Stewardship News |Volume 16, Issue 1 | Spring 2013

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StewardshipNews Audubon International’s

Volume 16, Issue 1

Earth Day 2013 | 16

New Program for Private Landowners | 10

Spring 2013

Audubon International Gets a New Habitat | 5

Eagle Cam Draws a Crowd | 7

Spring is in the Air | 8 1

Message from the CEO: Fun and Exciting Times at Audubon International Based on my own personal experience, I’ve always generally agreed with the saying “time flies when you’re having fun.” Even still, it’s hard to believe that 10 months have passed since the Audubon International Board of Directors placed the organization into my trusted care. It’s starting to feel like in the time it takes me to fill up a coffee cup, I’ll realize we need to begin planning a celebration for the organization’s rapidly approaching 50th anniversary (we just celebrated our 25th this past summer). I’ve never believed that hard work and fun are inherently mutually exclusive. In fact, tasks that are particularly stimulating and meaningful – especially when mission-oriented in nature – are often the most rewarding (the phrase “nothing worth doing is easy” comes to mind)… and, well, that’s where the fun comes in! Now that I have you nodding your heads, I hope you realize how much fun can be had during the process of becoming (re)certified through one of Audubon International’s rigorous, award-winning environmental education and certification programs! Will it require some mental energy? Absolutely. Will it challenge you to think a little differently about how a facility is designed and operated? You bet. Will it require a degree of upfront financial investment? Yes, but membership in our programs is highly economical, especially when you consider the many benefits of certification: • • • • • • • •

Measurable improvements in environmental health Strategic protection or restoration of natural areas Decreased consumption of energy, water and other resources Reduced operating costs (which can be quite significant) Reduced liability (including improved worker safety) Increased staff and visitor satisfaction Public recognition and enhanced image as a leader in sustainability Enriched public awareness and environmental education

Audubon International prides itself on meeting folks where they are, and we help our members incorporate effective environmental education, planning, and natural resource management into all of their long-term goals. Although it is true that many human activities degrade our natural resource base, it is equally true that ambitious environmental quality objectives can be realized using strategies that are highly compatible with a given facility’s (or organization’s or community’s) socioeconomic goals. We embrace the view that sustainability is more Cover photo: Eastern Bluebirds, Jennifer Batza


than sound stewardship of natural resources, and a sustainable future requires a logical Ryan at the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake integration of Placid, NY in February 2013. activities that are environmentally viable, economically feasible, and socially desirable. As such, each of Audubon International’s programs are designed to help stakeholders, organizations, and communities protect and Environment Sustainability conserve natural resources (environmental), promote educational opportunities Economy Society (social), and enhance their bottom line (economic). Maybe you are already implementing many environmentally-friendly practices? Becoming certified by Audubon International will help you verify the efficacy of what you’re doing, identify additional strategies that can lead to even greater success, and ensure that you receive more recognition for all the commendable actions undertaken. Audubon International deeply appreciates the enriching and long-lasting relationships we have formed with our members over the last two (plus) decades. The educational process is a two-way street, and we constantly infuse new information that we acquire from our members. We have gotten pretty good at what we do, but we aren’t resting on our laurels. We are dedicated to continuous improvement and are actively expanding our organization’s capacity and scope so that our members and the natural environment glean increasingly valuable benefits. So, whether you are a prospective member, a member working toward certification, a certified member, or otherwise, I hope you’ll take full advantage of all the ways that collaborating with Audubon International can benefit the work that you do. Give us a call and we’ll start (or resume) the conversation. Remember… time flies when you’re having fun! Warmest regards,

Ryan J. Aylesworth, President & CEO


Ryan Aylesworth PRESIDENT & CEO

Jennifer Batza

Contents Stewardship News Volume 16, Issue 1 Spring 2013


Katie Hopkins

Announcements | 4


Read what we have been up to

Laura Karosic

Audubon International Gets a New Habitat | 5


AI has moved its headquarters to Troy, NY

Joellen Lampman


Finding my Fit | 6

Joanna Nadeau

New staff member Laura Karosic describes her journey toward making a living doing what she loves


Fred Realbuto


Paula Realbuto


Nancy Richardson

Eagle Cam | 7 A golf course gets a closer look at its neighbors

Spring is in the Air | 8 Get ready for the spring season with these tips

A New Program for Northeastern Landowners | 10


Audubon International Announces New Conservation Services for Private Landowners

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

A desert community embraces green living

The first certified Classic Program member undergoes a second renovation and demonstates that there is always room for greater sustainability

The Sustainability Journey of Rio Verde, Arizona | 12

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

Continuously Improving | 14

Earth Day 2013 | 16 Join an Earth Day event near you


Announcements Our year has started out with a bang. Here are some of the things we have going on: The Encompass Championship to be held at ACSP Certified Golf Course

North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Illinois will be the host of The Encompass Championship from June 17-23. The event will be raising money for charities including Bears Care and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The championship will include a Pro-Am format in which professional golfers will partner with celebrities and other amateurs and a traditional 54-hole professional tournament for a title and prize. Well-known names will be present to compete including Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Nick Price, and Tom Watson.

Ryan Aylesworth to Speak at ASGCA Annual Meeting

President & CEO Ryan Aylesworth will be speaking at the annual meeting of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) in April. The meeting will take place in Greensboro, Georgia at Reynolds Plantation, where all six golf courses are certified members of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. The annual meeting is considered by ASGCA to be “the signature event for interaction, innovation and education relating to golf course architecture in the United States.”

Riverwood, Florida Joins the Sustainable Communities Program

The private community of Riverwood, Florida has become the most recent community in Florida to join Audubon International’s growing Sustainable Communities Program. Riverwood, located just one hour from Fort Myers, FL, has a vibrant community of more than 2,600 property owners who determine the community’s priorities. They have determined a major priority is the ecological sensitivity of the area, which includes an eagle preserve and bird sanctuary.

Audubon International launches partnership with Ski Industry

Audubon International is very excited to announce that it recently entered


into a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). The NSAA is the trade association for ski area owners and operators, and it represents over 300 resorts that account for more than 90% of the skier/ snowboarder visits in the United States. In addition to memorializing a formal partnership, the MOU establishes a general framework of cooperation that will be used to achieve the common goal of advancing sustainable natural resource management on ski area and resort properties.

Two New Staff Members Join Audubon International’s Team

Laura Karosic joined the team in December as the Special Projects Coordinator. Originally from Pennsylvania, she completed her Master’s Degree in Sustainable Systems at Slippery Rock University. In February, Katie Hopkins took on the role of External Communications Coordinator. She is originally from Wisconsin and holds a Master of Public Affairs degree in Sustainable Development and Nonprofit Management from Indiana University.

Linda Snow Leaves Kentucky Office

Over the last 16 years many of you have come to know the familiar, friendly voice of Linda Snow, who fielded all calls to our Signature Program Office in Kentucky. With bittersweet emotions we announce that in early March, Linda accepted a position as the Office Manager of a physical therapy practice in Henderson, Kentucky and is no longer with Audubon International. While we are saddened to lose such an invaluable asset, we are thrilled at the opportunities this new position presents for Linda. We will miss not only her ever-present good cheer, but her expertise and efficiency as well. With warmest regards, we wish Linda much success as she assumes her new position.

Audubon International Gets a New Habitat On February 18, Audubon International began operating out of its new headquarters in the Rensselaer Technology Park in Troy, New York. Prior to the move, the organization maintained its headquarters at the nature preserve known as Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary in Selkirk, New York. The preserve’s 138 acres were generously gifted to the organization by the late Dr. Robert Rienow and feature rare geologic features, mature hardwood forests, a meandering segment of the Onesquathaw Creek, a tranquil pond, an expansive network of caves, and healthy populations of resident and migratory wildlife. The new headquarters in Troy allows Audubon International to operate out of an energy-effienicient building in a more central location and gives the The primary boardroom at the new headquarters organization room to grow in the future. Audubon International will continue to care for Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary to ensure that the property’s natural landscape is managed in a “forever wild” state and it remains a unique place, free and open to the public to recreate and reconnect with nature. Audubon International’s new contact information:

120 Defreest Drive, Troy, New York 12180 phone: 518-767-9051 | fax: 518-767-9076 The new building’s lobby area


From Our


Finding My Fit


grew up in rural Pennsylvania with no neighbors and a state forest as my backyard. Much of my time was spent running through the woods with my sisters, identifying trees with my father, and admiring the quiet beauty of the forest at dusk. Somewhere along the way, I grew up, obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, moved to various urban areas, and worked various jobs completely unrelated to my major. My love for nature remained a pastime, but something was missing. While living in Berkeley, California, I spent four years in the field of youth development and education, and explored the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area on my days off. Instead of doing what I loved as a pastime, could I do it for a living? But didn’t that mean I would have to figure out what I loved doing and how to make a living out of it?

Photo: Laura Karosic

Laura and her dog, Timber, on a hike in Martinez, CA in 2011

Laura volunteering for a native plant restoration at Merritt College in Oakland, CA in 2010


Photo: Laura Karosic

New staff member Laura Karosic describes her journey toward making a living doing what she loves

So began the search for my passion. While in Berkeley, I enrolled in a couple of night classes in environmental studies at a local community college. They blew me away with simple truths: the secret to gardening in a dry Mediterranean climate is native plants; restoring damaged ecological areas is best accomplished by mimicking natural processes and patterns; working with nature instead of against it allows for the maximum benefit of the entire system. I enrolled in some more classes, became heavily involved in volunteer management and ecological restoration efforts at the school – and began to see that, with some strategic planning, I could get myself into graduate school and ultimately find work in a field that I am passionate about.

was designed to address a number of needs that aligned well to my mixed professional background. As you know, for over 25 years, Audubon International’s certification programs have evaluated and recognized the environmental performance of facilities and operations (i.e., golf courses, resorts, residential developments, agricultural lands, etc.). Over time, a number of these property managers have expressed an interest for professional training on how to sustainably manage the natural resources on the properties where they work.

I obtained a Master’s degree in Sustainable Systems and joined Audubon International in December 2012 as the organization’s Special Projects Coordinator. I came to New York with a background in education/ curriculum development, community engagement, and sustainable natural resource management. Luckily for me, Audubon International’s newly created interdisciplinary position

That’s where I come in: I am charged with developing and implementing a new individual professional certificate program in sustainable natural resource management and supporting the implementation of Audubon International’s long-standing environmental education and certification programs. I can’t think of a better way to put my “mixed bag” background to use. I also can’t think of a more natural

I can’t think of a better way to put my “mixed bag” background to use.

progression of Audubon International’s 25 years of expertise than providing individual-level education and certification to a population that wants it and needs it most. In recent years, an attempt to break down the compartmentalization that exists among the fields of environment, economy, and social equity in the name of sustainability has been a global trend. I see this professional credential program as a way to holistically approach property management by encouraging managers to understand how their activities affect the natural environment. I see it as an opportunity to fill a niche that no one else has attempted to fill – one where maybe, just maybe, this roundabout path I have taken will come in handy and fit right into place.

Audubon International

ing m Co on! So


Watch for the newest items coming soon to our eStore! Tell the world that you are proudly eco-certified with these durable indoor/outdoor signs!

Eagle Cam

A Golf Course Gets a Closer Look at its Neighbors

Harrison Bay set up a website and a Facebook page for the project, and on January 5, 2012 the camera began to deliver live footage. After losing both of their eaglets during the last nesting season, the eagle pair, named Elliott and Eloise, successfully hatched two healthy eaglets last month. The live footage of the avian family has garnered so much attention from all over the country that at one point the live stream crashed due to Web traffic. The project has brought some great publicity to the golf course and continues to serve as a great educational tool.

Photos: Harrison Bay

Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay State Park near Chattanooga, Tennessee has found a creative way to spread the message that golf courses can be successfully integrated into wildlife habitat. After a pair of American Bald Eagles arrived a couple of years ago and declared the golf course their new home, Harrison Bay staff established a project, with the help of a grant from USGA and other generous donors, to install high definition cameras in the new nest.

Clockwise: Elliott and Eloise prepare their nest in 2012 for two eaglets that eventually do not survive; the newest eaglets continue to grow in April 2013; a high definition shot of the nest and its view


Spring is in the air, and for many wildlife species that signals one thing: mating. This is the time when a flurry of activity characterizes birds, mammals, amphibians, and insects alike as they don brighter colors, croak, sing, and search for the ideal partner and suitable place to shelter their young. Hence, the time is here for you too to get ready for the season’s activity. Check Your Nest Boxes • Clean out your nest boxes, especially if you didn’t clean them in the fall. Remove old nests, any insect cases, or debris inside. Repair any damage to hinges or openings.

• Set up a simple system for checking your boxes. Once a week is ideal. Keep a record chart handy to record what you see and monitor the success of your boxes. Audubon International can supply you with a monitoring record.


Attracting Bluebirds Follow these suggestions to increase your chances of attracting bluebirds to your boxes:

• Place nest boxes near short, mown grass. Sites with mature trees and near grasses and other low vegetation under the shade of 20foot high trees are also noted to be among the most successful nest box sites. Golf courses and cemeteries can be ideal locations.

• Open land, similar to a meadow, is preferred. An expanded front or backyard with a garden

Photo: CGTextures

Spring is in the Air

is fine. Sites that are wooded or highly suburbanized are not likely to attract bluebirds.

• Place boxes away from

• Overhead utility wires, or nearby scattered trees, provide a place for bluebirds to perch while hunting for insects below.

Photo: Jennifer Batza

nearby buildings that may harbor house sparrows. House sparrows can parasitize bluebird nests and kill the young.

Avoid Too Much Spring Cleaning Remember all the fall outdoor chores that you didn’t get to—leaves that still need raking, hedges that need trimming, patches of lawn that need renovation? Then add all the chores that winter whipped up—fallen branches, broken fences, winterkilled shrubs—and soon your list of spring-cleaning chores is longer than ever. Here’s a small habitat conservation tip that may help shorten your list: Avoid cleaning up too much.

• Leave some dead branches for birds to perch on. Likewise, leave dead trees where they don’t pose a safety hazard—you’ll be rewarded by a host of woodpeckers and other cavity nesters.

Time to Burn Fire is beneficial to the health of many ecosystems. In fact, grassland and pine communities require periodic fires for rejuvenation. Plants and animals of firedependent communities are not only adapted to a life with fire, many cannot survive without it. Spring presents a window of opportunity for property managers to burn grasslands and firedependent forests safely. Many ACSP members use controlled, or prescribed, burns as an effective management tool. If you are interested in learning more about how to conduct such a burn, consider the following key points:

• A prescribed fire is one purposefully set in a skillful, preplanned manner, under predetermined weather conditions, in a definite place, to achieve a specific purpose. Preparation is crucial to the success of a controlled burn program.

• A typical program involves training in fire safety, behavior, and ecology; educating and notifying the public; preparing a burn plan; and establishing a program to monitor the effects. • Your burn plan should detail equipment needs, specific burn objectives, and required weather parameters, such as wind speed and direction, relative humidity, temperature, and fuel moisture levels.

areas. Leaf litter provides valuable cover for many wildlife species and helps return nutrients to the soil.

• Before clearing or thinning hedgerows along property boundaries, evaluate their value as wildlife habitat. Many birds nest in hedges or seek them out for protection from predators while feeding or resting. Leave hedgerows that can serve as corridors that link larger habitats.

• Do you really need to mow it all? Survey your property for areas that could be naturalized with taller grasses and wildflowers.

Photo: Free Stock Images

• Don’t remove all the fallen leaves from wooded

• Contact your state conservation department for information about laws regulating the use of prescribed fire and training opportunities. Your regional offices of the USDA, Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have a variety of information on fire safety, fire management laws, and values and methods of conducting controlled burns.


a new program for

Northeastern Landowners Audubon International Announces New Conservation Services for Private Landowners Audubon International is now offering a wide range of natural resource management services to private landowners in upstate New York, southern Vermont, western Massachusetts, and western Connecticut. Our expertise includes wildlife planning and habitat management, forest resource planning and management, natural resource inventory and assessment, regulatory compliance, conservation payment programs available to private landowners, and estate planning (i.e. conservation easements). Simply put, we offer a systematic approach to developing an effective conservation strategy and will also lend valuable assistance with the selection of those professionals whose services will be needed to help execute various elements of the plan (i.e. appraisers, environmental engineers, surveyors, certified foresters, conservation biologists, real estate attorneys, and government officials).

Who is this for? Our services are available to a wide range of clientele: industrial and commercial forests, family forests (i.e. non-commercial), recreational lands (i.e. leasable hunting lands), agricultural lands, lightly developed residential and and commercial parcels,


and lands protected under conservation easements. Whether you are a small business, real estate investment group, agriculture producer, or a family forest owner, our natural resource planning and management expertise will help you promote conservation value on your property.

What is the process? We can work with you to develop a prescription for a small area (i.e., a single stand of trees, a patch of grassland, or a seasonal wetland) or prepare a comprehensive natural resource management plan that articulates measurable objectives and practical strategies that will allow you to track progress toward your long-term vision for the entire property. One of the most common objectives of conservation-minded private landowners is to conserve or enhance their property’s habitat benefits to native game species such as whitetailed deer, wild turkey, black bear, rabbits, furbearers, ruffed grouse, American woodcock, mourning dove, waterfowl, and a wide range of non-game wildlife (including raptors, song birds, reptiles, amphibians and endangered species). To help landowners achieve their goals, Audubon International can outline a wide range of options for managing, conserving or enhancing the full spectrum of habitat types, including agricultural lands, forests (of all age classes and species compositions), grasslands, wetlands, riparian areas, and urban/suburban open space.

Even if you are limited in the extent of habitat changes you can make, Audubon International would welcome the opportunity to explore how your property can be managed using practical and affordable strategies that increase its natural resource potential.

Our Philosophy Audubon International places a high value on our professional commitment to serving our clients. Collectively, our team has over 100 years of experience working in the natural

resource management field. Every piece of property is unique, and presents a wide range of challenges and opportunities. Our staff will help you to articulate your goals, assess your property’s natural resource potential, and recommend strategies that will enable you to achieve your objectives. When it comes to developing management plans for your property, we will do what is necessary to ensure delivery of the highest quality technical product, presented in a clear, concise, understandable, and, most importantly, actionable form.

Photo: CGTextures

Audubon International also helps landowners enhance hunting, wildlife observation, and other wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities that improve a property’s recreational usage and/ or re-sale value. Our professional staff will use their expertise in the latest scientific research, wildlife management methods, government programs, and environmental law and compliance to enhance the conservation and recreational value of your property.


The Sustainability Journey of Rio Verde, Arizona A Desert Community Embraces Green Living JOANNA NADEAU


estled high in the Sonoran desert, Rio Verde, Arizona is an active community sitting along the western edge of the Verde River, one of Arizona’s few flowing rivers, and adjacent to McDowell Mountain Regional Park. The community is known for its spectacular mountain views, its serenity, and its outstanding services and amenities, and now Rio Verde residents are involved in a process to ensure sustained sensitivity to the land, water, and cultural heritage of the area. Because most of the 735 acres of the community operates as residential, commercial or recreational space, Rio Verde models how a small, planned community of 1400 residents can protect and enhance the environment while advancing economic development and preserving a vibrant social fabric. Resident Sal Celona, volunteer Sustainability Coordinator, initiated the effort to make Rio Verde a Certified Audubon Sustainable Community. “The residents and visitors to the Rio Verde community will benefit from the many advantages of being an environmentally responsible, sensitive and sustainable member of this vital and important region of our country,” says Celona. Rio Verde


residents take part in a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities that include, golf, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Respecting the desert’s ecological limits is an essential element to preserving this way of life. Joining the Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program in 2010 was a natural next step to expand on the community’s green practices. The Community Association had installed solar panels on the Community Center earlier that year to reduce the building’s energy demands. Due to the original design of the on-site wastewater treatment facility, turf areas in the community’s Country Club are irrigated with water treated and recycled from residential use, extending the limited desert water supplies. For this desert community located about 40 miles north-east of Phoenix, being sustainable also means having a healthy micro-economy within the community. Two local entrepreneurs adapted one corner of the property into a garden, offering locally grown produce and reducing the need for out-oftown trips to the grocery store. Once completed, the

Photo: Audubon International

planned Village Green/Town Center will offer additional local business services for residents. The Community Association is run by a small professional staff and augmented by volunteer committees that assist with management of streets and services. In 2008 a strategic planning group was formed to begin the process of evaluating Rio Verde’s strengths and weaknesses. They identified a number of areas that would require an initiative and developed a strategic plan for addressing some of these issues that was approved in 2010. Building on the momentum of several sustainability projects and this planning exercise, Celona approached Audubon International for assistance in moving the community forward. Celona notes, “We needed some organizational focus to lead a concerted effort to educate our residents in areas of interest and importance to our community.” After receiving the Green Community Award, the Rio Verde Sustainability Community Alliance (SCA) produced a Sustainability Portfolio, highlighting priority projects for the future and resources available for each project. To encourage the continued development of green initiatives within Rio Verde, this fall the SCA will begin to solicit more community involvement through public meetings to collect feedback and determine what areas are of most interest and importance to residents. Community outreach and education on sustainability was initiated several years ago

with a one day conference on “Green and Clean” sponsored by the community, which covered water and energy conservation, desert gardening, and solar power. Now, the annual “Living Green in the Verdes” Fair brings in regional experts on water and desert landscaping to offer residents green tips and products. To support the increased emphasis on resident involvement, a new column titled “The Sustainable Way” is published in the community’s newsletter that provides residents with information on a number of sustainable projects, programs and activities that are already in existence and others that are being contemplated or under consideration for the future. Together, these highlights showcase a commitment to the environment in Rio Verde and a resolve to expand that commitment in the future. Celona is eager to lead his community through the planning process and to certification. “We will accrue the economic advantages, pride of accomplishment and knowledge that we have been an active participant in an essential program of growth and betterment,” he says. Audubon International is currently working to develop leadership role models of sustainable communities throughout the country. A goal is to make Rio Verde the sustainable community model for the West. The City of Eufaula, AL and Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont are also certified members of the Sustainable Communities Program.

Stopping the Salty Cycle The Utilities Committee considered the impact of water softening discharges to the water treatment facility that uses reclaimed water to irrigate the golf courses. As a result of these discharges, high sodium levels were found in the turf, causing issues with turf health. Portable, self-contained water softening units were recommended to all residents that would eliminate all discharges from water softeners into the waste stream.

Rio Verde’s Projects Include: The Moore Gardens

An 8,000 square foot garden produces spinach, arugula, lettuce, beets, carrots, and scallions for Rio Verde residents on what was previously under-utilized ranch land. No pesticides are used after vegetables are planted, and the goal is to eliminate all pesticide use in the future.

Attracting Butterflies

Adjacent to Hole #17 on the golf course, a butterfly/ hummingbird demonstration garden provides an oasis for native species and a place to educate the public. By adding native flowering plants to this highvisibility location, community volunteers and Country Club staff created an attractive site for pollinator conservation.

“Smart” Irrigation Controllers

Through partnership with the Salt River Project (SRP), residents were encouraged to convert existing irrigation controllers by purchasing a “smart” controller at a discounted price. This new irrigation technology allows water to be dispersed automatically to plants and trees at variable time intervals based on season, reducing the water supplies that must be drawn from community wells and saving residents money on their water bills.

Find out more about our Sustainable Communities Program

Join Joanna Nadeau for a


May 28, 1:00pm EST To register, go to: Select Knowledge Hub, then Webinars


ontinously CImproving Typical buffers around the lakes at Pearl Beach


pril 2009 held an important first for Audubon International. In the previous year, we created a new program called the Audubon Classic Program, which was designed to work with, among other things, golf courses that had undergone or were currently undergoing a renovation. The first in the world to be certified in the



Classic Program was Tianjin Pearl Beach Golf Club (TPB) located just south of Beijing. The celebration of their 2009 certification was a huge event. VIPs from around China participated, and a lot of press about the project was released throughout Asia. The city of Tianjin lies in the northeast of the North China Plain, west of the Pacific Ocean,



with the Bohai Sea to the east and the Yanshan Mountains to the north. Tianjin City is one of the four municipalities that come directly under the jurisdiction of the central government. It is an economic center in north China, an international port city, and an ecological city. Tianjin Bohai Sea is an economic gateway, and, because of that status, projecting the need for sustainable development is very important.

resource and energy conservation, and sustainable development, and serve as a model for sustainable development for other cities in China.” Because of Pearl Beach’s location near the Eco-City, upgrading its status is of utmost importance. As stated by its owners, “TPB is a proud certified member of the Audubon Classic Program and environmental stewardship remains important to the

Since the time of my last visit to the Tianjin Pearl Beach Golf Club, a lot has happened to that property. Under its new owners, Keppel Land China, the golf course has been undergoing another renovation to not only improve the golf course from a playability standpoint, but to enhance the environmental stewardship of the golf facility within the new development region of the Eco-City. The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City “is the result Presentation of certification to community and project leaders in 2009 of a collaborative agreement between the governments of China and Singapore to jointly operations of the club not only develop a socially harmonious today, but also for the future.” and environmentally friendly Tripp Davis and Associates (TDA) city in China designed to tackle Golf Architecture from Norman, environmental protection, Oklahoma was retained by Keppel

Photo: Nancy Richardson

Photo: Nancy Richardson

The first certified Audubon Classic Program member undergoes a second renovation and demonstates that there is always room for greater sustainability

The following offers a picture of the golf course’s ecological features once the renovations are complete:

Layout showing golf holes interspersed with native areas

Enhanced Water Quality • A minimum of 2.5% surface drainage flows to catch basins to help keep lakes flushed and oxygenated, therefore improving water quality. • Increased plant density along water edges ensures soil coverage and natural filtration of surface water. • Dense native grass areas reduce migration of silt and provide better ground cover for wildlife. • Wetland shelves enhance buffer and wildlife habitat. • Golf course drainage systems keep lakes flushed and oxygenated during extended periods of drought. • Sand capping of all maintained turf areas allow a filter through root zone profile before entering the drainage system, improving water quality and reducing the impact of salt issues. Enhanced Water Conservation & Reduction of Maintenance Input • Tighter spacing of irrigation heads provides improved control and water distribution on a windy site, ultimately using less water. • No permanent irrigation in native areas results in less competition from weeds. • A quick coupler shoulder system allows hand watering of tees and greens during dry winter after main

Land China to provide golf course design and consulting services. TDA has also retained the agronomic services of Troon Golf to provide professional agronomic expertise to the TPB team. TPB challenged TDA to re-design this golf course to enhance the Audubon International objectives for the golf course which include having high water quality, reducing the use of irrigation water,

The Vision for a More Sustainable Golf Course irrigation system has been drained for winter, eliminating the need for large heads and excess water to spot irrigate. This improves turf quality going into the season. • More heat and drought tolerant turf grasses reduce water consumption.

reducing maintenance input/ impact, reducing the overall area that requires daily maintenance, and adding valuable wildlife habitat. When fully complete, this new Tripp Davis-design will fall within the standards established by Tianjin Eco-City as well as maintain Audubon International’s Classic Program criteria to

Turf grass varieties are also adaptable to the site so that adequate playing surfaces can be achieved with less artificial input.

Enhanced Area of Habitat and Migration Corridors • An increased overall area of unmaintained native grasses and tree groupings reduce the area that is maintained within the confines of the golf course, which reduces input and water usage while increasing wildlife habitat. • Native areas are nonirrigated, helping reduce water consumption of property. • Maintenance of native/natural areas does not require mowing and weeds are picked by hand to promote greater purity of grass types. • Turf areas along water are placed only where necessary for the “play of the game” and in those locations the turf density helps provide habitat. All other areas are native/natural areas providing habitat. • New “streams” help provide natural connection between water bodies allowing for migration and animal movement. • Tree species are highly adaptable to high pH soils and have been successful in other areas of the region. • Trees grow in larger groups and offer enhanced habitat for birds and enhanced travel corridors for wildlife habitat.

improve wildlife habitat, water conservation, and water quality. More importantly, the golf course and its vision for sustainability will serve as a model to be emulated for other renovation projects in China and throughout the world. I look forward to seeing the new course on my next visit to Tianjin.


Earth Day 2013 Since 1970, Earth Day has been a great opportunity for communities to come together and participate in grassroots efforts to make the planet a healthier and more beautiful place. Here are some Earth Day events happening around the country. Check the internet or your local paper to find events in your area, or create an event of your own! EPA National Sustainable Design Expo National Mall, Washington, DC April 18-19, 11am-6pm, 9am-6pm College students will display their sustainability innovations and compete for an EPA award. There will also be fun activities for all ages.

Earth Day San Francisco Festival Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco

Party for the Planet Brookfield Zoo, Chicago area

Green Festival Javits Center North, NYC

April 21, 10:00am-5:00pm In addition to the fun of seeing the animals, kids and adults will enjoy live music, presentations about endangered animals, tours of ecofriendly features at the zoo, and planting activities. The event also includes an electronics recycling drop-off.

April 20-21, 10am-6pm, 11am-5pm The event features an eco-fashion show, organic food vendors, the Sierra Club Green Cinema, live music, speakers, workshops, and green products for sale.

April 20, 10am-6pm This free day-long festival features musical performances, speakers, workshops, hands on projects and exhibits, kids activities, and organic food vendors.

Earth Day 5K Run Myrtle Edwards Park, Seattle April 20, 9am This Earth Day event empasizes that human health and environmental health go hand -in-hand. Proceeds benefit the Green Seattle partnership.

Send us your photos! Send us a photo of your Earth Day activities and we will showcase it on our Facebook page. One winning photo will be selected to be featured in the next issue of Stewardship News! Send photos in jpeg format to


14th Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup Charles River, Boston area April 20, 9am-12pm Thousands of people will comb the banks of the Charles River to pick up trash. Last year, volunteers removed approximately 50 tons of litter! Participants will receive t-shirts and snacks.

Earth Day Tampa Bay USF Botanical Gardens, Tampa April 20, 10am-4pm This year’s event focuses on the importance of fresh, local food. Enjoy green vendors, activities for kids, and an exhibit of ecofriendly vehicles.

New Members and New Certified Members in 2013 New Members ACSP for Golf Ayodhya Links Broad Run Golf Broken Arrow Golf Club Burke Lake Golf Course Chicopee Country Club Club Laval-sur-le-Lac First Tee of Greater Sacramento Golf Club of Dublin Golf Club of Indiana Green Valley Country Club Gypsum Creek Golf Course Harding Park Golf Course Kings Creek Golf Club Kunming Lakeview Golf Club Lake Forest Country Club Lakeview Yulongwan Golf Club Meadowbrook Country Club North Jersey Country Club RedHawk Golf Club Richland Country Club Rio Secco Golf Club Sailfish Point Golf Club, Inc. San Joaquin Country Club Sea Pines Country Club Stonebridge Golf Club The Golf Club at Timber Trails The Polo Club of Boca Raton POA Towa Golf Club Tsai Hsing Elite Club Whispering Firs Golf Course

Green Lodging Program Atlantic Oceanside Hotel Green Neighborhoods Program Mediterra Community Association Signature Program Crescent SouthPark Sustainable Communities Program Riverwood, Florida

New Certified Members ACSP for Golf Battenkill Country Club Cardinal Golf Club City Park Nine Golf Course Country Club of Gwinnett D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club Hampton Hall Club Stonebridge Ranch Country Club at Dye Ranch The Everglades Club Tilden Park Golf Course


Audubon International Sponsors

AHEAD is a designer and

marketer of branded headwear, apparel and accessories.

Lafarge North America is the

software and technology innovations that help people and organizations around the world improve the environment.

Perfect Blend is a leading

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is the nation’s

Sonic Solutions is an

environmentally safe technology that uses the resonance of ultrasonic waves to kill algae.

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

Microsoft is committed to

largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the United States and Canada.

manufacturer of organic plant food and incorporates a complete philosophy of advanced soil nutrition.


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

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

Sediment Removal Solutions

oldest technological university and is well-known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace.

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

Toro is a leading worldwide

United States Golf Association

provider of innovative turf, landscape, rental and construction equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions.

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

Audubon International Affiliates

Club Managers Association of America works with Audubon

The Environmental Protection Agency encourages environmental

Equine Land Conservation Resource serves to preserve land

International to educate, assist, and inspire club managers to become stewards of the environment.

stewardship at golf courses through the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program.

and promote access for all types of equestrian use.

The First Tee is an international

The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary initiative

Golf Course Superintendents Association of America promotes

nonprofit youth development organization introducing the game of golf and its inherent values to young people.

The National Ski Areas Association’s primary objective is

that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources.

New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association promotes

to meet the needs of ski area owners and operators nationwide and to foster, stimulate and promote growth in the industry.

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

The Philadelphia Water Department provides seminars and

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

program assistance to landowners and managers to better manage stormwater runoff.

environmental education and stewardship to the thousands of golf course superintendent members of the association.

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.

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


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