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ACSP Presentation

ACSP Presentation

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  • The purpose of this presentation is to explain the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, showing where the program is today, and to provide encouragement to join.
  • Audubon International is a 501(c)(3) environmental organization looking to: Improve the quality of life and the environment. Research the interaction of the natural environment and the human landscape. Educate people to be stewards of the environment. Provide conservation assistance to people. Encourage people to become actively involved in creating & enhancing wildlife habitat, and conserving & sustaining natural resources. Briefly: “Helping People Help the Environment” Like ripples in a pond, Audubon International focused on educating and assisting individuals to work on properties where they live, work, and play, providing models for others to change their behavior on a greater and greater number of properties, until the community itself is changed.
  • Although our focus will be the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, you should know that there are similar programs for existing schools, businesses, and backyards. The Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary Program is an environmental education and assistance program created to help landowners and managers to follow sustainable resource management principles in a comprehensive manner when developing and then managing properties.
  • While many individuals consider the ACSP to be a certification program, it is the educational value of the program that provides the most benefit to those registered. The certification process provides an opportunity for hands on learning while providing Audubon International staff with the information needed to make specific recommendations about the property and environmental management programs. If good environmental stewardship practices are put into place, the registered property can be designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
  • Golf courses offer significant opportunities to conserve and enhance natural habitats, provide corridors for wildlife, filter water, produce oxygen, hold soil, and educate golfers about environmental stewardship practices.
  • There are significant environmental issues golf should address, both to minimize its impacts for the good of society and to improve the way it is viewed by many people. These issues include the impacts on local vegetation and wildlife habitat, safety in storage, handling, and application of chemicals, amounts of water used, and effects of pesticides, fertilizers, and other possible pollutants on water quality.
  • Patrick Blum is a Chapter winner of the GCSAA and Golf Digest Environmental Leaders in Golf Award. Colonial Acres GC has been a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 1998; in 2000, it won a New York State Governors Award for Pollution Prevention. Pat is also an Audubon Steward for Audubon International, volunteering to provide help to others in improving their environmental stewardship.
  • In the summers of 2000 and 2001, Audubon International conducted an environmental survey to assess the impact of program participation on a number of key environmental priority areas, including wildlife habitat conservation, water quality, and chemical use and reduction. In addition, the survey included a brief assessment of participation attitudes related to the impact of ACSP participation on golf playing quality, job satisfaction, and golfer satisfaction. Audubon International knows that golf is the primary purpose of the property, especially the greens, and that playability is critical. Traffic flow, speed of play, and good conditions are important factors in maintaining the course. And they don't want you to ignore these. Survey results, however, show that 99% of the courses responding were able to improve their environmental performance while maintaining and, in 50% of the cases, even improving playing quality.
  • Most golfers support good environmental stewardship practices applied to golf courses, even with a significant decrease in manicured turf and increase of naturalized areas for wildlife habitat and water body protection. For courses in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, 99% report that golfer satisfaction has been maintained or has improved.
  • Many of the practices the program helps you adopt will not only improve the environment, but also reduce the level of effort you and your staff put out in maintaining the course and reduce your costs. Among other things, the program materials focus on keeping records which will help you to manage your golf course more efficiently and effectively. Survey results show that virtually all of the reporting superintendents maintained at least the level of satisfaction they had in their jobs before they joined the program, and nearly two-thirds were more satisfied.
  • Golf course personnel have found that they have more time to spend reaching out to golfers and the public, such as local environmental groups and youth organizations, about the benefits of environmental stewardship to wildlife, environmental quality, and the local community.
  • Stewardship projects add variety to the job and the opportunity to learn new skills. Where allowed, controlled burns are an excellent way to maintain natural areas in most areas of the country. Many golf courses are testing their own water quality.
  • While not a requirement of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, many participants have found that inviting local schools or youth groups for golf course tours or to help with environmental projects have been one of the most enjoyable aspects of the program. Through naturalization efforts, more wildlife are seen on golf course properties, and some creatures that most people are unaware of are discovered. The bottom picture shows aquatic invertebrates. The presence or lack of certain macroinvertebrates can help you to assess water quality.
  • Michael Sandburg was one of the 2000 National winners of the GCSAA Environmental Steward Award. He was responsible for the designation of Lakeside Country Club in Houston, Texas as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
  • The Guide to Environmental Stewardship on the Golf Course is the primary education tool of the ACSP and provides how-to information for many environmental projects. The Certification Handbook guides the member through the development of a site assessment and environmental plan, as well as how to gather the documentation needed for certification A native plant list provides information on which plants are native to your particular region Audubon International staff are available by phone, mail, and email to answer any questions you may have on stewardship projects The Audubon Stewards Network is comprised of individuals who have brought a property through certification and are eager to share their experiences with others Audubon International provides you with press releases to submit to local and national publications as well as the possibility of having your efforts highlighted in a variety of publications and presentations.
  • The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses is a comprehensive program covering all aspects of golf course maintenance from how the playing surface is maintained to those out-of-play areas that have the potential for providing valuable wildlife habitat.
  • Environmental Planning is the process by which we balance the demands of golf with our responsibility to the natural environment. It safeguards the quality of the environment and responsibly cares for the water, land, and wildlife habitats upon which the course is sustained.
  • You don’t need to totally naturalize or have lots of habitat to join and get certified. The purpose is to enhance the natural areas you have and improve landscaping to deal with wildlife problems and attract beneficial species, while striking a balance between the needs of golfers and wildlife.
  • As you can see from the variety of projects that are shown here, there are many ways to conserve water. Some golf courses remove acreage from the irrigation system, saving water, energy, and money. Some golf courses have invested in state-of-the-art irrigation systems and weather stations. Audubon International wants to work with you, your course, and your site specific circumstances to help you maximize your stewardship efforts.
  • Many of your routine IPM practices count toward certification. Audubon International is not a regulatory organization, but it does want to help you ensure the safe storage, application, and handling of chemicals. Best management practices in IPM will not only protect the environment better, but lower your costs and reduce your liability exposure.
  • As you can see from the variety of projects that are shown here, there are many ways to conserve water. Some golf courses remove acreage from the irrigation system, saving water, energy, and money. Some golf courses have invested in state-of-the-art irrigation systems and weather stations. Audubon International wants to work with you, your course, and your site specific circumstances to help you maximize your stewardship efforts.
  • Water efficiency and conservation are of major importance to the golf industry. Growing demand for water will make water conservation a more and more critical issue for many parts of the country. Proper practices in water conservation will not only help the environment, but also make your course less of a potential target for critics or competing users in the community -- and reduce your costs, as well.
  • As you can see from the variety of projects that are shown here, there are many ways to conserve water. Some golf courses remove acreage from the irrigation system, saving water, energy, and money. Some golf courses have invested in state-of-the-art irrigation systems and weather stations. Audubon International wants to work with you, your course, and your site specific circumstances to help you maximize your stewardship efforts.
  • Water quality is another key area of environmental concern. Critics of golf course operations often raise impacts of pesticides and fertilizers used on golf courses as an issue. Proper practices and controls have helped many golf courses achieve results where the water leaving the property is cleaner than the water entering it.
  • Ninety percent of Gaillardia G&CC’s five lake shorelines are maintained as no-mow zones. The width of these areas range from five feet along in-play areas to fifty feet in out-of-play areas. Twenty-foot naturalized areas border the three creeks that wind through the property.
  • This component of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program helps to get others involved in improving your course, spreads enthusiasm for environmental stewardship in your community, and helps you become -- and be recognized -- as a community leader in environmental stewardship.
  • Educational signs like these let the public know what you are doing and why you are doing it.
  • As sponsors of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, the USGA strongly supports your joining the program for the good of the game, superintendents, and the environment.
  • If you need more information, here are ways to get in touch with the folks at Audubon International who can help you out.

ACSP Details ACSP Details Presentation Transcript

  • Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System
    • Environmental Priorities:
      • Watershed protection
      • Biodiversity and habitat management
      • Sustainable resource management
      • Environmental design
      • Sustainable communities
    Who is Audubon International? Community Level Strategic Planning and Sustainable Community Initiatives Site Level Environmentally-sensitive Development and Management Individual Level Stewardship Action
  • Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs for:
    • Golf Courses
    • Schools
    • Businesses
    • Backyards
    • Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary Program
    • The goal of each program is educating and assisting land managers in practicing good environmental stewardship and sustainable land management.
  • Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses
    • Administered by Audubon International
    • Sponsored by the USGA since 1991
    • Goals:
      • Enhance wildlife habitats on existing golf courses
      • Encourage active participation in conservation programs
      • Recognize golf courses as important open spaces and credit those participating in environmental projects
      • Educate the public and golf community about the benefits of golf courses and the role they play relative to the environment and wildlife
  • Why Golf Courses?
    • When carefully constructed and managed, golf courses can be successfully blended with the natural environment to preserve natural habitat and provide a community asset.
  • Why Golf Courses?
    • Potential pollution of groundwater and surface waters
    • Use of water resources for irrigation
    • Degradation or loss of natural areas
    • Potential effect of golf course activities on people and wildlife
  • Benefits of the Program
    • The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program provides a framework for coordinating and expanding your environmental efforts.
    • It will help you document, communicate, and promote what you do.
    • It will help you reduce risks and environmental liabilities.
    • “ I came into the program very cocky. I grew up on a golf course and thought I knew it all. Audubon showed me how much I didn’t know.”
    • Patrick Blum, Superintendent at Colonial Acres Golf Course
  • Good for the Environment, Good for the Course
    • ACSP Participant Survey results:
      • 75% reduced pesticide costs
      • 82% reduced pesticide use
      • 89% improved cultural control methods to decrease the need for chemical use
      • 89% conscientiously choose native plants when landscaping
      • 50% increased the amount of shoreline vegetation
      • 99% reported that playing quality has remained the same or improved
  • Good for the Environment, Good for Golfers
    • National Golf Foundation survey results:
      • Among the top five reasons people play golf is: "it puts the golfer in touch with nature"
      • 90% of golfers believe in the need to protect the environment
    • ACSP Participant Survey results:
      • 92% use pesticides with lower toxicity levels
      • Average increase of 22 acres of wildlife habitat per course
      • 66% reported that golfer satisfaction has improved
      • 34% reported that golfer satisfaction has remained the same
  • Good for the Environment, Good for Staff
    • ACSP Participant Survey results:
      • 80% decreased the amount of managed turfgrass
      • 56% increased the width of “no-spray zones” around water features
      • 99% reported that job satisfaction has improved or has remained the same
  • Community Outreach
  • Skill Enhancement
  • Make New Friends
  • Reasons To Join The Program
    • Have fun
    • Enhance job satisfaction
    • Improve job skills
    • Improve turf quality
    • Improve golfer and community relations
    • Not to mention:
      • Protect and enhance wildlife habitat
      • Conserve natural resources
      • Protect water quality
    • “ It’s the right thing to do!”
    • Michael Sandburg, CGCS
  • Getting Started
    • Register your property in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses
      • Fill out a short form
      • Send with $200 annual fee
    • Receive a New Member Packet
    • Receive a subscription to
    • Stewardship News
  • Program Education and Assistance
    • New Member Packet includes:
      • The Guide to Environmental Stewardship on the Golf Course
      • Certification Handbook
      • Native Plant List
    • Technical support
      • Sound information
      • Audubon Stewards Network
    • Promotional opportunities
      • Press releases
      • Case studies
      • Articles
      • Media highlights
  • Six Environmental Focus Areas
    • Environmental Planning
    • Wildlife and Habitat Management
    • Chemical Use Reduction and Safety
    • Water Conservation
    • Water Quality Management
    • Outreach and Education
  • Environmental Planning takes into account:
    • In-play Turfgrass
    • Maintenance facility
    • Irrigation
    • Course landscaping
    • Water features
    • Non-play natural areas
  • Environmental Planning
    • Commit to environmental stewardship
    • Plan projects that ensure overall environmental quality
    • Evaluate progress towards goals and objectives on an annual basis
  • Environmental Planning Goals Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community
      • “ Enhance the wildlife present on site along with building a better environment for more;
      • Show that a golf course can coexist with nature;
      • Build and enhance a sanctuary where nature and wildlife can thrive and grow.”
  • Wildlife and Habitat Management
    • Provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species in non-play and landscaped areas
    • Protect existing native habitats and species
  • Wildlife & Habitat Management Successes
    • Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community
    • Establishment of a detailed wildlife and plant inventory database
    • Partnering with the City of Courtenay in the building of the BC150 Grove on Malahat Dr.
    • Created a Butterfly Garden on the 1 st Hole
    • Instituted a Nest Box and Mason Bee Block Program
    • Converting 4,700sq.ft of Broom on the 2 nd Hole to a Garry Oak Meadow
  • Chemical Use Reduction and Safety
    • Maintain vigorous and healthy turfgrass through sound cultural practices and IPM
    • Ensure that chemical products are managed and applied in ways that minimize harmful environmental impacts
  • Chemical Use Reduction Successes
    • Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community
    • Reduction in overall pesticide usage
    • Re-prioritization of cultural programs to encourage a healthier turf, more able to withstand disease pressure
    • Complete elimination of insecticides as part of our turf maintenance program
    • Improved on-site chemical and fertilizer storage safety
  • Water Conservation
    • Maximize efficiency and minimize water waste by proper maintenance of irrigation equipment
    • Maintain soil and turf health that maximizes water absorption and minimizes water loss to evaporation and runoff
  • Water Conservation Successes
    • Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community
    • Reduced overall water usage by 33% since pursuing Audubon certification
    • Removing 12 acres of turf from our irrigation system
    • Incorporating evapotranspiration rates into daily irrigation decisions
    • Upgrading irrigation hardware and control software to more maximize irrigation efficiency
    • Completing an irrigation audit to measure uniformity of sprinkler coverage
  • Water Quality Management
    • Monitor the health of water features to detect possible movement of nutrient and chemical inputs into water sources
    • Protect water resources by employing Best Management Practices to eliminate the potential for chemical runoff, nutrient loading, and drift
  • Water Quality Management Example Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community Established vegetative buffer and no-spray zones around all on-course water features
  • Outreach and Education
    • Communicate your commitment to environmental stewardship
    • Educate patrons, staff, decision makers, and community members about environmental projects
    • Provide opportunities for patrons, staff, decision makers, and community members to be involved in environmental projects
  • Outreach and Education Examples
  • Participating in the ACSP
    • Sets a positive example
    • Leads the way for responsible environmental stewardship
    • Reduces risks
    • Makes a significant contribution to the environment
    Join Today!
  • Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System 46 Rarick Road Selkirk, NY 12158 (518) 767-9051 ext. 12 Fax: (518) 767-9076 [email_address] www.auduboninternational.org