculum and an educational program for AI.


or the last 13 years, students have been going out in the field bi-weekly to gather data regarding temperature, ph, DO, ORP, Nitrates, Phosphates, conductivity, flow rate, and macro-invertebrate populations on the Onesquethaw and the Coeymans Creeks, and at the convergence of the two. This information now serves as a database that can be analyzed to determine the relative health of the watershed. Over the course of the last 13 years over one-hundred AP biology students have had the opportunity to


substitute traditional classroom work for field study as their final project. Receiving college credit for their efforts weighs in the balance of their performance. Not only do the students experience “real time science� in the field, they also learn to work as a unit under sometimes challenging circumstances. As part of the curriculum, the students are required to prepare a final report on their finding and emerging trends. They learn valuable public speaking skills by making these presentations to School Boards, Water-

key element in getting buy-in from the school was the expression of our commitment to assist in the implementation of the program. One of the most satisfying phenomenon, when these things came together has been that after a few years of the program it became a regular component of the AP biology curriculum. We no longer consider whether or not the program will be conducted in the following year but rather how many students will be participating!

shed Groups and Industry, including local industry. The students are also asked to be “student teachers”, leading elementary school students on a tour of the section of the creek the High School Students have been monitoring and assisting the third graders in releasing young trout at the site. This release is the culmination of the “Trout in the Classroom” project that local industry also helps to support. In this program elementary school students raise the trout in their classroom from eggs to release. There are of course challenges in creating a program like this. But a willingness to face these challenges can lead to some great opportunities. Finding educators, establishing buy-in for the program from those educators and securing funding are, of course, the greatest challenges. In our case, we did an inventory of what industrial resources existed in our watershed. We prepared a tentative budget and then proceeded to reach out to the companies we had identified. We simultaneously contacted the science department at a High School within the watershed and made our pitch. A

Another rewarding by-product of the program is that enough scientific credibility has been established by the program that the students are now being asked to conduct testing to answer questions on the relative health of the water body on behalf of the local watershed group. The value of the Stream Monitoring Program is incalculable at this point as it is impossible to accurately gauge the positive impact exposure to this kind of field science has had on the hundreds of students, from Elementary to High School, that have been either directly or indirectly exposed to it. We know of one alumnus who chose to study marine biology at the Coast Guard Academy. We like to think that this was, in some small part, a result of this experience and we can only hope that others will be similarly inspired in the future. For more information on how you can start a stream monitoring program in your community, contact our office. Your local Water Quality Coordinating Committee can also be a great resource.



Roasted Wild Turkey Planning to roast a wild turkey this week, and share it around a table with family and friends? Take a page from the National Wild Turkey Federation’s cookbook, Cooking Across Turkey Country. Recipe by Gregory Werner, NWTF Director of Information Technology

PREPARATION INGREDIENTS for BRINE • 2 gallons water • 2 oranges • 2 lemons • 1 onion, cut into 8 pieces • 1 cup brown sugar • 1 cup Kosher salt • couple sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary


Make brining mixture, mixing all ingredients. Squeeze the oranges and lemons into the mixture and toss in the rinds too. Soak turkey in a cooler with ice and the brining mixture overnight. If you need more brine, use ½ cup salt and ½ cup brown sugar for every gallon of water. Use additional fruit as desired. Llightly stuff the turkey with a couple celery stalks, onion pieces and a couple carrots, along with a half lemon and half orange from the brine mixture. Roast turkey.

DIRECTIONS Start with 24 hours of brining. The acids in the fruit help tenderize the meat, and the salt and sugar makes the turkey super juicy and tasty.

1. Place the turkey breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Do not add water. 2. Before placing the turkey in the oven, you may want to brush it with cooking oil, melted butter or margarine, although it’s not necessary. 3. Cover the turkey with a loose tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent over browning, allow for maximum heat circulation and keep the turkey moist. To make a tent, tear off a sheet of foil 5 to 10 inches longer than the turkey. Crease the foil crosswise through the center and place over the turkey, crimping loosely onto the sides of the pan to hold it in place.

ROASTING CHART The following times are based on an oven preheated to 325 F. Use shorter cooking times for wild turkey so it doesn’t dry out. WEIGHT UNSTUFFED STUFFED (pounds) (hours) (hours) 4 to 6 (breasts) 1½ to 2¼ --6 to 8 2¼ to 3¼ 3 to 3¼ 8 to 12 3 to 4 3½ to 4½ 12 to 16 3½ to 4½ 4½ to 5½ 16 to 20 4 to 5 5½ to 6½ 20 to 24 4½ to 5½ 6½ to 7 24 to 28 5 to 6½ 7 to 8½

4. Roast according to the following chart. 5. To brown the turkey, remove the foil tent 20 to 30 minutes before roasting is finished, and continue cooking until the meat thermometer reaches 185 F.


The Economics of Community Sustainability Joanna Nadeau and Victoria Wood


owns and communities work hard to provide services efficiently. Becoming environmentally-friendly may be considered time consuming or as an optional strategy. To the contrary, sustainable practices can release financial burdens, save time and be fundamental in your community thriving economically and otherwise. Economic benefits from sustainable practices come from two areas:

Environmental Cost Reduction Savings generated through using fewer resources provides a direct economic reward for sustainability practices.

Environmental Revenue Generation Increased business investment from those seeking more sustainable products provides a financial payoff for performing sustainable practices.

An estimated $1 trillion is spent globally on sustainable products!

There are many areas in a community in which sustainable practices can save money, time and enhance revenues in addition to enhancing health, social equity, and community enjoyment. Here are some key examples of how economic and environmental sustainability align.

Sustainable Transportation Sustainable transportation systems reduce fossil fuel consumption and air pollution by changing road operations and shifting travel from solo driving to more


The three branches of sustainability: healthy/equity, economic vitality, and natural environment are pivotal for a community to prosper.

efficient modes, including transit, walking and biking. Nearly 75% of U.S. residents want to live in a community where they can walk or bicycle everywhere given the necessary facilities. Some communities have invested in alternative infrastructure (e.g. bike lanes) in order to satisfy increasing demand among citizens. However, the option to bike or walk safely from all points in a community is not commonly available. The economic and social benefits to communities

offering sustainable transportation include: • Infrastructure projects that stimulate the local economy • Residents want to live nearby streets with bike lanes, increasing demand for homes • Residents spending more money at local businesses • Attracting new residents and businesses seeking high quality of life • Keeping residents healthy and fit • Increased sense of community with more social interactions • Establishing local pride in an area

What is a quantifiable economic impact of sustainable transportation? One study estimates that the spillover revenue caused by recreational biking alone could be as large as $133 more a month is billion annually for the U.S. spent at local shops economy. For instance, by a bicyclist than a after opening a bikeway in driver in Portland, OR Leadville, Colorado, the city reported a 19% increase in sales tax revenue. Another study of Portland, Oregon showed that bicycling customers spent more per month ($75.66) than their car-driving counterparts ($68.56) at local bars, restaurants and convenience stores.


Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Forty percent of total U.S. energy consumption occurs in commercial and residential buildings. Did you know that homes and businesses can dramatically lower their energy use with sustainable building retrofits? One lowcost retrofit to reduce energy in hot and cold seasons alike is planting trees! Trees planted in the right location can: • Create a more livable environment by providing summer shade • Reduce the amount of heat absorbed by paved surfaces, reducing the heat island effect in urban areas • Lower building energy use for cooling in summer and heating in winter and decrease use of fossil fuels • Provide windbreak from winter winds • Provide a sink for carbon dioxide and absorb pollutant particles

What is the overall economic benefit of planting trees to reduce energy use? It is possible to save 20-35% on a household’s summer energy bills by planting trees on the east, west, and northwest sides of buildings.


smaller energy bills at home where shade trees are planted

Sustainable Energy Use Air pollution and climate change are caused by the burning of fossil fuels, which supply most of our energy uses. By reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned, we create a cleaner, healthier environment. Also, “many people now seek out homes and communities that are more resource efficient and sensitive to the environment,” reports Gary Thomas from the National Association of Realtors. There are two approaches to sustainable energy use: using energy wisely in buildings and using clean or renewable energy.

The citizens of Wildpoldsried, Germany can boast of not only being completely off the national energy grid, but also lowering their carbon emissions by 125%.


Water Efficiency

Urban Infill

A typical American household uses roughly 260 gallons of water every day through faucets, toilets, showerheads, appliances and outdoor landscaping. Many water fixtures and appliances use old technology that does not conserve water, leaving much room to improve efficiencies. Investing in WaterSense faucets and toilets, high-efficiency showerheads (flow rates <3.5 gallons per minute) and ENERGYSTAR appliances will not only conserve water, but also create an ongoing return of money saved on water bills. Some water-reducing practices are completely free and only require behavioral changes, such as: turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, fixing small leaks in pipes, taking shorter showers and utilizing natural landscapes that require less water.

In land use planning, “infill” refers to the rededication of vacant or underutilized land within an urban area to new development. By doing so, an area considered essentially wasted in a city can provide housing or a new area for business.

The benefits of water efficient practices include:

The economic and social benefits of encouraging urban infill include: • Redirecting development away from greenfields outside of a city, thus preserving wildlife areas and native habitat • Reduced suburban sprawl and associated costs of infrastructure in outlying areas • Limiting the pollution associated with commuting larger distances

• Conserving fresh drinking water (which makes up only 1% of the water on Earth)

• Supporting local public transportation and commercial activities in concentrated centers

• Drought-affected areas can further extend limited water supplies

• Businesses located in urban infill settings stimulating the local economy with new jobs

• Cutting energy use associated with pumping, heating, and treating water • Maintaining healthy ecosystems by keeping more water in streams • Savings of 60 billion gallons annually possible if every home used WaterSense technology

60,000,000,000 gallons or $350 million Amount of water and money in utility bills that could be saved annually by every home throughout the United States using WaterSense technology. (That’s enough to meet the public water demand for the city of Miami for more than 150 days!)


What is the overall economic benefit of utilizing urban infill? One study found that municipalities could save between 22-32% on services such as roads, sewers, water and transit by making the most of available urban infill sites.


could be saved in municipal service costs through infill development

Naturalizing Landscapes: Over 40 million acres of turf in the United States are maintained by communities, on municipal parks and at businesses, however, the economic and environmental costs of maintaining lawns can outweigh their benefits. Instead, some areas can be converted into more visually interesting and climate-appropriate landscapes.

The benefits of naturalizing landscapes include: • Conserving water—native plants do not require heavy watering after establishment • Lowering energy use by decreasing the need for mowing

• Creating more (and greener) jobs — jobs are created 10 to 1 for materials that are recycled instead of sent to landfills • Increasing community revenues from sale of recycled materials

• Saving labor time spent maintaining grass

• Companies that use recycled materials saving energy and money

• Preserving a wildlife area for native plants and animals

• Reducing the need for logging and mining to obtain raw materials

• Lowering the use of fertilizers and chemical applications

• Creating 5.6 million kWh per year of clean electricity

• Reducing chemical runoff into waterways

• Reducing green house gas emissions by 13,500 tons per year

What is the overall economic benefit of utilizing natural landscaping on a property?


Since naturalizing 20 acres of formerly mown roughs, Edgewood Country Club in New Jersey saves approximately $46,500/year on water, fuel, pesticides, labor and equipment.

Sustainable Waste Management Each day, the average American throws away 4 pounds of trash; that’s 3/4 of a ton every year for one person! Recycling and reusing materials helps to limit the amount of trash that ends up in a landfill. There are also numerous new technologies being used by communities to save money while using waste, two of which are biodigesters and composting.


Recycling: With an increase in single-stream recycling facilities and growing markets for recycled materials, more communities than ever are collecting recyclables. Over a million people are currently employed in the U.S. recycling industry, and a shift to a 75% national recycling rate would create nearly 2.3 million jobs. The many benefits of municipal recycling programs include: • Lower costs of operating a recycling facility versus paying landfill disposal costs • In some states a redemption payback is given to individuals recycling cans and bottles

Winghaven Country Club in Missouri converted an area of managed turf that was difficult and time consuming to care for to a xeriscaped garden. Now the area is more aesthetically pleasing and requires less water and fewer labor hours to maintain. 15

Composting Many municipalities across the United States have some type of composting initiative since it is relatively easy, can be offered free to the public and can save money. Composting consists of allowing leaves, grass and food waste to degrade into organic fertilizer. The many benefits of composting include: • Reducing the amount of waste in landfills • Lowering the amount of methane and leachate released by landfills • Avoiding disposal fees and labor costs associated with waste disposal • Enriching soils by creating a beneficial microhabitat for micro-organisms • Decreasing the use of pesticides, water and fertilizer At Broken Sound Club, food waste from the club’s restaurants is mixed with wood waste from the golf course in this 42-foot-long drum to start the composting process.

• Creating fertilizer, and therefore saving money on landscape costs

What is a quantifiable economic benefit of composting on one property? Broken Sound Club in Florida now saves roughly $150,000/year on disposal fees and labor since installing a composting facility.

Biodigesters Money follows innovation. For the University of California-Davis this was certainly the case after they unveiled a waste management innovation: their first biodigester. Biodigesters create an oxygen-starved environment where bacteria feed on nutrients from food scraps placed inside.

The benefits of the UC Davis biodigester include:

$336,000 saved in energy costs annually by the biodigester

• Diverting 20,000 tons of trash from the landfill each year • Creating energy that can directly be used by the campus • Creating 5.6 million kWh per year of clean electricity • Reducing green house gas emissions by 13,500 tons per year

If you are inerested in realizing the economic benefits of sustainability in your community, contact Joanna Nadeau at for more information on joining the Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program. 16

Remember to Thank Your Volunteers


e introduced this campaign last year and received such a great response! Many of our members have their own members who volunteer and contribute to your environmental efforts- and now we have a way for you and your organization to thank and recognize them. Click below or call us.


ake a donation to Audubon International in the name of a person for $35 (or more) and we will send them a Certificate of Recognition for Contributions in Environmental Stewardship. It’s a great way to thank your committee, your helpers, your bird counters, etc... on the eve of this Thanksgiving. Donations are 100% tax deductible and each recipient will receive a certificate- and a letter stating that a donation has been made to honor them. Audubon International is a not for profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For questions, contact Joe Madeira Director of Advancement at 518-767-9051, or email, 17

From Our


welcome Daron Blake New staff member Daron Blake tells us a little about herself


s I enter my fifth month as Program Specialist at Audubon International, each day brings new lessons, new people, and new challenges to my door. Most days, I review certification and recertification requests, help members access our resources, and provide assistance to my colleagues in Audubon International’s certification programs. I have been lucky enough to travel across the United States, collaborating on education events on golf courses, representing Audubon International at the WaterSmart Innovations Expo in Las Vegas, and attending a variety educational sessions and conferences to better understand my new responsibilities. I came to Audubon International after several years of working in academic and nonprofit environments in Kansas, Vermont, and New York. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from SUNY Binghamton and a Master’s in Environmental History from Kansas

State University. I have worked with aquatic invasive plant removal projects in Lake Champlain, studied wild bison on the Konza Prairie, and educated students and visitors about the eastern deciduous forest on field trips. I fell in love with the oak and hemlock forests of upstate New York as a child. I believe in compassion, curiosity, and the importance of getting some dirt under your fingernails. When I’m not working at Audubon International, I can be found hiking, reading, singing, and playing board games, although not often all at once. So far, my favorite thing about working at Audubon International is the dedicated, passionate, and fun energy of the staff. I look forward to learning from our members, travelling to new places, and expanding my own areas of expertise. Particularly, I love reviewing members’ documents that include amazing photos of gorgeous landscapes and stunning wildlife.

In her free time, Daron explores new places near and far, including Woodford State Park in Vermont (above) and the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland (left).


A Special Thanks.. Our Manager of Member Services, Delphine Tseng, offers a special thanks to a few individuals this Thanksgiving

Featured Phot s

I would like to thank: My grandfather. He was one of the first wave of the Western-trained doctors. He returned to his hometown in a remote village in Taiwan to open his own clinic. I grew up learning everything from him, from German poetry, Japanese art history to basic medical knowledge, but most importantly, compassion and empathy, whose endless love for the needy forever left a mark in my heart. My parents. By saying that I thank my parents is to say that I’m grateful to be where I am today. My mum instilled in me the impeccable work ethics and inspired my love for languages while dad taught me how to not just be a good businesswoman, but a good human. Oh and Baba, thank you for driving me around when I was on a business trip in Taiwan! There were places I wouldn’t be able to go to without you! 謝謝爸爸! 爸爸媽媽我愛你!

Wu Fong Golf Course, Taiwan A crested serpent eagle at Wu Fong Golf Course in Taiwan. This golf course intentionally provides ideal habitat for crested serpent eagles in order to control several snake species that have become management challenges in Taiwan.

The Sky. There was a lesson in elementary school Chinese class textbook back in Taiwan that talked about gratitude, and why we always “thank the Sky”. “Because in your lifetime, there will be too many people to thank, you will not have the time to thank them all, so just thank the Sky. Thank the Sky for the rice in your bowl, for the people in your life, even for the hard work you get to do.” (it’s way more poetic in its original language.)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone . Thank you.

John Riegsacker, Chambers Bay Golf Course Chambers Bay, located on the Puget Sound in Washington, provides ideal habitat for several species including osprey. Share your photos! If you would like to see your photos featured here or on our Facebook page, e-mail them to info@ 19

From our Staff.....

If you could say “thanks” to anyone, living or deceased, who would it be?

Daron Blake Program Specialist I would thank my father, Michael Blake. His warmth, generosity, and humor are contagious, and I’ve learned from him that each act of kindness is important and can brighten up part of the world.

Joe Madeira, Director of Advancement I would like to thank a great American painter, Albert Bierstadt, who gave us incredible views of the American west, including his work, “Domes of the Yosemite” (1863) which played a role in convincing Congress to give the Yosemite Valley to the State of California to be set aside as a park “for public use, resort, and recreation”


Doug Bechtel Executive Director My daughter. She reminds me every day that curiosity about nature is the best human attribute. I want to learn about our world with the same innocence and purity that comes naturally to her four-year-old brain and heart.

Joanna Nadeau, Director of Community Programs My parents, for taking me camping before I could walk, and showing me many parts of the U.S. as a child. They instilled in me a love of being outdoors and of the diversity of landscapes in this country, which feed my spirit still.

Tara Donadio Director of Cooperative Sanctuary Program I would like to thank Rachel Carson, a great conservationist. Her perseverance to make people aware of the dangers of pesticides was instrumental in the ban on DDT. She also is the author of one of my favorite quotes. “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”

The Board and Staff of Audubon International would like to thank all our members, and extend wishes for a joyous and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

New Members and New Certified Members New Members

New Certified Members



New Hampshire Canaan Conservation Commission, Canaan

Texas Oak Oint Park and Nature Preserve, Plano

Georgia Judson University, Elgin

ACSP for Golf

ACSP for Golf

Arizona Sewailo Golf Club, Tucson

Arizona Desert Forest Golf Club, Carefree

Colorado Collindale Golf Course, Fort Collins

California Whittier Narrows Golf Course, Los Angeles Redwood Canyon Golf Course, Alameda

Florida The Club at Olde Cypress, Naples

Colorado Windwalker Ranch, Steamboat Springs

South Carolina Lancaster Golf Club, Lancaster The Cliffs at Mountain Park, Travelers Rest

Florida Blue Heron Pines Golf Course, Punta Gorda

Texas Trophy Club Country Club, Trophy Club

Walkabout Golf and Country Club, Titusville Riverside Club Golf Course, Ruskin

Virginia Prince William Golf Course, Nokesville

Illinois Panther Creek Country Club, Springfield

ACSP for Golf International

Maine Brunswick Golf Club, Brunswick

Hsin-chu, Taiwan Tsai Hsing Elite Club

North Carolina Rock Barn Golf & Spa, Conover

Singapore Seletar Country Club

South Carolina Oyster Reef Golf Club, Hilton Head Wisconsin Green Bay Country Club, Green Bay

ACSP for Golf International Britich Columbia, Canada The Royal Selangor Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey

School Partners for the Environment Tennessee Unity of Nashville, Nashville


Audubon International Sponsors Audubon International’s sponsors provide critical support that enables us to deliver high-quality environmental education and to facilitate the management of land, water, wildlife and other natural resources where people live, work, and play. These contributions have made a positive impact on our environment and we are appreciative of the sponsorship we receive for our programs and services.

Eye Dog

As a tax-exempt, 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, Audubon International accepts donations from individuals and corporations to support our ongoing efforts in environmental outreach and education. Through programs designed to educate and inspire action, we are finding ways to work with others to make a greater impact. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Joe Madeira at

Sponsor Spotlight

LINNE Industries LLC is the manufacturer of the PondHawkÂŽ Solar Pond Aeration System (pat. pending). Founded in August 2013 and based in Newark, Delaware, LINNE Industries designs and manufactures sustainable energy products that improve the environment while providing best-in-class energy systems that deliver dynamic solutions for their customers. PondHawk is the first fully-integrated pond aeration system that improves water quality, eliminates algae, and restores habitat without power delivery or electric costs. For more information, please visit


Audubon International Partners Audubon International partners with organizations to help support our mission. These mutually-beneficial partnerships involve the sharing of expertise and resources, collaboration on projects, and cross-promotion. Through our partners we are able to expand our impact and more effectively meet our environmental goals.

Audubon International is always looking to partner with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions for collaboration opportunities. If you are interested in becoming a partner, please contact Joe Madeira at

Partner Spotlight

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America is the professional association for the men and women who manage and maintain the game’s most valuable resource — the golf course. Today, GCSAA and its members are recognized by the golf industry as one of the key contributors in elevating the game and business to its current state. GCSAA is a leading golf organization and has as its focus golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to more than 17,000 members in more than 72 countries. GCSAA’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf.


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