StewardshipNews Audubon Internationalâ€™s
Volume 17, Issue 1
Trump Golf Joins AI | 5 Environmental Superheroes | 20 Early Adopters Lead the Way | 12
The Road to Signature Certification | 8
Message from the CEO: Audubon International—Become a Member, Join a Family Through our award-winning educational programs and technical assistance, Audubon International currently works directly with over 3,200 organizational members worldwide. The majority of these members are in the process of pursuing or maintaining Audubon International certification, which represents significant achievement in environmental sustainability. Our members include golf courses, ski areas, parks, schools, hotels, health care facilities, residential and commercial developments, and whole communities. When you consider the public awareness that is generated by ongoing outreach and communications campaigns that document the environmental achievements of participating facilities and communities, the aggregate value of our work increases by an order of magnitude. When individuals and organizations join Audubon International, they become part of something special. After embarking on certification they receive a baseline assessment that documents their facility’s current environmental performance with recommendations for future improvement. They receive valuable customized technical guidance and management planning support from our dedicated professional team that helps them substantially improve their economic bottom line while safeguarding natural resources. After obtaining certification they receive recognition for achievements in environmental sustainability, and subsequently generate more business because discerning consumers are increasingly supporting environmentally and socially responsible companies. Although these are undeniably compelling reasons to become members in one of Audubon International’s programs, I believe that the biggest benefits of membership are the professional relationships and support system we provide. You might say that we are a nontraditional kind of family organization. That is, when an individual, organization, or community joins Audubon International, they become part of an extended family. How does this influence how Audubon International goes about serving members and achieving its mission? We recognize the importance of developing strong professional relationships and a foundation of trust with the individuals who are employed by our member facilities and communities. It is important Cover photo: Breckenridge Golf Club in Colorado
to us that we cultivate strong relationships with our members, because we genuinely care about their aspirations, and this level of familiarity enables us to more effectively mentor and coach them through the process of implementing environmentally-friendly practices and reporting on the results. We take the time to understand the specific goals, priorities, challenges, opportunities, and environmental context that are unique to each of our members. No two properties or communities are the same, and each program’s certification requirements and the practices we recommend are tailored to reflect this. It’s true that we have high expectations of our members, but the road to obtaining certification should be ambitious. Certification isn’t given, it’s earned. And, once it’s earned, continued commitment is needed in order to maintain it. That is what makes it most rewarding. The rigor ensures that the bestowed designation is meaningful and represents a real achievement. It’s possible to shed a few unwanted pounds by going on a crash diet, but keeping the weight off requires dedication. Members of the Audubon International family never leave the table hungry, but we do provide them with great tasting healthy alternatives. It is my team’s responsibility to constantly motivate our members to realize their full potential. We push because we care, and we want our members to achieve the goals they set for themselves. Audubon International is also very fortunate to have a large number of long-time members that generously lend their own knowledge and experiences to newer members who have only recently begun their journey towards certification. We never tire of having our most committed members tell us that Audubon International has become a part of their personal identity, and that we have not only helped them be more environmentally responsible in their professional lives, but empowered them to embrace these values in all aspects of their life. THAT, after all, is our ultimate goal. We are proud of our family and what it means to be a member of Audubon International. If you haven’t already joined us, I hope you will soon! Warmest regards,
Ryan J. Aylesworth, President & CEO
Ryan Aylesworth PRESIDENT & CEO
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH & COMMUNICATIONS
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS
DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS
Contents Stewardship News Volume 17, Issue 1 Winter 2014
Announcements | 4 Read what we have been up to
Trump Golf Joins Audubon International | 5 Donald Trump’s golf courses are working toward certification
My Natural Career Path | 6 Staff member Doug Bechtel talks about the opportunities he has had to connect with nature
Featured Photos | 7 Great photos sent in by members
Fred Realbuto CHIEF OF OPERATIONS
DIRECTOR OF SIGNATURE & CLASSIC PROGRAMS
The Road to Signature Certification | 8 Audubon International certifies its first roadwway
Leading the Way | 12 How early adopters play a crucial role in environmental progress
Earth Day 2014 | 15 Are you getting ready for Earth Day?
120 Defreest Drive Troy, New York 12180 518-767-9051 www.auduboninternational.org
You can reach our staff via email using each person’s first name followed by @auduboninternational.org
Meet our AICEP Grads! | 16 The first five students have graduated from our new AICEP program
Inexpensive Wash Pad and Mix & Load Solutions | 18 Tips and tools for reducing your chemical impact
Environmental Superheroes | 20 Staff members talk about the people who have inspired them
Announcements Here are some of the things we have going on: Audubon International Members Top Golf Digest List
Tara Pepperman Joins the Staff
Nineteen of the 100 golf courses on Golf Digest’s recent list of the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses are certified by Audubon International, including Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey which landed the number one spot. Congratulations to all of our members making the list. We are so proud! See the full list here.
Tara Pepperman has been named the new Membership Coordinator. In her role, she will provide member services support for all of Audubon International’s programs. Tara previously worked as the Association Manager at The Association Development Group in Albany, New York. She can be reached at 518-767-9051 x100 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Bechtel Joins the Staff
Tom Keer Joins the Board of Directors
Doug Bechtel has been named the new Associate Director of Environmental Programs. He will primarly help to administer the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) and ACSP for Golf Courses. Prior to joining Audubon International, Doug served as the Director of Conservation Science for The Nature Conservancy’s New Hampshire chapter. He can be reached at 518-767-9051 x114 or at email@example.com.
Let’s Meet at GIS! Golf Industry Show 2014 Orange County Convention Center Orlando, Florida
February 5-6 Come by Booth #2965 to meet Ryan, Joe, Doug, & Laura, take a photo with the Super Super, and purchase merchadise. Do you have questions for a someone who has been through the Audubon International certification process?
Anthony Willaims, Superintendent, Stone Mountain Golf Club will be at the booth Wednesday & Thursday 10:30-11:00am
Jason Pick, Instructor of Golf Course Management, Olds College will be at the booth Thursday 11:00-11:30am
Tom Keer, award-winning outdoor writer and Founder and President of The Keer Group, has joined Audubon International’s Board of Directors. He will play a central role in a number of critical governance and support functions for the organization including program development and strategic planning.
Trump Golf Links Ferry Point, Bronx, NY opens in 2014.
Trump Golf Joins Audubon International
rump Golf, the prestigious development and golf management company owned by American business magnate, Donald Trump, has enrolled 13 golf courses in Audubon International’s certification program for golf. The number includes all of the Trump Golf courses in the U.S. and one in Scotland. These properties are now enrolled in the organization’s largest program called the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf. In this program, the golf courses will undergo a review process examining environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, water quality management—with a goal of making voluntary improvements toward greater sustainability. In addition, outreach and environmental education are required components of the program. As an avid golfer, Donald J. Trump is committed to creating the world’s finest portfolio of golf courses and their accompanying amenities. From Scotland to the Palm Beach, Trump golf courses offer a whole new level of challenge, luxury, service and performance that have become synonymous with the Trump brand experience. Trump Golf Clubs are some of the most sought after clubs worldwide and are considered to have the highest standards in golf course design, maintenance, and management. Trump courses combine the most spectacular landscapes with the talents of the world’s best golf course architects such as Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Martin Hawtree, Arthur Hills, Gil Hanse and Tom Kite, creating a timeless blend of beauty and challenge on every hole. “Trump Golf is nationally and internationally known for its premier golf courses, and has emerged as a global leader in the golf industry,” said Ryan Aylesworth, President & CEO of Audubon International. “Audubon International is excited to work directly with the Trump organization and help Trump Golf both achieve bold environmental goals and promote their success industry-wide. This commitment will demonstrate how golf facilities offering the highest level of playability and guest experience can be designed and managed to simultaneously improve environmental quality, conserve water and energy, protect and restore wildlife habitat, and safeguard a wide range of other nature resources.”
My Natural Career Path New staff member Doug Bechtel talks about the opportunities he has had to connect with nature
I’m pretty lucky, too, to have a toddler daughter who seems to be the one in her day-care class that imitates the birds, has no fear of heights, and always seems to plunk down in the snow or sand with ease and enthusiasm. Now where did that come from? I am inspired to make sure she can imitate birds, have no fear, and plunk down in natural settings for the rest of her life. I am also lucky because I have found ways to play in nature. Skiing, mountain biking, hiking, birding, various team
Doug playing with daughter, Myrica, in the grass.
sports, and recently disc golf, have consumed my recreational time for years. Wait, did he say DISC golf? Like golf, but with a bag of Frisbeelike discs that are designed to fly left, right, long distance, for putting, or for headwinds. There are 18 “holes,” courses all over the world, clubs and tournaments, player ratings, and pro and amateur status. In fact, everything about disc golf mirrors “ball” golf. Discs fly hundreds of feet (instead of yards) and a long drive in disc golf is 400 feet. Imagine a Frisbee-like disc flying the length of almost one and a half football fields.
Photo: Ben Kimball
’m a pretty lucky guy. I grew up spending summers boating, fishing, and swimming in a New Hampshire lake. I spent my college summers in a canoe in the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. My first job after college was studying the ecology of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon (field work required whitewater rafting trips). I went to graduate school in northern Vermont. I was destined to be an ecologist, and these experiences provided the foundation for my dream career—that is, protecting special places where nature can thrive, and where people can enjoy time outside. In January that path continued when I started working with Audubon International (AI), precisely one day after the office was closed due to record cold and a big snow storm.
Doug playing disc golf in Newport, New Hampshire.
My introduction to “ball” golf was the day I spent teaching a golf pro to play disc golf in the morning, followed by a round of “ball” golf course in the afternoon. I am sad to admit I lost more golf balls than golf discs that day. I have helped people design disc golf courses, and have advised on how to consider ecological parameters in their design. When I play, I generally note the birds I see or hear, check out the wetlands on the course, and generally enjoy being outside while… playing golf! The point of the story is that I bring both traditional and non-traditional preparation for advancing ecologically-
based resource management for AI’s golf and other programs.
Featured Phot s
Prior to joining AI, I was Conservation Science Director for the New Hampshire Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. While there, I managed programs and projects that protected and restored lands for native biological diversity. My projects ranged from improving wildlife habitat to river conservation to invasive species control. My years working with people, partners, and willing landowners to improve habitat provides a great background for working with AI. As my career with the Conservancy unfolded, I realized that I was more and more inspired by how people interacted with, lived in, and built relationships with their natural environment. At first I was in it for the birds and beasts and rare green things (I’m a typical naturenerd actually), but after working with a farmer who wept every time he talked about protecting his land, I knew my connection to environmental issues was as much about people as it was about the land and its habitats. I find it particularly rewarding when finding a balance between maintaining traditional land uses while also restoring native habitat. My luck seems to continue. AI’s mission and core values connect deeply with my hope to ensure our green spaces provide healthy places to play, hike, enjoy, and be. The expert staff here are committed, experienced, dynamic, smart, diverse, and fun. As you have read in this section of previous Stewardship News, we also share the desire to care for lands with an eye toward a sustainable future. One thing is certain—with the kind of programs AI supports, the vast number of people we work with and influence, and the care we take to ensure careful management of our lands and waters— our world will be better place to plunk down with our children.
Kingston Leong, Morro Bay Golf Course Monarchs cluster for warmth during their winter migration at Morro Bay Golf Course in California.
Cheryl Dukarski, Riverwood Community Assoc. A double-crested cormorant perches in front of the moon in Riverwood, Florida. Share your photos! If you would like to see your photos featured here or on our Facebook page, e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
uring the past twenty years, the Signature Program has focused on working mostly with relatively large proposed developments where people are integrated into the natural environment in places such as golf courses, residential communities, or mixed-use projects. We have worked with other types of land uses on occasion such as a 120-acre college preparatory school campus in Wisconsin, a 2.47 acre marina in Florida, and even a 10-acre church campus and nature center in Newport Beach, California. Although these projects were the exception rather than the norm, they certainly turned out to be some of the most interesting and most effective in educating the general public about sustainable or lowimpact development and natural resource protection.
The Wolf River Boulevard Connector project involved the construction of an approximate two-mile, four-lane median-divided roadway. The roadway cross-section included two twelve-footwide travel lanes in each direction, a fourteenfoot-wide landscaped median, and a four-footwide bike lane in each direction. Two signaled intersections, two vehicular bridges, nine major drainage culverts, and a pedestrian tunnel were included in the project. This project was locally managed by the City of Germantown and funded through Surface Transportation Program (STP), 80% federal/state and 20% local (Germantown). Connecting this two mile section of regionally significant roadway has been on the City of Germantown’s and the Memphis-Metropolitan
Photo: Aerial Innovations of Tennessee
The City of Germantown, Tennessee approached us in late 2004, and we were drawn to their sincerity in protecting the sensitive Wolf River which the planned road would parallel. The Wolf River extends for 90 miles from the headwaters in Holly Springs National Forest in northern Mississippi to the Mississippi River north of Mud Island in western Tennessee. The River was channelized between the Mississippi River and east of Germantown in the 1960s to provide flood control.
Photo: City of Germantown
But never had we considered working with a road.
Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy of Germantown cutting the “ribbon” at the boulevard opening ceremony
Established in 1841, Germantown is located in Shelby County on the eastern limits of Memphis, Tennessee, with a population of just over 40,000. This project was to be the extension of the Wolf River Boulevard to provide the missing connection between the existing western terminus at Kimbrough Road and the eastern terminus at Farmington Boulevard. This section would connect two six-lane portions of the boulevard, allowing traffic to move east and west across the City’s north border, avoiding neighborhood cut-through traffic, but cutting through a very environmentally sensitive area.
Planning Organization’s major road plan for over 20 years. The goal for the Wolf River Boulevard project team was to design and construct the roadway to limit the impacts to adjacent aquatic systems and wildlife habitat, as well as to promote wildlife habitat connectivity. “Because the roadway corridor edged the Wolf River and the bottomland, floodway and floodplain of our northern city boundary, we always knew these two miles would be challenging,” said Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy. “When we began serious planning for its design and construction a dozen years
ago, we recognized the sensitivity of the natural environment to the intrusion of a roadway. We also needed to address the routing that crossed a State Natural Area. Through extensive conversation and negotiation over three years, we were able to arrive at agreements to reconfigure the natural area and place more than 300 acres across the river into permanent conservancy as floodway and floodplain. Engaging Audubon International provided us with enormous guidance from start to finish, as well as credibility as we developed a roadway unlike any other in the region. The boulevard is a remarkable experience, whether driving, biking or walking it. It exemplifies what can happen when we rethink traditional road design, in a river’s edge woodland or anywhere.”
So how does a roadway project lower its environmental impact? Here are some of the project’s features: • Design: The project was designed in context with the natural landscape, minimizing overall site disturbance. • Engineering: A Natural Systems Engineering approach based on the landforms, topography, and sub-watersheds dictated the design and construction of Wolf River Boulevard. • Drainage: All storm water drainage is directed through treatment and away from the Wolf River through Best Management Practice “Trains”, maximizing infiltration, minimizing hard piping, and protecting the most sensitive natural
Clockwise: One of the water quality monitoring sites along the Wolf River; A pedestrian walkway over a bridge; A landscaping crew plants native grasses along the roadway’s median
resource. This system of filtration and protection of the river has up to five types of treatments in place to protect the Wolf River. • Monitoring: To ensure that on-site wetlands, streams, and the Wolf River are not degraded from construction or long term use of the property, a water quality monitoring program was implemented. • Groundwater Recharge: Excess captured storm water is used for wetland and groundwater recharge along the Wolf River floodplain. • Connecting Corridors: Although roads are built to promote connectivity for people, in many cases they act as barriers and population sinks for wildlife. To minimize this effect, an underpass was created to connect an existing natural bottomland foot trail that leads down to the Wolf River, providing a walkway for pedestrians and a safe crossing for wildlife.
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• Management Plan: A management plan provides the framework for management of the roadway and for future greenway work. Monitoring outlined in the plan provides a means to measure the success of the design, construction, and operations of the roadway and greenway. The Wolf River Boulevard Connector is a right-of-way (ROW), of which there are several types, including: electrical transmission corridors, highways, railroads, and oil and gas pipelines. Collectively, lands managed as ROWs blanket tens of millions of acres across North America. The siting and management of these lands can have significant environmental implications. Audubon International strongly encourages ROW managers to register their projects and properties in one of our programs to increase the application of environmentally responsible practices. In September 2013, the Wolf River Boulevard Connector was designated by Audubon International as a Certified Signature Sanctuary. It is the first roadway in the world to earn certification in the Audubon International Signature Program. In the future, trails along the river greenway will be expanded, interpretive signage will be added, and educational programs will be implemented. If you have the opportunity to travel to Germantown, be sure to drive along Wolf River Boulevard and enjoy the view corridors to the Wolf River and see for yourself how even a roadway can be designed with the environment in mind.
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Leading the Way How Early Adopters Play a Crucial Role in Environmental Progress JOANNA NADEAU
he movie “A Bug’s Life” follows the story of a little ant named Flik who always wants to try something new. When Flik tries to solve a long-standing problem for his community with a new invention, his ideas are brushed aside. With persistence, Flik’s bravery and inventiveness pay off and create a better (and more sustainable!) way of life for the whole ant colony. Like Flik, many of Audubon International’s members are early adopters, those who sense the winds of change and decide to take the leap before everyone else has caught on. And by doing that, early adopters decide the future. Each time one of us chooses to take a small step forward and do something a little different and a little better for our piece of the world, it can inspire another person to take that same step. Enough of those individual shifts happening at once build momentum, and eventually a tipping point is reached where everyone else jumps on board once it is well-tested and trendy.
Audubon International’s members are creating a better future for all of us by implementing best practices that strike a balance between human society and nature. Our certified golf courses frequently boast about all of the wildlife seen and heard on their courses. By following AI’s guidelines for better environmental stewardship, these members have taken action to enhance wildlife habitat and ensure their guests have a nature experience on every round played. The communities in the Sustainable Communities Program have this same passion for their unique natural settings. Whether it’s the dramatic Sonoran Desert in Rio Verde, Arizona, the coastal marshes of Seabrook Island, The Landings at Skidaway Island, and Hilton Head Island, or the snow-capped peaks in Stowe, Vermont, all of these communities joined the Sustainable Communities Program because they realize they need to take leadership in order to preserve their natural heritage and essential resources.
In some communities, the legacy of caring for nature started with the community’s designers. These early adopters worked to develop land in harmony with, rather than working against, nature. For example, the community of Hilton Head Island in South Carolina was designed by Charles Fraser, recognized as one of the fathers of environmentally-sensitive golf course development. His work, though innovative at the time, has ingrained a long-lasting sense of stewardship into the people and businesses on the Island, and created a model for other towns. The Town now has over 1,200 acres of land protected for open space and wildlife habitat, uses a tree preservation ordinance to guide development, and is finalizing a sustainability action plan for the community as part of their Sustainable Communities certification effort. Not only do early adopters lead by example, but they also find ways to reach out and connect with other people, businesses, and entities. Golf courses that have led the charge toward sustainable resource management can instruct neighboring landowners in best practices. As part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program’s Outreach and Education certification category, member golf courses hold events for community members, welcome school field trips to their properties, and work with neighbors on wildlife-related projects. Even small courses, such as Colonial Acres near Albany, New York, have worked to educate homeowners abutting the course about the importance of naturalizing wildlife corridors and letting native plants grow. Golf courses, hotels, and other businesses working with Audubon International that have experienced real change on their own properties are sometimes the small-scale demonstration needed to move an entire community to join the sustainability effort. This happened at The Landings at Skidaway Island, a private community near Savannah, Georgia. The Landings joined the Sustainable Communities Program after all six of its golf courses were certified in the ACSP. Community residents and leaders have the same goals and want to convey a united message. To that end, they produced a
booklet about the Landings Club’s stewardship achievements that is distributed to residents and prospective Club members, titled “Environmental Stewardship at The Landings: A Priority That Defines Us.” The first person–or bug–to do something new often faces the challenge of communicating the need for change. Conveying a consistent message not only to existing but also future community residents about your community as a unique place where sustainability is the priority will help to draw residents who are supportive of environmental efforts. By getting information to your community’s marketing department and local realtors about sustainability policies and benefits, they can convey the ethic to potential buyers and help reduce future conflicts between residents and community management over environmental stewardship practices.
Trees abound in the parking lot at Hilton Head Island’s Walmart thanks for the Town’s strict tree ordinance and development guidelines
Just as businesses who are the early adopters can lead to their community getting on board, the reverse is also true. Community leaders that take the initiative to create a place of environmental stewardship often inspire and make way for private businesses to join the cause. Riverwood, Florida, one of the newer Sustainable Community Program
Photo: Whispering Pines Golf Course
Whispering Pines Golf Course in South Carolina organizes student tours to educate kids about golf and the environment.
members, is a private community with homes nestled in the Riverwood Golf Club in Port Charlotte, Florida. Riverwood recently earned the Green Community Award from AI for their
ongoing initiatives including a reclaimed water irrigation system, bat house installations, and Living with Nature events for residents. Because the Golf Club has also started the path toward certification in ACSP for Golf, the two can work together to implement changes needed to achieve full certification for both entities. Being an early adopter has its challenges, but it also has its rewards. You may not have much buy in when you start, but if you are willing to take that first step, to make changes for the good of the environment and then to tell people about it, you create an example that can ripple throughout your community and lead the way to a better future for all of us. Your fellow early adopters out there salute you: keep up the great work and keep sharing your story!
In Memory Of Audubon International would like to acknowledge the following memorial donation and extend our sincere condolences:
White Pine National Golf Club in Spruce, Michigan made a donation in memory of
Mr. Jim Flynn of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 1940-2014
Over the years, our member facilities have honored the passing of individuals from their communities with memorial donations to Audubon Interational. A memorial donation to our organization is a particularly meaningful way to honor those who expressed a love of the outdoors or an affinity to nature. Audubon International gratefully acknowledges all memorial gifts with a letter to the family of the loved one being remembered. The donated funds advance our environmental mission and the gift amount is not disclosed. If you have any questions or if your facility is interested in making a memorial donation, please contact Joe Madeira, Director of Advancement, at email@example.com.
Are you thinking about Earth Day yet? Earth Day 2014—April 22—is all about Green Cities sustainable energy technologies forward thinking policy
healthy, livable communities
educated and engaged public
Now is the time to start organizing an Earth Day event for your community! Get some friends together to plan an event that is engaging and that you would enjoy, and then get the word out to your community so they can join the fun. Develop your own event or use one of theses ideas: 1. Organize an Earth Day hike, walk, bike, or run. 2. Invite a professor or local expert to educate your group or community about clean energy, energy efficiency practices, or green building design. 3. Hold a fundraiser for a local sustainability project identified in your sustainability plan. 4. Work with your Parks Department to plan a park cleanup, tree planting, or invasive plant removal. 5. Bring local green businesses and environmental organizations together to create an eco-fair to inform the public about ways they can build a greener future. Schedule it to coincide with a farmers’ market for a bigger impact. Don’t forget to set up a table where you can highlight your group’s sustainability achievements! 6. Organize a meeting with local government officials to learn about how they take sustainability into consideration when managing your community. 7. Host a screening of an environmentally-themed documentary, like Blue Planet. 8. Organize an e-waste recycling drive. Collect old computers, televisions and other electronic equipment from your community and find somewhere to recycle them. If you are organizing an Earth Day event, Audubon International and the national Earth Day organizers want to know! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and to earthday2014@ earthday.org with the details to get it posted on social media and the Earth Day website.
Meet our AICEP Grads! Audubon International proudly announces the first five graduates of the Audubon International Certified Environmental Professional (AICEP) program!
Stuart Carmichael Assistant Superintendent at Whistler Golf Club in Whistler, British Columbia
Jonathan Kardellis Intern at Bearspaw Golf Club in Calgary, Alberta and Student finishing the Turfgrass Management Degree at Olds College in Olds, Alberta
“I hope to bring further environmental awareness to the staff and guests of the Whistler Golf Club. I also hope to help other golf courses achieve certification and stay certified through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses and continue to move the golf industry in a more sustainable direction. Taking the AICEP program through Olds College was a great experience. It certainly has helped to organize a lot of information on our commitment to the environment here at the Whistler Golf Club. We are currently entering year four of a four year plan to get fully certified and the AICEP program came at the perfect time.”
“With environmental issues becoming more and more prevalent in the turf industry, I believe this certification will be a great asset in helping to move golf operations towards a more environmentally friendly standpoint. The program was well presented and the things I learned were definitely helpful in my studies and will be an asset later in my career.”
Andrew Krek Assistant Superintendent at Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club in Dundas, Ontario
Ryan May Foreman at Mayfair Lakes Golf and Country Club in Richmond, British Columbia
Ryan O’Halloran Student finishing the Turfgrass Management Degree at Olds College in Olds, Alberta with plans to obtain a position as an Assistant Superintendent in Canada
“The AICEP designation helps to further validate the environmental training and the extensive environmental competencies that I bring to the table going forward in my career. Being recognized by Audubon International for this training will help to set me apart from my peers. Take the time and work through the course. I believe it helps formalize many of the things that are already done on a daily basis while encouraging you to go beyond your current level of comfort with the environment. You will be challenged and rewarded.”
“I have become more aware of the impact that daily golf operations have on the environment. I’ve also learned how to make changes both on the golf course and in the maintenance facility in terms of co-existing with the surrounding natural resources. As we progress into the future, the public and government will become more environmentally conscious in their decision making process. Past methods of going about maintaining a golf course that have negative effects on environmental factors will no longer be acceptable if they aren’t already. Instant change can be very expensive and is often unrealistic, so steps should be taken to move the golf course towards Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Certification even if it takes several seasons. The benefits will show themselves in terms of cost savings and environmental improvements.” “My fellow graduates of the AICEP designation and I were all lucky to have had the opportunity to be the first industry members to participate in this program. There are two areas I feel this program will benefit me in my career in the turf grass industry. The first is the confidence of communicating Audubon International’s message to my potential employer, patrons of that property, and the community as a whole. Second, the program helped me develop a new philosophy on golf course management. This philosophical shift was due to a greater knowledge of how golf courses effect the environment and what steps can be taken to reduce that footprint. I would highly suggest every industry member who has the opportunity to take the AICEP program do so. The AICEP designation shows every industry members’ determination to improve the environment and be at the forefront of our industry. We all need to be part of changing the negative views that surround our industry. The AICEP designation gives industry members a tool to help start this paradigm shift.”
All five students obtained AICEP designation with a concentration in Golf Course Management and took the course, Environmental Management of Golf Courses through Olds College, a preferred provider of the AICEP curriculum. To learn more about the AICEP program, visit www.auduboninternational.org/students or contact Laura Karosic at 518-767-9051 x120 or email@example.com
Tips & Tools Inexpensive Wash Pad and Mix & Load Solutions Whether you’re running a golf course or just doing yardwork, cleaning and fueling up equipment are necessary tasks. Below we name some environmental safety hints for washing equipment and mixing chemical products that are useful to lawn and turf care professionals.
Well-maintained lawn and turf care equipment should be washed regularly to ensure a long and productive life. However, it is quite possible that something as seemingly innocuous as equipment maintenance can be causing lasting environmental harm. Let’s take a moment and consider exactly what happens when you wash your equipment on your driveway or wash pad.
This wash pad was built for under $200, which included pouring the concrete, screen, and labor. Cinder blocks were reused from a past project and there is a double screen placed in the lower left corner. Water passes through the screen and out into tall vegetation, which acts as a filter.
What is in Rinsate and Where Does it Go? First, consider exactly what you’re washing off of your equipment: grass clippings, dirt, oil residue, fertilizer, and in some cases, even pesticides. Now consider where this water run-off is headed; it can flow into sewers, creeks, rivers, or even right back into the beautiful environment you’ve just landscaped. Not only can this be disastrous for your local environment, in many cases it is illegal. If you are washing a container that housed pesticides, like a spray tank, its runoff is legally considered pesticide waste and is subject to strict regulation. No matter what you’re washing, there are ways to significantly reduce environmental harm.
Larger operations require significantly more care. Although exact regulations differ according to your location and circumstance, the chemicals and pesticides you’ll be washing off your equipment should absolutely never go near any water source and should avoid even the ground. The best solution is a completely self-contained system that captures run off and recycles the water. This both reduces water consumption and eliminates the concern about contamination. Unfortunately these set ups are often prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, however, there are effective, inexpensive options available.
For a small operation, like your Saturday morning car wash, the solution is often as simple as swapping out your traditional car wash soap for one of the many biodegradable options on the market. Before you begin washing, observe where the run-off water will flow. Even biodegradable soap must avoid rivers, ponds, streams, and storm drains. It requires soil to break down and should be directed into grass or gravel a safe distance from a stream or gutter.
Biofiltration If the equipment you are washing has not had any direct contact with pesticides or other dangerous chemicals, you can build a wash pad adjacent to a rain garden. Build a concrete slab slightly slanted toward a depressed area of land far removed from any water source. Plant local, water-hungry plants in the depression; these plants will slow the water’s rate of absorption, allowing for a breakdown of
biodegradable detergents. Finally, consider using an air compressor or backpack blower to blow off mud and grass clippings. This not only reduces water consumption, but also allows for these materials to be composted. Building a Wash Pad When washing equipment that has had direct contact with pesticides, it is absolutely imperative that you create a self-contained system. For a permanent solution, create a concrete wash area that drains into a holding tank. Alternatively, there are a variety of commercially available inflatable wash-pads that will capture all run-off and drain to a container. Dilute the run-off in this tank or container and use it for future spray-tanks, or have it safely removed according to local, state, and federal regulations. Wastewater management is all of our responsibility. By being careful with where our water flows, and by being creative with the ways we capture and re-use our waste, we can both save money and protect the environment. For more information, visit epa.gov and look for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
In the wash pad above, water is screened and drained through a pipe to a container (not pictured) to be collected for irrigation.
Chemical Mix and Load Pads
Ground water contamination can result even from small spills in the mixing and loading area. Small quantities spilled regularly in the same place can go unnoticed, but pesticides can build up in the soil and eventually reach ground water. Mixing and loading on an impermeable surface makes it possible to contain and reuse most spilled pesticides. If you do not have or are not able to construct a mixing and loading pad, here are a few suggestions for better managing your site: • Avoid mixing and loading pesticides near any water sources. • Avoid mixing and loading on gravel driveways or other surfaces that allow spills to sink through the soil. Clay surfaces are better than sand surfaces. • Use rinse water for mixing subsequent loads of the same pesticide. Spray the last rinse load on the field. If a spill were to occur on the chemical mix pad (pictured top), it would drain to the tap (pictured bottom) that can be turned on or off so that spilled product can be captured and reused.
• Install a back-siphon prevention device on the well or hydrants. Never put the hose in the sprayer tank, always keep the hose well above the water line. Provide an air gap between the hose and the top of the sprayer tank.
Audubon International staff members talk about their environmental superheros Katie Hopkins, Associate Director of Outreach & Communications One of my greatest environmental superheroes is Henry David Thoreau, the American author, philosopher, and environmentalist from the mid1800s. I read Walden in high school and was struck by Thoreau’a ability to observe natural processes often taken for granted and write about them with such detail, admiration, and beauty. He encouraged people to view ourselves as integrated into the natural world rather than set apart from it, and that philosophy helped to inspire my own way of looking at the world.
Doug Bechtel, Associate Director of Environmental Programs Prior to graduate school, I had the good fortune and honor to work with Dr. Larry Stevens in the Grand Canyon. Larry is a model naturalist, and his expertise spans all layers of the landscapes he studies and teaches, from geology to entomology. He taught me how to respect and love science, not only for understanding the world, but also as a tool for caring for nature and informing resource management. In many ways, I credit him for launching me on my career path of caring about and respecting our natural world.
Laura Karosic, Associate Director of Environmental Programs Robin Freeman was the Chair of Environmental Management and Technology at Merritt College in Oakland and he taught a number of courses that I took. He was nearing retirement when I was enrolled in his classes, but you’d never know it. He was as passionate and fiery about environmental stewardship as he probably was when he was a young graduate student. He passed that spirit on to almost everyone he taught, and it has remained with me in my own work.
Joanna Nadeau, Associate Director of Environmental Programs My environmental superhero is Aldo Leopold. More than all my courses in environmental science, A Sand County Almanac shaped my relationship with nature through Leopold’s signature insights, such as this: “When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” His land ethic guides many ecologists and has had a huge impact on how we all think about our environment.
Tara Pepperman, Membership Coordinator John Delano was a professor I had at The University at Albany. The inspiration was not on the focus of his teaching, which revolved around the origins or earth and the distant past, but the way he tied this all into our future as a planet. He preached sustainable practices in everything we do, and even talked frequently about his own home outside of Albany, which runs almost completely on renewable energy. His views inspired me to take the academic route I did and be a champion for the environment in every part of my life.
Share your environmental superhero story by commenting on our Facebook cover photo. Select stories may be featured in an upcoming issue of Stewardship News! www.facebook.com/AudubonInternational
New Members and New Certified Members New Members
ACSP for Golf International
Bahamas Royal Blue The Golf Club at Baha Mar, Nassau
South Carolina Cleveland Park, Spartanburg North Spartanburg Park, Boiling Springs Old Canaan Road Soccer Complex, Spartanburg VaDuMar McMillan Park, Boiling Springs
Prince Edward Island, Canada Brudenell-Dundarave Golf Course, Cardigan United Kingdom Trump International Golf Links Aberdeen Scotland, Balmedie Aberdeenshire
ACSP for Golf California Hiddenbrooke Golf Club, Vallejo Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles, Los Angelesuto Florida Polo Trace Golf Club, Delray Beach Trump International Golf Club Jupiter, Jupiter Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach, West Palm Beach
Iowa Glen Oaks Country Club, West Des Moines Kentucky Lincoln Homestead State Park Golf Course, Springfield Louisiana University Club of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Massachusetts Hopkinton Country Club, Hopkinton Michigan Huron Hills Golf Course, Ann Arbor Whittaker Woods Golf Course, New Buffalo New Jersey Preakness Valley Golf Course, Wayne Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, Bedminster Trump National Golf Club Colts Neck, Colts Neck Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia, Pine Hill New York Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley, Hopewell
North Carolina Trump National Golf Club Charlotte, Mooresville Ohio Sharon Woods Golf Course, Cinncinatti
Green Lodging Program Florida Holiday Inn Express & Suites Orlando East, Orlando
New Certified Members ACSP for Golf Colorado City Park Golf Course, Denver Ute Creek Golf Course, Longmont Willis Case Golf Course, Denver Florida East Lake Woodlands, Oldsmar Georgia Northwood Country Club, Lawrenceville Iowa Honey Creek Resort State Park, The Preserve on Rathbun Lake, Moravia Minnesota Gross National Golf Club, Minneapolis Oklahoma Page Belcher Golf Course, Tulsa Virginia Westham Golf Club, Moseley Washington Columbia Point Golf Course, Richland Tri-Mountain Golf Club, Ridgefield Whispering Firs Golf Course at Joint Base LewisMcChord, McChord Field
ACSP for Golf International
Pennsylvania The Club at Nevillewood, Presto White Manor Country Club, Malvern
Ontario, Canada Beacon Hall Golf Club, Aurora Greensmere Golf and Country Club, Carp
Virginia Trump National Golf Club Washington DC, Potomac Falls
Signature Program New Jersey Black Oak Golf Club, Chester
Audubon International Sponsors Audubon International would like to recognize the organizations who have generously supported our mission the past year. This critical support 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 sponsorship we receive for our programs and services. Thank you to the following, for all your work and support of Audubon International in 2013.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsor Spotlight Aquatrols is the world leader in the development of soil surfactants and other technologies that optimize soil-water-plant interactions. For more than 50 years, it has been changing the way the world grows by providing reliable and beneficial products to managers in the turf, agriculture, greenhouse & nursery, and snowmaking industries. Each division plays a unique but collaborative role in advancing the ultimate goal of sustainable water use and global resource conservation. The company aspires to discover, develop, produce, commercialize, and support products that bring agronomic, economic, and environmental benefit to each of its customers. Its innovative product line is complemented by independent third-party research and rigorous product testing. Founded in 1955, Aquatrols is headquartered in Paulsboro, New Jersey.
Audubon International Partners Audubon International partners with organizations to help support our mission. These mutuallybeneficial 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 Katie Hopkins at email@example.com.
Partner Spotlight The Land Trust Alliance is a national conservation organization that works in three ways to save the places people love. First, they increase the pace of conservation, so more land and natural resources get protected. Second, they enhance the quality of conservation, so the most important lands get protected using the best practices in the business. And third, they ensure the permanence of conservation by creating the laws and resources needed to defend protected land over time. To fulfill its mission, the Land Trust Alliance has worked for more than 25 years with the national conservation community â€” comprised of 1.5 million dedicated land conservation professionals, volunteers and supporters â€” to quickly, effectively and permanently save Americaâ€™s most valued natural resources. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and has several regional offices.
Photo: The Land Trust Alliance
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