Stewardship News | Volume 17, Issue 2 | Spring 2014

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StewardshipNews Audubon International’s

Volume 17, Issue 2

Spring 2014

Choosing the Right Lightbulbs | 20

Tell Your Sustainability Story | 13

Help Bees Thrive on your Property |8

Revitalizing Small Town America | 16


Doug playing with daughter, Myrica, in the grass.

Message from the Executive Director:

Spring and New Beginnings When I joined Audubon International’s team, I decided to reside in southern Vermont in order to stay closer to family in New Hampshire. I was lucky to find an end-of-the-road house surrounded by lawns bordered with shrubby walls and stately pine trees in Bennington. The deep underbrush and dense conifers along my dirt road serve as an active wildlife corridor funneling deer between two of Bennington’s natural habitat blocks—Mount Anthony to the West and the wetlands bordering Jewett Brook and South Stream to the southeast. My favorite weekend fun time with my three-year-old daughter, Myrica, has included learning wildlife tracks and filling the bird feeders in my backyard. I actually think Myrica’s favorite part of this is sweeping sunflower seeds off the kitchen floor after I spill half the bag each time. (For the botanically inclined, yes, my daughter is named after a shrub—the Latin name for bayberry and sweet fern is Myrica). My window is open behind my desk because the temperature is finally above freezing, slowly inching into the 50s here in east-central New York. It has been a crazy winter which included record snow and long cold snaps. The effect of this winter will pose significant challenges for many of our golf members. Drought creates different but equally dire challenges for our western members. The data on floods and the number of courses dealing with erosion and flood damage also continues to increase with more

frequent heavy rain events. This is all to say that the weather, while a favorite topic of conversation, has a significant impact on land and property for our managers who are committed to sustainability. Hang in there—we are all in this together! As I consider the opportunities before Audubon International, I have been reflecting on the privilege to be the fourth person leading Audubon International. This organization has been built by visionary leaders who turned great ideas into great programs. Our longevity is testament to our powerful mission, great programs, and, most importantly, to the committed staff, volunteers, partners and supporters who established a great and lasting organization. My favorite part of this job is talking to land managers who are excited that they are reducing our cumulative impact on nature. And I understand that our programs help to do that. As we spring forward, I hope you will be in touch frequently. Let us know what you need, tell us how we can improve our service, and definitely tell us, and others, how you take care of your environment. I will share your story as we continue to pursue an inspired mission that helps us all improve our natural surroundings. Fondly,

Doug Bechtel, Executive Director Cover photo: Main Street in Williamston, NC, Suzanne Stotesbury, The Enterprise



Doug Bechtel


Katie Hopkins

Contents Stewardship News Volume 17, Issue 2 Spring 2014


Joe Madeira


Announcements | 4 Read what we have been up to

Joanna Nadeau


Tara Pepperman



Nancy Richardson


Featured Member Project | 5 Heritage Oaks Golf and Country Club unveils its new observation deck

The Butterfly Effect | 6 New membership coordinator Tara Pepperman talks about how we impact the planet

Featured Photos | 7 Great photos sent in by members

What’s the Buzz? | 8 How to help those busy bees

Making History Again | 10 Collier’s Reserve Country Club marks 20 years of certification

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

The Top Five Missed Opportunities to Tell Your Sustainability Story | 13 Are you letting people know about the good things you are doing?

Revitalizing Small Town America | 16

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

Williamston, NC discovers its sustainability identity

A Bright Idea | 20 Save money and energy by replacing lightbulbs


Announcements Here are some of the things we have going on: Doug Bechtel Named New Executive Director

Doug Bechtel has been named the executive director of Audubon International. Prior to this position, Doug was an associate director of environmental programs for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. Before joining Audubon International, Doug served as the director of conservation science for The Nature Conservancy’s New Hampshire chapter. He replaces Ryan Aylesworth who has left the organization to pursue other opportunities. Doug can be reached at 518-767-9051 x114 or

Joanna Nadeau to Present at the National Planning Conference

Audubon International’s Joanna Nadeau will present about the Sustainable Communities Program at the National Planning Conference in Atlanta on April 27 and 28. She will participate in the “Three Shades of Green Certification” panel on Sunday, April 27 at 2:30-3:45pm, and she will also moderate a panel with certified communities Coconut Creek, FL and Stowe, VT on Monday, April 28 at 2:30 pm called “Comprehensive Planning for Sustainability.”

Two New Board Members at AI

Matt Ceplo and Marvin Moriarty are the two newest members of the Audubon International Board of Directors. Matt is a golf course superintendent at Rockland Country Club in Sparkill, NY, and will serve as the board’s treasurer. He is the recipient of several environmental awards including the 2013 GCSAA President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship. Marvin spent nearly 40 years with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the last eight of which were spent as the Regional Director of the FWS’ Northeast Region before retiring in 2011.

AI to Participate in Live Green! in 2014 Audubon International is once again partnering up with Toro and The First Tee to bring Live Green! events to life on golf courses across the country. The events focus on teaching children leadership skills and environmental appreciation through golf. This year the events will take place in seven cities: June 7 Knoxville, TN June 28 Rockford, IL August 9 Seattle, WA August 23 San Jose, CA Sept. 13 Shelby, NC Sept. 27 Clearwater, FL Oct. 11 San Diego, CA

Announcing the Winner of the US Open Ticket Raffle

Isleworth Community Association in Windermere, Florida

has won two tickets to the 2014 US Open The US Open will take place June 9-15, 2014 at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in North Carolina on the famous Pinehurst No. 2 course.


Congratulations! Tickets are courtesy of the

University of Missouri-Columbia Study Finds that Improved Turf Management Techniques Help Golf Course Ecosystems Succeed

Photo: Bill Bouton

A recent study published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning by a research team at University of Missouri-Columbia has determined that, with improved turf management techniques, a golf course can foster healthy ecosystems. The study focused on the health of salamanders and their habitats. Ray Semlitsch, Curators Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri acknowledged the public perception that all golf courses are hazardous to ecosystems and admitted that his research team assumed the same as they began their study. “We went into the research study thinking these things [golf courses] were going to be really toxic and really bad to the salamanders. What we found was quite the opposite—golf courses can actually provide a wonderful habitat for salamanders and other organisms where they can survive and thrive...Our research suggests a more natural course that includes streams with leaf litter, sticks and twigs that offer a natural habitat for different species is preferred. Turf and golf course managers are taking note of these practices, and it is making a real ecological difference.” Read more at

Featured Member Project Member: Heritage Oaks Golf and Country Club in Sarasota, FL Project: Wildlife Observation Deck The new observation deck at Heritage Oaks Golf and Country Club was eight years in the making. The project is the brainchild of Bill McNamara, one of the 850 residents that live in the private golf community in Sarasota. Each year something caused the project to be put on the back burner, until finally in 2013, the community’s Common Properties Committee got the okay to prepare a budget, draw up plans, and apply for permits. The new deck was dedicated on February 20, 2014. There are plans to add an extension to the deck as funds become available.

Photos: Heritage Oaks

Resident and committee-member Diana Spencer-Oliver says that many different types of wildlife have already been observed. “It brings a smile to my heart each time I pass the deck, to see bike riders, walkers and residents with their grandchildren gazing into the 50 acre preserve. We have put a new face on our ‘golf community.’”


From Our


The Butterfly Effect New membership coordinator Tara Pepperman talks about how we impact the planet


ppreciation for the environment is something that is ingrained in a person from the beginning, and I took a very organic path to finding out that I wanted to spend my life conserving our planet. Camping with my family was a yearly ritual when I was young, so being in nature was something that became a part of me from an early age and really set the groundwork for my future decisions. My real path to environmentalism started with tornadoes of all things. I have always had a strong fascination for extreme weather, mainly because I was just so “blown away” with the physics behind it and how we as humans can control so much of our world, but not weather. Against my mother’s wishes, I dreamed of chasing tornadoes in the Great Plains one day and watched the movie “Twister” about a million times. It was then I decided I wanted to become a meteorologist and study the awesome phenomenon of weather firsthand.

Tara exploring Ecuador’s famous Galapagos Islands in 2011.

flap of a butterfly’s wing, can set a whole chain of events in motion. Weather is really that way, relying on not just the wind and clouds, but the sun’s radiation and even the turn of the earth through space. Think about this next time you are cursing the weatherman!

But it’s not just weather that can relate to the “Butterfly Effect.” Only after studying and learning about the weather for a few years did I start to really see that not only can these tornadoes and hurricanes affect us in so many crazy ways, but we can also affect them. My “aha” moment was in a climatology course where the data I looked at every day was put together in a bigger picture, and the result was amazing. Patterns and climate are changing on a rapid scale. We have so much of an impact on While in college, I studied our environment, and I decided models and learned about at that point that I wanted to predicting weather, only be a part of making others to realize how extremely aware that we are contributing difficult predicting the to that change, and that weather actually is. Did everything we do, good or bad, you know it was actually a can really impact the habitat meteorologist that coined we live in. I switched my major the term “Butterfly Effect?” to environmental science, still If you haven’t heard of the focusing on air quality issues, Ashton Kutcher movie, it’s and went on to pursue an MA Tara making friends with wallabies in basically the concept that Australia in 2007. in Global Environmental Policy one small thing, like the


at American University to learn all I could about the concept. Throughout my education, I’ve done a bit of traveling, mainly out of curiosity. I love the quote “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page,” by Augustine of Hippo. There are so many places and people and ideas, I just wish I could know them all! The best place I’ve travelled by far, and most inspiring to me environmentally, was my trip to Ecuador. Interacting with the people there, many who work every day in tandem with their environment just to survive, was eye opening. They have such a strong appreciation for the land and animals that surround them because it supports their ability to live. I now understand why some people pollute—we, as a culture, don’t feel that strong connection to our environment or associate it with our survival. We live our day-to-day lives mostly disconnected from the environment around us. What I really want to do is help people make that connection to the environment and make it a part of their lives. When looking at Audubon International members, that is already happening on such a large scale—on courses, in communities, and with businesses. The most inspiring thing to me is hearing from our members about the wonderful things they are doing. There is so much passion for environmental stewardship that I didn’t realize could be there. Our members are having their own “Butterfly Effect” on their communities and the world around them by doing some really great things. The greatest part about my job is I get to speak to all of our members, regardless of program, and hear about these things. I look forward to being in touch with each and every one of our members at some point, to chat about your passion for the environment, your goals, or even just to say “hi.”

Featured Phot s

Dave Phipps, Stone Creek Golf Club A family of kestrels pose for a photo at Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City, Oregon.

Benny Campos, Cozumel Country Club A black-bellied whistling duck gives her ducklings a ride at Cozumel Country Club in Cozumel, Mexico. Share your photos! If you would like to see your photos featured here or on our Facebook page, e-mail them to


How to Help those Busy Bees


o anyone who has ever been stung, the idea of actively attracting bees may raise hackles. But a closer look at bees proves that enhancing habitat for native species presents many benefits and poses no harm.

Bees vs. Wasps

People are generally stung by wasps, like yellow jackets or hornets, or by honey bees, a non-native species brought to the New World by Spanish conquistadors. These species live in hives or colonies, so contact with them can create a swarm of trouble. In contrast, most of the more than 4000 species of native bees in the United States are solitary, non-threatening creatures. Our native bees play a critical role in pollinating the majority of flowering plants including many of our foods.




• Furry

• Smooth

• Plump

• Long and slender

• Legs are flat and wide

• Legs are round

• Feed on nectar and pollen

• Predatory, attracted to human food

• Non-aggressive

• Aggressive

Why Protect Bees?

About two-thirds of plants need insects or other animals to pollinate them, and bees are the most important pollinators. On a typical foraging trip, a female bee may visit hundreds of flowers. She




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will eat the energy-rich nectar to power her flight, and collect pollen and nectar to take back to her nest to provide food to her offspring. As the bees forage, pollen is moved between plants. Without this exchange of pollen female plant ovules will not be fertilized and neither seed nor fruit will develop. Research evidence is overwhelming—wild pollinators are declining around the world. Chief causes include fragmentation and loss of habitat, pesticide use, and changes to plant communities from different land management or invasion by exotic species.

Getting Started

Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to help bees thrive on your property. Not only will habitat enhancements benefit bee species themselves, they will add beauty and diversity to your landscape and provide a valuable ecological asset to your community. To conserve native bees, you must focus on providing two key aspects of bee habitat: native plants for nectar and pollen, and nesting sites. No special equipment or protective clothing is needed when working with native bees, and encouraging native bees will not create any threat to people. Honey bees are a social species, and therefore create hives. Providing nesting sites for native bees, which are mostly solitary species, will not attract nonnative, stinging honey bees.

Provide Food

Adding native plants that are rich in nectar and pollen is the best way to attract and sustain bees. Simply plant native flowers in existing gardens or borders. On golf courses, non-play areas are ideal sites for naturalizing

and will provide larger foraging sites. As an added benefit, native plants will also attract wildlife like butterflies and birds, make your property more attractive, and reduce long-term maintenance.

Tips: •

Transplant. In most situations, the best way to enrich habitat is by planting pre-grown transplants. Controlling weeds and watering during the first growing season are particularly important.

Diversify. Bees need nectar and pollen from early spring through fall, so try to ensure that there is a diversity of local native plants with a range of flowering times in the habitat.

Choose native. Some good bee plants include: yarrow, golden rod, and wild mint. Shrubs to plant include; salmonberry, grape, and willow.

Wild pollinators need greater protection. They are the unsung heros of the countryside, providing a critical link in the food chain for humans and doing work for free...

Prof. Simon Potts

Provide Nest Sites

There are several simple ways in which nesting sites can be made for bees. Many of these mimic natural features that bees prefer, though not all will be suitable for your site. There are two primary types of nest that you can make: ground nests and wood nests. The location of the nest sites is important. Bees like warm conditions, especially in the morning so that they can become active earlier. Shelter nests from the worst weather with the entrance facing east-southeast.

Bee boxes are easy to construct and provide valuable shelter.

Tips and Techniques:

Logs and Snags: Get some logs or old stumps and place them in the wildlife garden or naturalized habitat patches you’ve created. Drill holes at least 4” deep and 3/32” to 3/8” diameter into the logs. Leave dead tree snags standing when they don’t pose a safety hazard, to keep natural nest sites for bees. Nesting Blocks: Bee nesting blocks can be made from blocks of lumber at least 4” by 4” and 8” long. In one side of the block, drill lots of holes 3/32” to 3/8” diameter and almost all the way through the block. This block can be fixed to a stake or tree in a sunny, preferably eastward facing spot. Bare Ground: Simply clear the vegetation from a small area (about 6’ by 6’) and compact the soil. A few rocks placed in the cleared area will improve it by adding basing places and help warm the soil. Where possible create bare areas on south facing slopes or banks. Choose dry, well-drained ground for groundnesting bees. Sand Pits and Sand Piles: If you have lots of room, dig a sand pit about 12’ square and 4’ deep and fill it with fine-grained white sand. Or build up a sand pile about the same size.


Photo: Collier’s Reserve

Making History Again Collier’s Reserve Country Club Marks 20 Years of Certification By Nancy Richardson


hile we all are fascinated by exotic places and wildlife, we often miss the amazing diversity in our own communities. So I want to tell you about one of those extraordinary communities where nature abounds, where it is protected, and where it is very much appreciated.

first project in the world to achieve designation as a Certified Audubon International Signature Sanctuary. In 2014, Collier’s Reserve yet again achieved another first by becoming the first Signature Sanctuary to be certified for twenty years.

The community is Collier’s Reserve Country Club, a private, member-owned equity club located along the Cocohatchee River in Naples, Florida. When the Collier family dreamed of creating a community on this acreage it had owned for seventy years, the dream was one where there would be true integration of a man-made environment with its natural surroundings. Although the land was originally permitted for a total of 385 homes and an 18-hole golf course, the resulting number of single family sites was just 228 for the 450 acre tract plus an 18-hole golf course. This site sits near the corner of US Hwy 41 and Immokalee Road, two major thoroughfares, and just two miles from the Gulf of Mexico and three miles from I-75.

One of the primary goals in the Collier’s Reserve design was to minimize the disturbance to existing ecological systems and to preserve the site’s unique existing dense vegetation. To that end, in addition to conservation areas on the property, a Natural Preservation Buffer (NPB) was established on each home lot. The NPB creates an area around the perimeter of each lot. Buffers range from 15-20 feet wide in the rear, 20-25 in the front, and 10 feet on the side property lines. The reason for the NPB is to:

Back in 1993, Collier’s Reserve joined Audubon International’s newly created Signature Program, enrolling both the golf course and the residential community projects as members in the program. In 1994, Collier’s Reserve made history by becoming the


The Natural Preservation Buffer

Protect vegetation and emphasize the exiting character of the site

Reduce the amount of cleared or disturbed site area, minimizing soil erosion and sedimentation

Improve filtration and dissipation of storm water runoff, creating better site water quality

Reduce future irrigation, fertilizer, pesticide and other landscape maintenance costs

Water, Water Everywhere

Unlike many other golf courses, as far back as 1994, Collier’s Reserve has always had access to effluent water for irrigation of the golf course. In the summer of 2011, Collier’s Reserve invested $1.9 million to upgrade to a new state-of-the-art irrigation system. Because of the age, design, and inefficiency of the old irrigation system, Collier’s was using only 65-70% of their 146 million gallon effluent allotment annually (400,000 gallons daily allotment). The goal of a new system was to maximize all of the effluent water in their permit and to reduce their dependency on their 54 million gallon surface water allotment. This would allow more surface water to filtrate and recharge the aquifer as well as maximize use of effluent for which they paid. In the past, they used 80-90% of the surface water allotment or 43 million gallons. Thanks to their new irrigation system, between October 2011 and September 2012, they made a dramatic reduction in use and saved 35 million gallons of surface water.

Photo: Collier’s Reserve

But even the best laid plans sometimes don’t always pan out. This past year, Collier County Utilities introduced a new water ordinance that will take effect in October 2015. Knowing that they have taken on more customers than their supply allows, Collier County Effluent Water Division wants to reduce all water allotments to its customers. This would result in Collier’s Reserve Country Club getting a new minimum effluent daily allotment of 206,000 gallons of effluent water versus the current minimum allotment of 400,000 gallons. Although it’s during the dry months (typically April, May, and June) that the county would likely deliver only the minimum allotment of 206,000 gallons of water per day, Collier’s has decided to explore additional water supplies for irrigation usage.

Residents go on a bird walk at Collier’s Reserve Country Club.

The Signature Program Begun in 1993, the Signature Program was designed to chart a new path to the siting, design, construction and management of new developments with an emphasis on both the landscape as well as the built structure. Sites that achieve designation as Certified Audubon Signature Sanctuary demonstrate that enhancing and protecting the environment has economic, aesthetic, and community benefits. Certified members such as Collier’s Reserve excel in their management of wildlife habitat and in their judicious use of available water.

In the meantime, they continue to look for ways to improve their sustainability efforts and become more efficient with their maintenance practices. Irrigation precipitation rates are adjusted daily to minimize dry spots and wet spots. Sprinkler heads are checked weekly to ensure no irrigation water is going directly into their lakes or natural areas. This helps maximize efficiency and avoid runoff. By using new tools such as moisture meters and a new irrigation system, Collier’s Reserve has positioned themselves to continue to become even better stewards of the environment.

A View from a Long-Time Resident

Anyone who has ever visited Collier’s Reserve is certainly not disappointed when looking for wildlife. Throughout the community are scenic river overlooks and boardwalks created to showcase the natural landscape and the wildlife living there. Over 30%, or about 130 acres, is dedicated as an area of conservation. Within this area there are approximately 50 acres of upland preserve which is maintained as gopher tortoise habitat. As a visitor to the site many times, I have watched baby alligators play, photographed anoles as they frolic in the clubhouse flower pots, gazed at a manatee near the boathouse, and had a standoff with a dusky pigmy rattlesnake. I have also seen many, many, many birds. But no one can tell the Collier’s Reserve wildlife story like Peter Thayer, President of Thayer Birding Software. Here are Peter’s thoughts about his home: ”When we moved to Naples in 1998, my wife Roz and I chose Collier’s Reserve because of the natural


habitat and the abundance of birds. Since then 150 different species have been seen at Collier’s Reserve. Our monthly bird walks turn up 35-40 birds each time in just a few hours. (We don’t walk, we ride in golf carts!) Because of the impact of the Audubon International Signature Program, residents often see bobcats with their cubs walking through their back yard or ospreys bringing fish to their two chicks near the 9th hole. Red-shouldered hawks are thriving and yellow-crowned night herons have once again constructed three nests hanging over the stream behind the boathouse.”

detect the presence of people and turn the light on and off accordingly; upgraded outdoor lighting sensors; installed and programmed a new A/C unit for the maintenance facility set to cool offices only when occupied; repaired the external security lighting with new motion sensors; use ceiling fans to circulate air; and upgraded the irrigation pumping station. These upgrades conserved over 10,000 kilowatts of electricity resulting in a savings this past year of over $5,300. According to national studies, that is the amount of electricity an average US household uses in a year.

“A recent ‘BioBlitz’ attracted widespread attention as Collier’s Reserve members and some local experts identified over 475 different species of living things in 24 hours. Even the new residents who do not know much about nature are soon hooked when they see the egrets and herons and ibis each day. And they certainly notice when the elegant swallow-tailed kites that nest here swoop low over the fairways and grab a grasshopper for lunch. “

REUSE: Members from Collier’s Reserve continue to donate any unused or gently used items that they no longer need. Items consist of clothes, dishes, washers, dryers, toys, bicycles and even TVs. The donations are then displayed at the maintenance facility in a “garage sale” like fashion. Employees of Collier’s Reserve are free to pick up any item they wish at no charge. Larger items are raffled and everyone leaves with something. All of these items are given another life by sharing in this way.

Peter Thayer continues to oversee the monthly bird watching tours for members and residents. He also has been very instrumental in the Collier’s Reserve Nature Group Website, which you can view at www. This website allows members to share photos of wildlife or plants, post comments about interesting nature sightings, and to find news about nature activities at Collier’s. Listed on the website are several checklists for plants and animals found on the property. Also available is the typical Bird Walk Checklist that members use during bird walks. This kind of enthusiasm is what keeps a community in touch and motivates residents to learn more about their environment.

RECYCLE: Promoting recycling throughout the property is one thing; wearing some of the recycled products is another. Managers are now wearing a golf shirt marketed by Under Armour to add UV protection. Each shirt is made from at least four recycled bottles so management staff has become a walking billboard for recycling.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Water and wildlife are the warm and fuzzy things that we all can relate to. But Collier’s Reserve is conserving resources in other ways. This might be cliché by now, but these words can certainly help tell a story: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. REDUCE: Over two years ago, Collier’s began implementing an energy efficiency plan. Their plan involves keeping records of monthly energy usage (electric and water) and identifying ways to save energy. They installed occupancy light sensors to


Where Does Collier’s Go from Here?

Homeowners, staff and management have continued their dedication and commitment to the Signature Program over the past twenty years and have actively looked for new ways to continue their environmental efforts. As stated by Nicholas von Hofen, Collier’s Reserve golf course superintendent, “Everyone here at Collier’s Reserve Country Club continues to take great pride in being recognized as “The World’s First Audubon Signature Sanctuary. As always, we are deeply committed to environmental management, enhancing and protecting existing wildlife habitats while improving the quality of the environment. We are looking forward to the next twenty years.” We at Audubon International can’t wait to see what they come up with. But, in the interim, as Peter Thayer would say, “Good Birding!”

The Top Five Missed Opportunities to tell your

Sustainability Story By Katie Hopkins


n my job at Audubon International, I talk to members from all sorts of industries and entities ranging from golf courses to ski resorts to town governments. I have noticed one thing to be pretty common across the board. Despite all the work they put in to reach environmental achievements and to gain certification, our members often forget one very important thing: to tell people about it. Outreach and education is a crucial part of your sustainability initiative’s impact, and one of the added benefits of going green is that you can incorporate it into your marketing and branding to draw in more guests and customers. In fact, I suggest you downright brag about it. Here are the top 5 missed opportunities to tell your sustainability story.


Your Website

It is the face of your business. It is where everyone goes to find out more about you. So why aren’t you using it to tell your sustainability story? Gauthier’s Saranac Lake Inn, a Platinum Certified member of the Audubon International Green Lodging Program, has chosen to make environmental responsibility part of its brand. Its certification seal is prominently displayed on the resort’s home page along with a link to a page detailing its Green Program. Both long-time and potential guests can learn about the steps the resort’s owners have taken to reduce its environmental footprint and see the list of awards won over the years. In doing this, the

resort is able to attract the growing segment of ecoconscious travelers and has provided an educational resource about what it means to go green.


Media and Publications

Too many people convince themselves that no one will care about their story. While chances are your new solar panel installation will not make national news, there are still plenty of other people who will care. Reach out to your local media outlets. Find the person at a newspaper or TV/radio

A local news crew interviews a golf course superintendent about the course’s green initiative.


station who will best be able to help you tell your story, and establish a relationship with that person. Send out a press release whenever you achieve significant accomplishments such as certification. Compile a list of industry and environmental publications and websites such as Mother Nature Network and Green Lodging News, and send press releases and ready-to-go articles along with some photos. To increase your chances of being published, make sure to keep the articles focused on your sustainability aspects rather than making them look like advertisements. When you are published, provide a link to the articles on your website, Facebook page, and in any newsletters you send out.

Glendoveer Golf Course in Oregon has installed signs encouraging guests to become actively involved in environmental activities at the course.


Signs and Displays


Events and Behind the Scenes Tours

environmental imprint of a business. Host events with sustainability in mind, and make your property available to schools, universities, and non-profit organizations to serve as a classroom for learning about sustainability and the environment.


Staff Involvement

Your sustainability initiative will be no small task, and for it to be effective and impactful it is going to have be a group effort. Getting your staff involved is crucial for many reasons: •

First of all, as funny as it sounds, you need to ensure the sustainability of your sustainability initiative. All too often, a single staff member champions a green program and does most of the work by himself or herself. If that person leaves to start another job, the program dies out and no one realizes the good things that were being done. This can be prevented by forming a green committee to keep the program running long into the future.

Your staff members will ultimately be the most important players in bringing your initiative to life. In order to fully implement your new sustainable operations, they will need to know what changes they need to make in their everyday routines. Always keep them in the loop with meetings and signage, and make sure they understand not only what to do, but why they are doing it. Getting them exciting about their

Don’t just educate your guests before they arrive, educate them while they are there! This is most easily done with displays detailing your sustainability initiative and signs explaining what people are looking at. If you have naturalized an outdoor space, your guests may be wondering why you aren’t mowing the lawn. By putting up a sign you are reinforcing your identity as a business that cares about sustainability (and easing their concerns about your maintenance practices too!).

Don’t hide away all those sustainability measures you have implemented; show them off! Arrange tours for guests and community members to see what it takes to lower the


A display in a staff area communicates the importance of the hotel’s sustainability initiative and describes the workshops Hyatt offers to employees.

Audubon International

eStore Tell your guests you are proudly certified with these aluminum indoor/outdoor signs. Choose from four designs valued at $100. Now for an introductory price of


Camp Creek Golf Club in Panama City Beach, FL opens up their property to students from local schools to learn about pond ecosystems.

including shipping!

role in this venture will increase the likelihood they will follow through with new procedures. •

Outreach and education doesn’t have to be aimed only at your guests and customers. You have an opportunity to instill a sense of responsibility and stewardship in your staff. They can then take those principles and integrate them into their lives outside of work, inspiring their own family and friends.

In communicating the importance of sustainability, businesses are empowered to influence consumer behavior and increase demand in eco-friendly products and services. You won’t just be ahead of the curve, you’ll be helping to create the curve. So get out there and start telling your story. Your efforts may reach farther than you ever expected, and every little thing you do will add up to be a big part of the global solution.

To learn more about how we can help you tell your own unique sustainability story, contact Katie Hopkins, Associate Director of Outreach & Communications at 518-767-9051 x116 or

Visit the eStore 15

Revitalizing Small Town America

Williamston, North Carolina Discovers its Sustainability Identity By Joanna Nadeau


round the country, communities that historically depended on manufacturing or farming industries for jobs are suffering as those sectors decline. For better or worse, small towns are experiencing new economic realities. To be sustainable, a local economy must be diverse—that is, based on a wide range of profitable sectors—and build on natural assets while protecting them. Ecofriendly communities are becoming more attractive to homebuyers and commanding higher prices. “Going green has proven to be more than a trend; many people now seek out this way of living and want homes and communities that are more resource efficient and sensitive to the environment,” says Gary Thomas, President of the National Association of Realtors.


Making Sustainability Pay

Leaders in Williamston, North Carolina, know this story well. Between 2000 and 2010 Williamston lost population and poverty rates increased because of lost farming jobs and mill closures. Presently, most young people leave town after graduating high school and don’t return. While the area’s recent economic trends are discouraging, Williamston actually is in a good position to adapt to these new trends. The town’s heritage as a farming community means townspeople are already committed to thinking and managing in harmony with nature. Many people who have lost jobs stayed because they love the area and are committed to seeing it succeed. The town’s leaders have invested in economic development with two

major goals: creating more job opportunities for residents and drawing more tourism to the town. To that end, the Town has taken a lead in integrating sustainability into the Williamston way of life, as evidenced by their commitment to the Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program.

Photo: Suzanne Stotesbury, The Enterprise

In his book, The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida explains that regions with amenities attract and retain more talent, which is necessary to compete effectively in a national and world marketplace. Amenities, such as an area’s intellectual and cultural resources and its natural setting, are what make a town a nice place to live and to visit. Parks, waterfront, recreational opportunities, and historical sites are assets that interest talented individuals in settling down in a town. Enhancing and protecting those cultural and natural assets are therefore critical strategies for economic development. Towns can use their amenities to compete for the businesses that employ top talent as well as to draw crowds for tourism.

Photos: Town of Williamston

Many communities join Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program to improve their local economic situation and create a brighter future for their community. Williamston town staff are looking for ways to keep young people from leaving after high school and avoid the dreaded “brain drain” that can stifle business investment. Following the Sustainable Communities Program’s framework, they started by looking at their existing assets as the foundation for growth.

a sub-regional market. To ensure its most precious buildings are preserved, Williamston has registered National Commercial and Residential Historic Districts. A walking tour map of historic residences and structures has been developed for residents and visitors to find these treasures. In addition, the Senator Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center is a state of the art equestrian show facility where more than 50 arena events are held each year. Organizers of events at this and other venues draw visitors from as far as Florida and Ohio. The Town holds events such as the annual Main Street festival called the Carolina Country Stampede near the end of September, featuring food and craft vendors along with a weekend of beach, gospel, and country music. The Town, in cooperation with other organizations, sponsors a number of smaller events at park facilities throughout the year.

Top: The town courthouse is being preserved as a historic asset of the community. Bottom: An Earth Day event for children in Williamston. Opposite: The annual Carolina Country Stampede on Williamston’s Main Street.

In fact, Williamston has a growing arsenal of amenities to offer residents and visitors. Just two hours from both North Carolina’s Outer Banks and Raleigh, the small town of 6,000 people serves as

In addition to its tangible cultural assets, Williamston has another characteristic essential to its success: profound interest in facing their challenges head on. There is an ongoing effort to revitalize the downtown, by retaining existing businesses and encourage re-use of buildings. A Small Business Center offers a wide range of workshops and assistance to those desiring to start a business, and the Town is an active participant in regional economic development efforts. Town leaders have also had the wisdom to reach out for help from experts, involving NC State University and Audubon International when needed.

A Remarkable Asset: the Roanoke River

Arguably, the town’s greatest asset is its natural one, one that has worked hard for them in the past and is only now being recognized as offering something more. The lower Roanoke River flows through Williamston on its path to Albemarle Sound, which is the second largest


estuary system (Albemarle-Pamlico) in the United States. Because of its importance for imperiled native fishes, the Roanoke River is a priority site for freshwater conservation in North Carolina. The pristine Roanoke River Basin offers many opportunities to enjoy and explore nature through walking, hiking, birding, and biking. Also, the river offers creeks, ponds, streams, and estuaries for paddling. Tourists that reach Williamston from the river can enjoy fishing, hunting deer, turkey, and bear in the thousands of acres of designated game lands, and walking to the historic residential and commercial districts in downtown. Towns along the Roanoke River are realizing that this beautiful, unique destination available for all to enjoy distinguishes them from other places. Such amenities also increase the quality of life for residents in many intangible ways. The river and its associated amenities offer healthy and environmentally-friendly options for recreation. Access to nature is known to have benefits for mental health and stress reduction. And if properly protected and utilized, the river can play a major role in economic development. A recent report shows communities that have made open space and conservation a priority have much higher growth rates than those managing natural resources solely for production. Audubon International helps communities recognize the relationship between the natural environment


and local economic development. For example, certification requires that member communities enhance or promote ecotourism, civic tourism, cultural and historic tourism, and/or adventure travelers and businesses. Ecotourism is a significant and growing global industry. Across the United States, outdoor recreation contributes $730 billion annually to the national economy and supports nearly 6.5 million jobs, according to the Outdoor Industry Foundation. In 2006, nearly 71 million Americans spent more than $45 billion watching wildlife (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). By featuring their natural assets as a central part of their appeal, Williamston is looking to rebrand itself and establish a new identity based on being a naturefriendly, sustainable community. They pursued and ultimately achieved designation as a Certified Audubon International Sustainable Community in 2009to help better communicate their values and priorities for the future to potential visitors and residents.

Connecting People to the River

Williamston and its neighboring communities have taken a variety of steps to increase appreciation and access to the Roanoke River, as well as to educate local citizens about their role in protecting the River Basin. A unique paddle and camping trail along the river was developed by a partnership of local organizations and individuals formed in 1997

Photos: Town of Williamston

Above: The Roanoke River walk provides residents with excellent recreational activities that help improve health and quality of life. Right: The Roanoke River Paddle Trail attracts tourists and creates opportunities for small businesses.

to increase awareness of the river. The Roanoke River Paddle Trail has 14 elevated camping platforms spaced at comfortable paddling distances. The Roanoke River Partners infrastructure provides opportunities for small businesses such as guide companies and outfitters in the region, new and old. The Town has invested in improvements at a number of sites near the river to help attract tourists as well as new commercial development. In 2002, the Town secured funding through the North Carolina Department of Transportation to construct River Landing, a 750 foot boardwalk along the River. The Town constructed a camping platform at River Landing to be utilized by users of the Roanoke River Paddle Trail, bicyclists, and pedestrians. This boardwalk and platform is directly across the Roanoke River from the 21,000 acre Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge and provides access and viewing of the pristine natural environment within the refuge. The Town also constructed bicycle and pedestrian corridors connecting the Landing, Roanoke River, neighborhoods, and the downtown. Maps along the nature trail, the rail trail, and the River boardwalk, help people find their way around.

Demonstration Projects

Newly installed bio-retention ponds at a local park demonstrate how rainwater can be used for irrigation (water conservation) while also providing wildlife habitat. A walking trail and blue bird boxes also have been installed at the park. By connecting visitors with the river and its wildlife, the Town is inspiring people to consider actions they can take to protect these precious resources. To increase awareness, these demonstration sites for best practices in

water management are spread all over town to show examples of how landscape management can be improved to benefit the river. A water quality demonstration project was envisioned and constructed at the local high school with the help of grant funding from the Albemarle Pamlico Estuary System. Using low impact development practices, this stormwater management project mimics the site’s predevelopment hydrology through design techniques that infiltrate, filter, store, evaporate, and detain runoff close to its source. It includes a cistern, two rain gardens, a swale, permeable pavement, and a riparian buffer. The site shows students and community members how simple landscape design elements can control pollutants, reduce runoff volume, and manage runoff timing.

A Strong Foundation

We are proud of Certified Sustainable Communities like Williamston who have worked hard to become more sustainable. But in some ways certification is just the beginning. Williamston has reinvigorated its relationship with the natural environment and begun to showcase its unique local assets, which will help the Town in attracting business investment and tourist interest. Now that Williamston has shown itself to be a unique destination, it can interest hotels and ecotourism-related retail to locate there. The Town has laid a strong foundation upon which to build an economy for the future, which will need to have a variety of work opportunities—ideally in green industries—to support their local workforce. The process of being sustainable never truly ends, but Williamston has shown that it has what it takes to go the distance.

How your community can make friends with a river: o Encourage recreation by developing amenities and increasing access o Educate users about the river’s history, services it provides, and threats to its health o Reduce water use through water conservation actions to support natural river flows o Manage stormwater runoff to protect water quality and the ecosystem 19

Tips & Tools

A Bright Idea Save Money and Energy By Replacing Lightbulbs


otels, clubhouses, and other businesses can realize significant cost savings and reduced energy use by choosing energy efficient lighting. Lighting alone typically accounts for 30 percent of a hotel’s total electricity consumption. Making the switch to energy efficient lighting is a good way to get started on becoming more ecoefficient, since it typically has such a short payback period.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps

Incandescent bulbs are essentially heating instruments that happen to also give off light. About 90 percent of the energy put into an incadescent bulb is released as heat energy. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and tubes require less than one-third the electricity used by incandescent lamps to achieve the same illumination levels, and can last 10 to 13 times longer. They can replace incandescent lamps in many applications (e.g., wall and ceiling mounted fixtures, exit and directional signs, floodlights, display lighting, and task lighting).


Generally, CFLs are most suitable wherever precise beam control is not required, although some newer models may be suitable for this type of application.

Converting incandescent bulbs to CFLs can lower relevant energy costs by up to 50 percent per bulb per year, with short payback periods. For instance, according to a Natural Resources Canada publication, replacing 100 40watt incandescent lamps with CFLs may save from $550 to $1,300 per year and have a simple payback period of six months to a year, depending on applicable electricity rates. You can estimate savings for St. Francis Hotel in San your business by considering Francisco, California, replaced the number and cost of bulbs 1,600 incandescent lamps to be replaced, interest rates, with compact fluorescent electricity costs, and possible bulbs. Total project costs were government or utility financial $39,915, but annual savings incentives.

amounted to $85,200, for a return on investment of less than six months. The switch resulted in an 82 percent energy reduction for lighting.

To get the same amount of light from a CFL bulb as you expect from an incandescent, read the label to compare light output, or

lumens, and not the watts. Watts equal the energy used, not the amount of light. Lumens should be equal between the incandescent and the compact fluorescent bulb. Fluorescent lamp model designations are complex and may be confusing. To facilitate your purchasing decisions, we have provided an explanation of lamp types and designations below. There are some disadvantages to CFL bulbs. If the lamp is installed in a place where it is frequently switched on and off, the bulb will age at a much more rapid rate than one that is turned on at the beginning of the day and turned off at the end. CFLs also can take some time to warm up, so it is not well suited for a place such as a closet where a person needs light instantly and for a brief period of time.

Lighting Considerations Consider the following factors when choosing bulbs that will be a good fit for your lighting needs: • Amount of visible light output required (lumens) • Efficiency of the lamp (efficacy) • Impact on the cooling loads • Lighting color and quality • Types of fixtures therefore help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and lower electricity bills. A typical LED bulb uses only 6-8 watts. Though LEDs are a greater investment upfront, due to their efficiency and long life span, they are the best choice for long-term savings. Additional advantages of LED bulbs include that they are more durable than the fragile fluorescent bulbs, and do not take time to warm up. Also, they do not contain mercury and can be disposed of in a regular trash can.

Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and are considered a toxic waste by the EPA. If a bulb breaks, you will need to air out the room, clean up the glass and powder using damp paper towels and sticky tape, and place all materials in a sealable container. Do not vacuum as it could spread the mercury. Programs such as EasyPak allow you to ship your used bulbs to their facility for safe recycling. Visit to find a location near you for bulb drop off. Stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot will also accept used CFLs for recycling.

Task Lighting

Light-Emitting-Diodes (LEDs)

Lighting Controls

LEDs are very efficient, produce little heat, and have extremely long lifespans, but are more costly than incandescent and CFLs. The average lifespan of an LED bulb in 50,000 hours compared to 1,200 hours of an incandescent bulb and 8,000 hours of a CFL bulb. The LEDs use less watts per lumen and

Lighting is more efficient when it is applied directly to a task (for instance, a bright light over a desk), rather than illuminating the entire room at the same lighting level. Task lighting is appropriate for desks in offices and guest rooms. Controls such as photosensors, occupancy sensors, and timers can save energy by turning lights off when they are not needed. This approach is particularly effective for security lighting, lighting in infrequently used rooms, and lighting in public rest rooms and guest room bathrooms.

Lamp Model Designations Lamp size and shape can be determined from the lamp model designation, a series of numbers and letters that appears on the lamp. For instance, F40/T12/HO/WM translates as: F = Fluorescent 40 = Wattage (except for energy-saver lamps and units longer than 48 inches, where the number represents the length of the bulb in inches) T = Tubular shape 12 = Diameter in eighths of an inch (12/8 = 1.5 inches); other common sizes are T-8 and T-10 CW = Cool White, indicating lighting color; other manufacture specific labels, such as SP35 and D835 are also used to indicate phosphor type and color temperature. HO = High Output; VHO (very high output) is another option. WM = Watt-Miser®; manufacture-specific designation for an energy-saver lamp; other designations include SS (SuperSaver®) and EW (Econ-o-watt®); these letters appear only if appropriate.


Electronic Ballasts

A ballast is the part of a lighting fixture that transforms and controls electrical power to the lamp (i.e., light bulb). Electronic ballasts present numerous benefits over standard magnetic ballasts. First, they eliminate the flicker, hum, and poor color rendering associated with older CFL lighting. Equally important, electronic ballasts are 10 to 15 percent more efficient, last longer, and have lower maintenance costs. For instance, when standard F40 CFLs on magnetic ballasts are replaced with higher efficiency T8 lamps and an electronic ballast system, the T8 lamps save a total of 32 watts per four lamp fixture. The electronic ballast can save 44 watts per fixture, for a total 40 percent reduction in electricity use. Another efficiency offered by electronic ballasts is their ability to operate up to four individual lamps simultaneously, compared to a maximum of two for conventional ballasts.

Exit Signs

Alternative lighting is also available to replace incandescent lamps in exit and directional signs. Options include CFLS and LEDs. A typical, “long life”

incandescent exit sign consumes 40 watts and must have lamps replaced every eight months, whereas a typical CFL exit sign consumes 10 watts and needs to be replaced only every 1.7 years. LEDs compare even more favorably: a typical LED exit sign uses less than 5 watts and lasts for 80 years. Installing CFL or LED bulbs can thus lead to significant energy and cost savings. Cost savings per sign are typically between $30‑$50 per year and payback periods are from one and two years.

Compare the Bulbs Average Life Span Watts used

Incandescent 1,200 hours 60 watts

CFL 8,000 hours 13-15 watts

LED 50,000 hours 6-8 watts

Turns on instantly Durability Heat emitted Affected by on/off cycling Sensity to humidity Sensitive to temperature Contains mercury Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Yes Breaks easily 85 BTUs/hour Some Some Some No 150 pounds/year

No Breaks easily 30 BTUs/hour Yes Yes Yes Yes 35 pounds/year

Yes Very durable 3.4 BTUs/hour No No No No 15 pounds/year

(60 watt bulb equivalent)

Created using information from


New Members and New Certified Members New Members

South Carolina Belfair Plantation, Bluffton


Tennessee The Links at Kahiti, Vonore

Massachusetts Acushnet Company, Acushnet New York Clear Path for Veterans Inc., Chittenango South Carolina Cleveland Park, Spartanburg North Spartanburg Park, Boiling Springs Old Canaan Road Soccer Complex, Spartanburg VaDuMar McMillan Park, Boiling Springs

ACSP for Golf Florida Fairways Golf Club, Orlando Indianwood Golf Club, Indiantown Villages of Country Creek, Estero Georgia Frederica Golf Club, Saint Simons Island Hawaii Waialae Country Club, Honolulu

Texas Royal Oaks Country Club, Dallas Wisconsin New Berlin Hills Golf Course, Waukesha

ACSP for Golf International Alberta, Canada Pinebrook Golf & Country Club, Calgary Nova Scotia, Canada Cabot Links, Inverness Quebec, Canada Golf Chateau Bromont, Bromont

Ohio Heatherwoode Golf Club, Springboro

Michigan Sylan Glen Golf Course, Troy South Carolina May River Golf Club, Bluffton

ACSP for Golf International

Ontario, Canada Legends on the Niagara, Niagara Falls

Signature Program

China Guangzhou Foison Golf Club, Guangzhou City

China Xinyang Golf Club, Xinyang

Florida Isleworth Community Association, Windermere

Oaklahoma Oak Tree Country Club, Edmond

Maryland Argyle Country Club, Silver Spring Lakewood Country Club, Rockville

Colombia Hotel Deep Blue, Isla Providencia

Missouri The National Golf Club, Parkville

North Carolina Hound Ears Club, Blowing Rock

Kentucky Frankfort Country Club, Frankfort

Green Lodging Program

Sustainable Communities Program

New York The Ridge Golf Club, Chittenango Rockville Links Club, Rockville Centre Wild Marsh Golf Club, Buffalo

Kansas Ironhorse Golf Club, Leawood

Cayman Islands Blue Tip at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Illinois Sunset Ridge Country Club, Northfield

Nevada IGM@Cascata, Boulder City

Georgia Country Club of the South, Johns Creek

New Certified Members ACSP Colorado Grandview Cemetery, Fort Collins Iowa ACT, Inc., Iowa City

ACSP for Golf

Oregon Chinook Winds Golf Course, Lincoln City

Colorado Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course, Castle Rock Southridge Golf Club, Fort Collins

Pennsylvania Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square The Kahkwa Club, Erie Penn State Golf Courses, State College

Florida Fernandina Beach Golf Club, Fernandina Beach Moorings Club, Vero Beach


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

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

Sponsor Spotlight Toro is a leading worldwide provider of innovative turf and landscape maintenance equipment and precision irrigation solutions. Since 1914, the company has helped customers care for golf courses, sport fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties, and agricultural fields in nearly 80 countries. Toro has created a company culture deeply rooted in environmental, educational, and community support. Their outreach activities include providing financial support to environmental organizations, initiating employee activities to renovate parks and restore lakes, rivers, and landscapes, and furthering the science of turf management. The Toro Foundation’s support of our Sustainable Communities Program provides critical funding to directly improve communities where Toro operates. In addition, the Toro Company is a valuable corporate sponsor, supporting our overall mission and programs. We recognize Toro for their leadership in advancing sustainability efforts.



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

Partner Spotlight The Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) is the professional Association for managers of membership clubs. CMAA has close to 6,500 members across all classifications. Its manager members operate more than 2,500 country, golf, athletic, city, faculty, military, town and yacht clubs. The objectives of the Association are to promote and advance friendly relations among persons connected with the management of clubs and other associations of similar character; to encourage the education and advancement of members; and to assist club officers and members, through their managers, to secure the utmost in efficient and successful operations. CMAA is headquartered in Alexandria, VA, with 37 staff, 46 professional chapters and more than 45 CMAA Board of Directors student chapters and colonies. Photo: Bruce Mathews, CMAA


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