Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay Receives Recertification from Audubon International and The Groundwater Foundation

The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay was recently honored by becoming recertified as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary through the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses.  To reach certification, course personnel demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in:  Environmental Planning, Wildlife and Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, and Water Quality Management. 

Research provided by Audubon International indicate members have improved or protected the environment in some of the following ways.  Since joining the program, members have reduced water costs by 52%, reduced pesticide costs by 70 %, fertilizer costs by 66%, fuel costs by 44%, electricity costs by 46%, and waste management costs by 51%.  Members have also protected the environment by 89% of members raising the mowing height along shorelines to 3" or higher to slow and filter runoff, 50% of members have reduced irrigated turfgrass by an average of 11 acres from a highly maintained management program allowing these areas to return to a natural state providing nesting and shelter areas for wildlife.

Information about Audubon International can be found at their website:  Audubon International

Our other honor that we recently received was becoming recertified by The Groundwater Foundation through their Groundwater Guardian Green Site program.  This program provides information and education concerning the importance of protecting the groundwater and surface waters surrounding large green spaces such as golf courses, parks, and other highly managed green spaces.  The Groundwater Guardian Green Site program was developed to recognize good stewards of groundwater by encouraging managers or highly-managed green spaces to implement, measure, and document their groundwater-friendly practices.  Our golf course is located on State Park property with 11 of our 18 holes coming in direct contact with open water ways which are actively used by fishermen, boaters, and water foul hunters.  We feel that being involved with The Groundwater Foundation through their Groundwater Guardian Green Site program provides us with more information about how we can protect and enhance the waterways around our golf course for future generations. 

The application process is very simple and does not require as much of a time investment as the Audubon International program certification process does.  Anyone wishing to gain information about this valuable program can do so at:  Groundwater Guardian Green Site Program

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