Stewardship News | Volume 17, Issue 3 | Summer 2014

Page 1

StewardshipNews Audubon International’s

Volume 17, Issue 3

Summer 2014

University Campus Sustainability | 14 Giving Kids the World | 10

Naturalizing Shorelines |18

Green Lodging in Hawai’i | 12 1

Doug (right) visits with President and Owner Rich Luff (center) and Superintendent Dave Bergquist (left) at Sagamore Hampton Golf Club near Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Message from the Executive Director:

The Concept of Sustainability


reetings and happy summer! I have been very productive since I introduced myself to you in our Spring Stewardship News. Our team (staff and board of directors) enjoyed a productive annual meeting at which we welcomed a new board member: Ted Horton. Ted adds considerable expertise and a long history of environmental awareness to our team (See Announcements). Secondly, I recently toured two golf courses, both of which have been incorporating excellent environmental practices for years. The tours demonstrated, yet again, that our members are dedicating their precious time and energy to creating habitat and green space that augments the golf experience. And most recently, a colleague sent me an article titled: “The End of Sustainability.” Let’s talk about ‘Sustainability’. The point of the article was to alert environmental organizations, policy-makers, and our stakeholders that the concept of sustainability is out-of-date and impractical in a world that continues to use fossil fuels and develop open space. While development and carbon footprints are still a challenge, I couldn’t disagree more that Sustainability is out-of-date. In fact, one of my closest colleagues, when I asked if the concept of Sustainability was out-of-date, challenged me by saying, “What is a more appropriate word for our goals?” Any movement or effort, Sustainability included, comes with the challenge of jargon-fatigue. Such as, “I am so sick of hearing about Sustain-oBabble!” Audubon International is sticking with Sustainability–it is the right term, the right concept, and it captures exactly what we must achieve both globally and locally. What is missing sometimes among environmental discussions of sustainability, is Cover photo: Hawaii photo taken by Fred Realbuto on his recent trip


the recognition that Sustainability must apply to both business (economic) and environmental (ecological) goals at the same time. The genius of our programs, and in particular the concept of “Cooperative Sanctuary,” is the idea that willing partners achieve both cost efficiency and ecological persistence. Our successes will promote volunteerism and inspire more sustainable life decisions. We do not, and cannot, claim to solve all global environmental challenges (such as climate change, pollution, habitat loss) with our programs. But we can and do strive to advance balanced, common-sense sustainable practices that have tangible benefits in communities and towns. Because we insist that members demonstrate Outreach and Education as part of their certification efforts, we know that children and adults learn how we are helping to reduce impacts. Our strong belief is that local efforts and community engagement result in long-term benefits. There is no better lesson, and no better way to inspire hope, than to tour facilities in our Programs. Our Cooperative Sanctuaries rely on willing participants (the Cooperative part), and the fact that we are creating healthy green space that provides ecosystem benefits (the Sanctuary part). You can see it in the eyes of a hotel manager, a town manager, or a golf course superintendent. Their stories of success will build and inspire behavior that results in a healthier, and more sustainable, world. Fondly,

Doug Bechtel, Executive Director


Doug Bechtel


Katie Hopkins


Stewardship News Volume 17, Issue 3 Summer 2014


Joe Madeira


Announcements | 4 Read what we have been up to

Joanna Nadeau


Tara Pepperman


Fred Realbuto

Live Green! in Rockford | 5 Tara Pepperman recounts her experience with Live Green! in Rockford, IL

20 Years of Change | 6 Nancy Richardson talks about her 20 years with Audubon International


Nancy Richardson


Featured Photos | 9 Great photos sent in by members

Giving Kids the World | 10 A nonprofit helping kids with serious illnesses integrates environmental stewardship into its mission

Green Lodging in Hawai’i | 12 Four Marriott Vacation Club properties in Hawai’i earn certification

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

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

Making Inroads for Learning to be Green | 14 AI and AASHE help college campuses become more sustainable

Naturalizing Shorelines | 18 Tips for creating natural filters and great wildlife habitat

A Super Super | 20 Rick Slattery is a leader in golf course environmental stewardship


Announcements Here are some of the things we have going on: Ted Horton named to Board of Directors

Ted Horton has joined Audubon International’s Board of Directors. Mr. Horton is currently the Senior Consulting Superintendent for ValleyCrest Golf Course Maintenance, Director for the California Golf Course Owners Association, and Immediate Past President for the California Golf Alliance. He specializes in environmental stewardship, golf course safety, security and risk management, turfgrass agronomics, and the administrative functions of large property maintenance.

AASHE 2014 Conference & Expo

Join us at the AASHE 2014 Conference & Expo in Portland, Oregon on October 26-29. With a theme focused on Innovation for Sustainable Economies & Communities, Greenpeace USA Executive Director and “Story of Stuff” creator Annie Leonard as this year’s featured keynote speaker, a growing Student Summit, exciting conference schedule and more, we’re sure this is an event you don’t want to miss!

Propane Council partners with AI

PERC’s support of Audubon International demonstrates a commitment to promoting awareness of propane’s environmental benefits. This partnership will explore various demonstrations and educational programs that increase awareness of propane as an alternative fuel and available incentives. With the availability of propanepowered landscape and turf equipment, propane autogas vehicles, commercial heating systems, and agricultural equipment from a variety of manufacturers, many industries can experience the fuel’s benefits.

Xeriscaping Webinar

Joanna Nadeau will present a webinar titled “Xeriscaping 101: Not Just for the Desert Anymore” on Thursday, August 21 at 12:30pm Eastern. Whether you live in a water-rich state or the desert, xeriscaping benefits your wallet through the use of native plants and soil management to reduce or eliminate landscape water use. This presentation will include practical guidance on implementing the principles and real-world examples. To register, please visit our website.

Member: Lakeside Country Club in Houston, Texas Project: Christmas Trees as Wildlife Habitat Lakeside Country Club was having issues with its fish population due to the lack of habitat in the lakes. A consulting firm recommended the golf course introduce several types of aquatic plants and create a reef out of Christmas trees. To date they have submerged over 900 trees in three of their lakes, providing a place for fish to feed, hide, rest, and spawn. DeeDee Hutcherson, horticulturalist at Lakeside, says that the trees were purchased after the holiday season from a local garden center, so it’s a win for everyone. “We were able to purchase them cheap, the garden center was able to move unsold inventory, the trees will not end up in a landfill, and the fish have a thriving habitat.”


Photo: Lakeside Country Club

Featured Member Project

Live Green! in Rockford By Tara Pepperman


eing a kid today is certainly different that it was 20 years ago. You can learn about golf, trees and birds all in one day, through videos, pictures and online articles, and never even leave your computer. What is this computer lacking, though? The ability to teach kids important social skills, the ability to lose (or win!) with grace, and to respect the environment they are in, wherever it may be. Getting kids involved in outdoor activities, such as golf, is a great way to introduce them naturally to all these concepts, and First Tee’s Live Green! Program is doing just that. The Live Green! Program has been a collaboration between The First Tee, Audubon International and The Toro Company, with important sponsorship from the Toro Foundation. The mission is to get kids involved in learning about the environmental issues on golf courses. The Live Green! Program is in its 8th year, travelling to seven cities in 2014 between June and October, spreading the word to almost 500 children. The program breaks the participants into five stations, where they learn about everything from planting native trees, to ecosystem relationships on the course, to being a responsible golfer when at play. Superintendents on the course and local volunteers play a huge role in explaining these topics, while sharing the unnoticed beauty of their course with the kids. The most recent event, hosted by The First Tee of Greater Rockford, in Rockford, Illinois, was a really wonderful learning experience for all involved, including myself! The teachers included Joe O’Brien, Vice President of Chapter Education & Opportunities at First Tee, Judson McNeil, President of the Giving Program and Community Relations at The Toro Company, myself and four superintendents from the surrounding courses in the Rockford Park District. Many of these superintendents manage Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Certified courses themselves and had so much to teach the kids!

I began the program by leading the Web of Life, a Live Green! tradition, which gives an important introduction to the relationships in the ecosystems on a golf course. I play the role of the sun, standing in the middle of a circle, and the kids are each given a postcard of a bug, bird, worm, plant, etc. They begin tossing a ball of yarn around, making connections based on who eats who. In the end, we have a tangled mess of string, I’m stuck in the middle, and the kids understand a whole lot more about why planting that native crabapple tree is going to help the swan in the lake. From there, we went to the most popular station of the event, a talk on bees and bee keeping. Grant Rundblade, former superintendent at Alpine Hills and now with The Toro Company, gave an enlightening presentation on his bee keeping hobby, even bringing a “frame” with bees to show. The most important lessons learned by all were the integral role that bees play in all ecosystems, how fragile they are, and what we can do to protect them. The students finished up at the five other stations, including one where they learned about Toro Equipment and how it’s used to maintain a golf course, and finished by signing the Audubon International Green Golfer Pledge. By signing, they pledge to be stewards for the environment on golf courses going forward. In my discussion with one of the kids at the lunch when the event ended, I asked what his favorite part of the day was. He said, “I loved the bees, but it was REALLY cool that when I come back here, I can say that I planted THAT tree (pointing).” This was really the greatest part of all: that we can help kids get in touch with nature by taking an active role, and hopefully instill stewardship values on the course for many years to come.


From Our


20 Years of Change Nancy Richardson, Director of Signature and Classic Programs, talks about her career and 20 years with Audubon International


ard to believe but in 2014 I celebrated twenty years with Audubon International. Of that twenty years, all has been spent as the director of the Signature Program and beginning in 2005, I became director of the Classic Program as well. All has been spent working from the only satellite office of Audubon International in downtown Henderson, KY, a historic town for the man for which Audubon International was named, John James Audubon. Audubon lived here from 1810-1819 and built a grist steam mill on the river front. It seems fitting that Audubon International has an office where Audubon once lived and created some of his unique, life-size bird paintings.

During the final environmental audit of Bahia Beach Golf Course and Resort in Puerto Rico, Nancy, middle, was treated to an early morning bird walk led by Marcela Canon, left, natural resource manager for Bahia Beach, and Alexis Molinares, right, internationally-recognized wildife authority and expert on indigenous Puerto Rican birds. Nancy caught a glimpse of her first Puerto Rican Woodpecker and the Caribbean Coot.

Growing up on a farm in Henderson County, my siblings and I were always busy running through crop fields, wading in ponds and ditches or riding with my dad on massive farm equipment. We pretty much took this as the norm for most people. Even as a youngster I noted the difference between the pond with dirt banks and muddy water where the cows waded, and the other field pond surrounded by tall grasses, full of clear water and fish. I didn’t understand why each was the way it was, but I definitely recognized the difference, and I knew which I liked.

speaking, very expensive. I was actually heading in the direction of veterinary medicine and even spent time as a veterinary assistant in a major clinic. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that I saw something that made me question that. Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with zoologist Marlin Perkins premiered on television and quickly became my favorite show. I was fascinated with the exotic mega charismatic vertebrates like lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes and others. I was also fascinated with the different countries, climates, and habitats throughout the world that were brought to my living room each week. It wasn’t just the wildlife that caught my attention. It was the message with each episode that to save the animals, you have to save their habitat. I thought of those two ponds. One had dirty water with no life. The other had clear water, surrounded by grass and filled with frogs, fish, snakes, dragonflies, and probably a lot of life I couldn’t see. As with youngsters, I changed my mind about my future occupation. I knew then that I wanted to work with wildlife and help save their habitat.

During those years, I brought home every little injured critter I could find with the intention of saving the life of each one. That list included everything from raccoons, frogs, snakes (much to my mother’s hysteria), squirrels, goats, cats, dog, and birds. My dad was concerned that I might want to become a veterinarian which in that day was, relatively

After acquiring a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Kentucky, I moved back to Henderson. While looking for a job there, I learned there was a need for wildlife rehabilitators locally. I hadn’t done that since a youngster, but I found two great reference books. One was Wild Orphan Babies by William Weber, DVM. The other was Care of the Wild Feathered and


Furred, A Guide to Wildlife Handling and Care by Mae Hickman and Maxine Guy. These guides helped me raise young animals and rehab others. I received a wildlife rehab license and became a Master Bird Bander. Soon I was THE lady to call with your wildlife woes. In fact, my children grew up with hawks, owls, raccoons, kestrels, squirrels and lots of baby birds in our house. My survival and release rate was 85% and included training an owl with one leg to catch food and keeping a feisty male American kestrel in the china cabinet. The downside for my children was that they assumed every home had a similar menagerie as I overheard my daughter asking a school friend “So where do you keep your baby birds?” During that “professional rehab phase” I became Interpretive Naturalist and Wildlife Refuge Manager for the state park in Henderson called John James Audubon Park. At that time it was 632 acres and included a 9-hole golf course. Over the 10 years that I was there, I cut and maintained trails, inventoried the wildlife and plant species, managed habitat on

During those years, I met many people from across the world who were either accomplished birders or “Audubonites.” During that time, having known the founder of Audubon International for years, I was asked and agreed to serve on the A.I. Board of Directors. I served two full terms and during that time did natural resource consulting work in the vein of wildlife inventories for several projects that, unbeknownst to me at the time, would eventually become Signature Program members. Early in my first term as a director, I received a call from the local accredited zoo responding to my previously submitted application for employment. I had long forgotten about that application but it seemed they were interested in a second interview. At about the same time, I was offered the job with Audubon International. Each job came with a caveat. The zoo wanted to know my position on euthanization of endangered species, most specifically snow leopards. On the Audubon International side, after my interview for the

Left: Nancy stops to watch a green heron during a recertification site review of Evergrene in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The property was the first solely residential Certified Gold Signature Sanctuary in the world. Right: In preparation for the initial site visit to the Lumine Golf Course located within PortaVentura Theme Park in Tarragona, Spain, Nancy, second from left, meets with the president of PortaVentura as well as the golf course architect and the general manager of the resort.

and around the golf course and installed a bluebird trail around the perimeter of the course. In addition, I worked to make the entire wilderness area the first public land to be dedicated by The Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission as a Kentucky Nature Preserve. I also pursued and received National Landmark designation for the WPA park structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the park.

position, I was told I had the Signature job IF I could make the program succeed. I knew how I felt about euthanization, period. There had to be a better solution to overbreeding of endangered species. So I said ‘goodbye’ to following in Marlin’s footsteps. This program working with Audubon International seemed risky, and I was


not sure it would work. I mean during those years, where did you see developers/landowners even worrying about the environmental aspect of a new project? But an environmental organization actually working with developers? It was definitely on the cusp of a new frontier. But it would also be protecting native species in their own habitat and protecting water quality. I thought of those two ponds. So I accepted the job with one condition. That was that I stay in Henderson. I figured if I failed to make this Signature Program succeed, I would have lost nothing. And if I failed, I could always teach piano.

grassy buffers along ditches. They were the first environmental stewards that I knew about. Most profound was that Audubon International was the first environmental organization to sit at the same table with developers and government agencies to give input and support while the project was being planned. It was groundbreaking. In 1996, 26 projects registered in the Signature Program, but membership eventually settled in to about 10-12 new projects annually. In 2008, when the bottom fell out of housing, there was little interest in building new golf courses based on the decline in golfers particularly across the US. Many golf architects took on work in the Far East and even opened offices there. Because of the decline in the US, more owners began looking at renovation of existing courses. So Audubon International created the Classic Program to work with courses undergoing those changes. To this date, the Classic Program continues to generate regular interest.

When I took over the reins of the Signature Program, it was more an idea than a program. There were no parameters, very few real requirements and only a set of principles to guide the program. At that time, each Above: Nancy, middle, listens intently as the inprepreter member was required translates for the golf course superintent who is to write Conservation explaining how equipment washwater is recycled at Lake Plans covering several Maralen, the first golf course in China registered in the topics. But those were Signature Program. Below: Nancy visits Kunming Zoo really plans for how they in China to see the ever popular giant pandas that were lolling in their grassy enclosure awaiting supper. would conserve land and wildlife. At the end of the project getting them to record what actually HAD been done was very difficult. About that time the concept of Natural From my perspective, Resource Management the last twenty years was coming to the has been one great forefront. I had heard experience after another, the word sustainability all put together to form on occasion but this a career that I didn’t plan was building in a way to on but wouldn’t have sustain natural resources, traded for anything. to manage them during Each landowner that I the development process. met in the early years So Conservation Plans was taking a chance were converted to NRM with a program that would help them focus on the Plans. The NRMP was one of the biggest changes environmental aspect of their development. They ever made to the Signature Program. It was at this were the risk takers. The goal continues to be to point that I realized I had been watching resource foster an ethic where these people will not only management most all of my life, only it hadn’t been look at the economic side of development but also given a name. I watched farmers maintain fence the environmental when developing new projects. rows of vegetation between agricultural fields and


Since the early years, I’ve participated in many discussions of proposed changes for Audubon International. If I have learned anything, it is that one thing in life is certain, change is constant. We may not see the change but slowly the change becomes evident. That is what happened to the Signature Program. And that is how I found myself working for Audubon International for twenty years…slowly, project after project, year after year. There are many places, people, and situations that I will always remember like the young man who was my contact for a project in China. He overheard me say I was a trained zoologist and that I loved pandas. When we had finished our site work working out golf hole drainage along a huge local lake, he raced through the streets of Kunming to drive me to the Kunming Zoo only to see that it was closing when we got there. Not a problem, he high jacked the zoo director from a meeting and in the director’s car we sped to where the pandas were just getting ready for supper. It was a memorable experience, and I will never forget Alvin and his tenacity. There are hundreds of stories like this that have to do with the people I have met across the world. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I do know this. For the most part, I have loved every minute that I have spent in this job. I do know that land will continue to be developed for a variety of purposes. Therefore, it is important to educate, guide and assist people who are going to develop land to do so in an environmentally responsible way, with a focus on environmental stewardship and sustainable resource management. New developments designed with an environmental focus can provide an opportunity to improve water quality within a watershed, provide greater wildlife habitat, and avoid adverse effects that might otherwise negatively impact the land. I continue to look forward to talking with the people who help make these changes, the superintendents, landowners, developers, architects and managers. My personal goal for the future? In Mahatma Gandhi’s words, to “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Featured Phot s

Michael & Tally Scully, Creekside Golf Course A lost pet parrot found its way to Creekside Golf Course in Modesto, California. The staff nursed it back to health and gave it a home.

Tom Grey, Aliso Viejo Country Club A flame-colored tanager perches at a feeder at Aliso Viejo Country Club in Aliso Viejo, California. Share your photos! If you would like to see your photos featured here or on our Facebook page, e-mail them to


Left: The Gingerbread House Restaurant at Give Kids The World Village. Opposite: The Castle of Miracles and the Enchanted Carousel, Park of Dreams pool and water garden, the Ice Cream Palace, and the wheelchair accessible Keaton’s Korral. Photos:

Giving Kids the World By Kelsey Wentling, Intern


hile giving kids the world, they’re also cleaning it up. As a charitable, non-profit organization working with Make-A-Wish Foundation, Give Kids The World provides a safe and fun place for children with life-threatening illnesses to stay while visiting central Florida’s attractions. In 2013, Give Kids The World’s property (Give Kids The World Village) achieved Platinum Certification in the Green Lodging Program after Audubon International awarded a complimentary membership to the organization in an effort to create a sustainable environment for children and their families. Gary Hile, Director of Facilities at Give Kids The World, said, although green initiatives did not come into play until the early 2000’s, such initiatives tie in closely with their core values. “It just matches the kind of mission that we want to protect the world, people and kids,” Hile said. “We feel that being environmentally sound is one way of giving back to society and to be able to protect the environment that we live in.” The Village consists of 144 Villas, several commercial buildings, game and entertainment buildings, two pools and a castle plus entertainment for guests every night of the week. With all of these facilities, Give Kids The World strives to decrease their environmental footprint, most recently by making major changes to their lighting system and increasing their recycling.


“We want to continue to upgrade and update some of our lighting systems, especially outdoor lighting, to LEDs from the old metal halide and other types and style of lighting to reduce consumption,” Hile said. “Where we can, we’ll continue to increase any recycling ability that we can, but we’ve done a lot, so it’s getting to the point where we focus on lighting. We’ve changed a lot to LED already and we’ll continue to do that as we move along.” As a non-profit organization, Hile explained that taking care of the environment exemplifies their mission to serve and care for others. Additionally, because the organization works with a population with illnesses potentially caused by environmental hazards, there is an even greater incentive for the organization to maintain a clean and healthy environment. Hile said the organization’s core values of compassion, dedication, credibility, teamwork and integrity directly correspond to their environmental goals. “We put first priority on the needs of our families. Green initiatives provide health benefits to our families by decreasing pollutants and allergens in the air and by providing an overall more efficient resort for future families to enjoy,” Hile said. “We are dedicated to providing a quality experience for every guest. By implementing green initiatives, we provide a better quality resort environment with more resourceful communication vehicles and education about our efforts to respect the earth.”

Hile explained that Give Kids The World maintains credibility by being good stewards over money given by donors and works as a team in their effort to go green. Finally, Hile explained that their goal for integrity and environmental consideration go hand-in-hand. “We always try to do the right thing,” Hile said. “Doing right by the earth is the right thing for everyone.” Hile believes that taking responsibility for creating a healthy environment is not only the right thing to do, but also a way of showing respect. When the organization makes choices that benefit the environment, it demonstrates their respect for others and what they do. Additionally, adopting green practices helps Give Kids The World reduce their energy usage and costs, which can be a large gain for non-profits. “Ultimately, it’s the feeling of protecting the earth, but we also realize that there is another benefit to it,” Hile said. “Because of our retrofit LED lighting, our [electricity] usage is reduced, which causes a reduced amount of money. Reducing our energy platform saves us money and that money can be used in keeping things running smoothly and keeping the cost down. So that’s a benefit too.” Hile agrees that acting as environmental stewards has many benefits for the organization. Audubon International also assisted Give Kids The World in an application for the Florida Green Lodging Program. Since their inception in the program, Give Kids The World has had great success and moved up from a one palm rating to a three palm rating. Give Kids The World follows the requirements laid down in the Audubon International Green Lodging application process and uses questionnaires and other resources to see where they need to go and how to get there. “We’ll keep making improvements here where we can and try to do better on all that we do and make the world a great place to live, or at least the best possible,” Hile said. In addition to doing a great service for children and their families, Give Kids The World has taken on even more responsibility to give kids the world by taking the initiative to clean it up. “Because we are a non-profit, charitable organization, we care about people, we serve people,” Hile said, “and how best to show others that we care than to protect the world around us?”


Green Lodging in

Hawai’i By Fred Realbuto


here do you start describing the trip of a lifetime? I guess at the beginning. I traveled to three of the seven Hawaiian Islands during the first week of June. The visit included Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. Doesn’t sound too hard to take, does it? The 17 hour trip getting there from New York, well that’s another story. There’s nothing easy about getting to Hawaii, but once you get there the people of Hawaii have the ability to make you forget about that after one good night’s sleep. When I would tell people I had to go to Hawaii for business they kind of looked at me funny. And


when I told them I had to go to visit luxury resorts they really looked at me funny. That gets me to the purpose of my trip: as the leader of the Green Lodging Program I have had the opportunity to travel North America extensively as part of our required site visits. The purpose of these visits is to verify the environmental practices of lodging facilities, from bed-and-breakfasts to mega-resorts. Several years ago Marriott Vacation Club International made a commitment to have all of their North American properties enrolled and rated in the Audubon International Green Lodging

Left: Fred, second from left, poses with staff from Maui Ocean Club as they are awarded Platinum Certification. Right: Chief Engineer David Nagao shows off a sign posted at Kauai Lagoons depicting the native and endangered birds that can be found at the resort.

Program. This corporate decision has led to a culture of environmental best practices throughout the brand. One observation that stands out as I traveled throughout their properties is the environmental competitive pride that exists from one property to the next, each keenly aware of the rating of their sister properties and each striving to be the best. The first stop on my journey was Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club on Oahu just outside Honolulu. This property had the distinction of being the first platinum rated property in the Marriott Vacation Club chain. It was clear after touring this property that they rightfully earned the distinction. They have a formal environmental policy, purchasing policy, an integrated energy management system, employee orientation including environmental importance, and the list goes on and on. Ninety-nine percent of all outdoor lighting is energy efficient, and there are six charging stations for electric vehicles. The in-house landscaping crew at Ko Olina maintains a demonstration garden highlighting Hawaii’s primary export crops: pineapple, mango, banana, and sugar cane. My next stop brought me to the beautiful island of Maui and Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club. My host Peter Villatora’s first question to me was what was Ko Olina’s rating and do I think they might be able to also reach that plateau. After touring this property they too received Audubon International’s highest commendation for green practices including a fully integrated environmental management system, on demand hot water system, and native plant species throughout the grounds. Their thermostats even automatically shut off when exterior doors are left open.

My trip ended with a visit to the beautiful and remote island of Kauai. Kauai is separated from the rest of the Hawaiian island archipelago in more ways than just distance. There is almost a sense of independence on this island that has its roots going back to the last king. Challenges face the island as a result of its geography including the highest rate per kilowatt hour of electricity in the United States. They also rely more on their own natural resources and have learned to adapt as trips to the mainland are even more sporadic. I visited Marriott’s Kauai Lagoon – Kalanipu’u and Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club. Both received gold ratings in our certification program. The properties share a director of landscaping who takes pride in featuring indigenous and sometimes endangered species. The lagoons have played a significant role in the revitalization of the state bird of Hawaii, the nene. At Waiohai they have installed motion activated LED lighting in their parking garage. Although there was a significant initial capital investment, the ROI was less than 18 months and they now boast an extremely energy efficient lighting system for their underground parking facility. Overall the concern for the environment and a sustainable future for the islands resounded throughout my visit. A strong genuine hospitality and grace was a constant throughout, and to all on the islands who made my stay so memorable I say “mahalo and aloha.”


Making Inroads for Learning to be Green Campus Models for Sustainability By Joanna Nadeau It’s time for an update on the old adage: Those who can, do AND teach. For over 25 years, Audubon International (AI) has worked with partners to make development more sustainable and also to educate patrons, staff and community members how to improve environmental quality. While AI’s certification programs encourage adoption of best practices at the properties and communities where we work, the ultimate goal is to increase adoption of best practices beyond the facility or community. Since its inception, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has been working with a similar goal—to inspire and catalyze higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation. AASHE is working to speed the adoption of sustainability practices beyond the campus by increasing collaboration among individuals, institutions and external partners. Now AI and AASHE are working together to share the sustainability message.

Recognition and Assistance Programs



AASHE and AI members demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by pursuing and completing the certification and rating programs. Two of AI’s programs, the Signature Program and the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP), promote and verify sustainable practices at educational institutions. AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS participants pursue credits and may earn points across the breadth of higher education sustainability elements including: Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration. More than 650 institutions from the United States, Canada, and around the globe are using the STARS Reporting Tool, and over 300 of these have achieved a STARS rating of Bronze, Silver, or Gold. Any institution that wishes to participate in STARS but does not want to


AI’s scientifically rigorous, yet streamlined and interactive, certification programs have helped public and private colleges and universities protect (and restore) wildlife habitat, water, energy and other natural resources. Certified members of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP), such as St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the University of Michigan’s Radrick Farms Golf Course, are working to become better environmental stewards as they deliver great educational experiences while engaging the community and other partners. A Certified Signature Silver golf course, Lonnie Poole at North Carolina (NC) State University, not only practices stewardship but also was designed with environmental protection and resource conservation in mind.

pursue a rating or make their scores public may also participate as a STARS Reporter. Here are three examples, members of AI and AASHE, who have used their campus landscapes to become models for sustainability in the communities where they are located.

AASHE’s STARS provides positive recognition, and each level of recognition represents significant sustainability leadership. Participating in STARS, which includes gathering extensive data and sharing it publicly, “represents a commitment to sustainability that should be applauded.”

firsthand basis, learning how golf courses and the natural environment can coexist.

Brian Green, SI, says, “The AI Signature Certification is a source of pride for the University that comes from knowing that we have done the best that we can do to make golf a more sustainable Leading the Way activity over time. More and more of our customer base NCSU Lonnie Poole Golf Course, is recognizing the sustainability efforts that we Signature Silver Certified Sanctuary in 2013 continue to employ.” Green explains, “If we are While surprising to some, a campus golf course can not spending resources and labor maintaining play a huge role in institution-wide sustainability. naturalized areas, we are able to use those resources The Lonnie Poole Golf Course, located on NC State to improve the playing conditions of our more in play University’s Centennial Campus, met the Audubon areas, our greens, tees and fairways.” Signature Silver Certified Sanctuary qualifications While the golf course is a leader within the university due to careful planning that fit managed turf grass community, it is also an example of the university-wide into the natural environment. The course design focus on sustainability. As part of the campus-wide included surrounding constructed wetlands, which effort, North Carolina State University now requires help to remove pollutants from the water. The golf that all new buildings being built on campus are at course maintenance staff, led by Superintendent least Silver LEED certified. Upgrades to more energy Brian Green, were key in the installation of the efficient laboratory equipment were made in 2012 adapted plants and overall turf maintenance. through a Facilities Operations/campus research The golf course serves as a “living lab” for community rebate program. The new Carol Johnson sustainable turf grass management and Poole Clubhouse that serves Lonnie Poole Golf Course environmental stewardship. Last year Lonnie at NC State is set to be Silver Certified anytime. Poole was able to reduce its water usage by Lonnie Poole Golf Course staff documents and 39% compared to the previous year by changing reports on a variety of environmental indicators management practices. The course is currently as part of maintaining their Silver Sanctuary renovating and shrinking bunkers to reduce certification. In an effort to measure their labor hours, fuel consumption, and pollution sustainability progress against other higher from maintenance. Many student employees and education institutions, North Carolina State visitors experience the sustainable practices on a Below: Lonnie Poole Golf Course. Opposite: A building at North Carolina State University.


University also reports at a university-wide level to STARS and is currently a STARS Reporter. Benchmarking progress across the categories over the years as well as against other institutions helps managers to identify areas for future improvement as well as highlight unique successes worth sharing.

The Radrick Farms Golf Course at the University of Michigan was certified in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) in 2012 because of their work to protect wildlife and water on their grounds. Radrick Farms Golf Course has removed Faculty and students join together for recycling efforts at St. Mary’s College. invasive exotic vegetation, installed wood duck boxes, and naturalized five acres of habitat. By St. Mary’s College: Holistic Thinking reducing the number of acres of the course that are irrigated, they have also greatly reduced their Audubon International’s programs provide not only water use (by as much as 9 million gallons in 2009). recognition of achievements, but include technical Dan Mausolf, Superintendent, notes, “The Sanctuary Program forces our staff, neighbors, and membership to pay greater attention to the practices we have implemented as well as those we can change for the better of our environment, playability, and health.” The University of Michigan has received the STARS Silver rating for its five Ann Arbor campuses that serve approximately 40,000 students. The rating includes the Athletics enterprise and Health System, of which Radrick Farms Golf Course plays a key part.

assistance to help universities achieve tangible sustainability goals across their campuses. St. Mary’s College, certified in ACSP in 2009, is comprised of 52 buildings spread over 361 acres on the St. Mary’s River in southern Maryland. Natural woods, ponds, streams, and gardens cover over half the campus. Native plants are used exclusively for new landscaping, and 50% of all shorelines are natural. As Maryland’s public honors college, St. Mary’s offers an undergraduate liberal arts education and smallcollege experience like those found at exceptional private colleges. St. Mary’s shares the hallmarks of private institutions: an outstanding faculty, talented students, high academic standards, a challenging curriculum, small classes, a sense of community, and a spirit of intellectual inquiry. But as a state institution of higher education, St. Mary’s is also committed to the ideals of affordability, accessibility, and diversity.

Improvements made on the grounds demonstrate a campus’s commitment to sustainability in a way that curriculum and policies alone cannot. The average STARS institution scores 38% in Operations, making it the weakest of the four rating categories for most universities. The average score in the Grounds category in particular is much higher at 72%. However, another AI member, Iowa State University, achieved a STARS Gold rating and earned 92% in the STARS Grounds subcategory. Iowa View the full STARS reports for State’s Veenker Golf Course institutions mentioned: is currently working towards full certification in the ACSP, North Carolina State University and Superintendent John Newton received the Audubon University of Michigan International Environmental Planning Award in 2014 for his efforts to plan for Iowa State University environmental stewardship.


Since achieving certification in 2009, the College razed one of the most inefficient buildings and is now constructing a LEED-silvercertified academic building. A continuing focus on reducing waste has helped the college increase recycling and reduce disposal costs. Besides moving to singlestream recycling, St. Mary’s

Photo: St. Mary’s College

University of Michigan and Iowa State University: Silver and Gold

has a fully-functional composting program, and introduced reusable to-go boxes in the dining hall to reduce waste. The College received a Federal Transportation Alternatives Grant to design and build bike paths across campus. The 15-year Campus Master Plan includes plans for an extensive network of bike paths to keep pedestrians and bikers safe and encourage people to use cars less often. The college has worked to get students involved in the sustainability effort by encouraging service through academia and other incentives. For example, some classes require students to participate in service projects. When St. Mary’s arboretum was established, community programming increased as well. The sustainability effort is communicated across campus and beyond through newsletter articles, brochures, and the website. Inviting community members onto campus to participate in stewardship planning and projects reduces the burden on staff and provides a unique learning opportunity.

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 only


including shipping!

A Learning Legacy AI and AASHE have more than some members in common. AI was the first environmental education and certification program for the golf community. AASHE was the first professional higher education association created for the campus sustainability community. Both AASHE and AI encourage collaboration between businesses, communities and universities. AI wants every certified member to reach all its guests with education and demonstration of sustainability. AASHE wants its member institutions to set a good example for broader community. AASHE emphasizes public engagement beyond student involvement, with 11% of points dedicated to rewarding community partnerships, service, and engagement, continuing education, and public policy contributions. University-affiliated Cooperative Extension personnel often perform site visits for ACSP members and provide high quality, local technical guidance. Many AI members include university professors on their Resource Advisory Groups. We are proud to work with these leaders in learning, who are helping to create a more sustainable world, one campus at a time.

Photo: St. Mary’s College

St. Mary’s College only purchases electric vehicles for its campus.

Visit the eStore 17

Tips & Tools

Naturalizing Shorelines A

Photo: Stone Creek Golf Club

udubon International places great emphasis on wildlife and water. They are interrelated and complementary. Water features provide one of the most sensitive habitats possible for wildlife species, so protecting the health and integrity of water bodies, such as rivers, streams, wetlands, lakes, and ponds, is of utmost importance.

Buffers as Filters

Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation flows over the ground, taking with it sediment, chemicals, and other pollutants directly to these bodies of water. Polluted stormwater can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.

Change can be difficult for some people, so explaining

why different projects are being implemented is vital to Naturalizing shorelines minimizes or eliminates increasing acceptance. This sign at Stone Creek Golf Club chemical runoff, especially when combined with a in Oregon explains to golfers and visitors the benefits of designated “buffer zone” in which no chemicals are shoreline naturalization. applied. Research has shown that a 25-foot buffer of turfgrass at least 3-inches high provides excellent filtering benefits. Vegetation along the water’s edge also helps to stabilize shorelines and reduce erosion.

Buffers inside the water, comprised of aquatic plants, help to improve water quality as plants take up excess nutrients and produce oxygen to aerate the water.

Buffers as Wildlife Habitat

Vegetative buffers around water features provide important filtering benefits.


Aquatic vegetation provides food and shelter for amphibians, fish, and freshwater invertebrates. Waterfowl and wading birds rely on shoreline plants as a place to feed and rest. Adding rocks and logs can be used for protection, and nesting sites by small creatures and serve as basking sites for turtles.

Photos: Cordova Bay Golf Course & The Den

Photo: Grande Pines Golf Club

Vegetative buffers also provide improved habitat for amphibians, such as salamanders and frogs, especially in ponds that do not contain fish. The enhanced “structural diversity” (varying heights and types) of plants along the pond margin increase wildlife diversity. Choosing native plants with a high wildlife value will help you attract the greatest diversity of species.

Pond Plants

Emergent Plants: Grow best in shallow water and prefer wet conditions. Plant in 6-12 inches of water. Height ranges from 2-4 feet.

Border Shrubs: These plants prefer periodic flooding, and should be planted on pond banks above normal water edge. Height ranges from 5-20 feet.

Arrow arum (Petrandra virginica): This clump plant does not spread. Seeds are eaten by wood ducks and other waterfowl.

Alder, Speckled (Alnus rugosa): This attractive shrub provides food for 15 species of songbirds, including goldfinches and pine siskins.

Arrowheads, Duck Potato (Sagittaria sp.): Underground tuber is eaten by waterfowl including wood ducks, trumpeter, and whistling swans, sandhill cranes, and king rail.

Bayberry, Northern (Myrica pennsylvanica): Provides both cover for nesting sites and food for many songbirds.

Buttonbush, Common (Cephalanthus occidentalis): This food source for waterfowl also bears attractive flowers used by rubythroated humming birds.

Chokeberry, Red (Aronia arbutifolia): Berries are consumed by 12 species of songbirds; provides fall color interest as well.

Dogwood, Silky (Cornus amomum): Cover, nesting sites, and food source for birds; adds fall color interest.

Serviceberry, Shadblow (Amelanchier Canadensis): Berry food source for 36 species of songbirds.

Willow (Salix discolor): Grouse eat buds, American goldfinches use for nesting, mammals and songbirds eat the showy fruits.

Winterberry, Common (Illex verticulata): Berries provide a winter food source for birds.

Bulrushes (Scirpus sp.): Many species of water birds and song birds eat the seeds, while stems and rhizomes are eaten by muskrats and geese. Birds also nest in the upright stems. This plant is valuable for controlling shore erosion. Iris, Yellow Water Iris, Blue Flag (Iris sp.): Yellow or blue flowers of ornamental interest, but limited in wildlife value. Roots eaten by muskrats. Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata): Slow spreading with colorful bright blue flower spins; seeds eaten by wood and black ducks. Rice Cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides): Seeds and roots provide food source for waterfowl and songbirds.

Left: This pond at Cordova Bay Golf Course in British Columbia has been naturalized with emergent plants. Right: Contrasting textures and colors in shoreline vegetation make for an eye-catching landscape. Starting with small, attractive areas can help increase acceptance of naturalized shorelines and allow for expansion over time.



Super Super By Kelsey Wentling, Intern

Name: Rick Slattery Golf Course: Locust Hill Country Club Location: Pittsford, NY


ick Slattery started playing golf when he was seven years old, and he hasn’t stopped since.

Seven-year-old Slattery, who didn’t have a club membership, would climb onto the public bus with his clubs, ride up to the municipal golf course and practice almost every day in the summers and on most weekends. That is how he fell in love with golf. Today, Slattery still makes his home on the course, but takes on new challenges and responsibilities as the superintendent of his course. “My office is out on the golf course,” Slattery said. “It’s where I like to be, it’s where I am.” As superintendent, Slattery explained that he must wear many hats. This includes working with and having knowledge of irrigation, hydraulics, disease, turf grass, botany, weather and management to name a few. However, Slattery has gone above and beyond the duties of superintendent, creating a course that glorifies the game and sustains the environment.

As a result, Slattery’s course is running expertly and efficiently. And members have noticed. “They’re ecstatic about it. It’s like beating the drum, but as soon as something’s in place that they can touch and feel, they see the quality of the course and its huge value,” Slattery said. “The buzzword today is ‘sustainability’, so they’re proud to be a golf course living by that.” In order to perpetuate sustainability on the course, Slattery has installed 1,400 sprinkler heads to minimize water loss and increase efficiency. Slattery and his team have also naturalized areas throughout the course, creating habitats for the surrounding wildlife. He has had great success with nest boxes and even created a garden entirely for butterflies. Slattery’s course, Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, NY, is now certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, something he considers a great success for the course. However, Slattery said he didn’t get there easily or quickly, and he advises other superintendants not to get caught up in the longevity of such projects.

Rick Slattery at Locust Hill Country Club.

“My model that I live by is: let grass grow,” Slattery said. “I believe nature grows healthier turf than a superintendent.” And he sticks to his beliefs, however unconventional they may be. In his first two years as superintendant, Slattery completely shut off the irrigation system. As the weaker grass withered and died away, the native, stronger grass was allowed to grow and become the primary turf on the course. With improvements such as these, Slattery said he is able to use 10-15 percent of pesticides as normal


golf courses and only three to four million gallons of water, as compared with the 20-30 million gallons an average course uses.

“As far as reduction of resources, water and chemicals- set thresholds. Start with a baseline and set thresholds every year to reduce that every year,” Slattery said. “Take baby steps and you’ll find yourself making progress and be surprised at what you’ve achieved.”

New Members and New Certified Members

New Members

Green Lodging Program

ACSP for Golf International


Georgia Little St. Simons Island, St. Simons Island

Alberta, Canada Royal Mayfair Golf Club, Edmonton

Florida The Club Pelican Bay, Naples New York Saratoga Farmstead B&B, Saratoga Springs

Oregon Inn at Nye Beach, Newport

Sustainable Communities Program ACSP for Golf Arizona Apache Stronghold Golf Resort, San Carlos California Nakoma Golf Resort, Clio Connecticut East Hartford Golf Club, East Hartford Mohegan Sun Golf Club, Baltic Florida Sun ‘N Lake Golf Club, Sebring Georgia Heritage Oaks Golf Club, Brunswick Illinois Rob Roy Golf Course, Prospect Heights Minnesota Mississippi National Golf Links, Red Wing New York Woodmere Club, Woodmere

ACSP for Golf International Australia Sanctuary Cove Golf Course, Sanctuary Cove China Jiangsu Suqian Luoma Lake Country Club, Suqian

Florida Mountain Lake, Lake Wales

British Columbia, Canada Salmon Arm Golf Club, Salmon Arm

Green Lodging Program Hawaii Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons, Lihue

New Certified Members ACSP District of Columbia Smithsonian Institution, Washington

ACSP for Golf California Aliso Viejo Country Club, Aliso Viejo Creekside Golf Course, Modesto Las Positas Golf Course, Livermore Illinois Orchard Valley Golf Course, Aurora Maryland Cattail Creek Country Club, Glenwood Michigan Sanctuary Lake Golf Course, Troy New York Locust Hill Country Club, Pittsford Ohio Golf Club of Dublin, Dublin Pennsylvania Makefield Highlands Golf Club, Yardley

Mexico Club de Golf Punta Mita, Punta Mita

Tennessee Harpeth Hills, Nashville

Prince Edward Island, Canada Dundarave Golf Course, Cardigan

Washington Sun Willows Golf Course, Pasco


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

Koenders Water Solutions Inc. is the innovator and the world’s leading manufacturer of windmill aeration systems. The company was founded in 1988 to offer farmers and other pond owners environmentally friendly and cost effective solutions to keep their pond water clean and safe in the most sustainable way. The company has has since gone on to design and manufacture Electric Aeration Systems and Pond Conditioners. In 2007, Koenders launched “Nature’s Pond Conditioner,” North America’s first all-inclusive chemical-free pond conditioner. Their commitment to the environment, experience, and determination to change the way people care for their ponds has grown their business to over 60,000 customers around the world.



Sponsor Spotlight

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

AASHE is helping to create a brighter future of opportunity for all by advancing sustainability in higher education. By creating a diverse community engaged in sharing ideas and promising practices, AASHE provides administrators, faculty, staff, and students as well as the businesses that serve them, with: thought leadership and essential knowledge resources; outstanding opportunities for professional development; and a unique framework for demonstrating the value and competitive edge created by sustainability initiatives. AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARSŽ) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS spans the breadth of higher education sustainability and include performance indicators and criteria in Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration.


Partner Spotlight


Help Us Help the Environment Make a tax-deductible donation today!

Donate Here

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


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.