Audubon Recertification at Stone Creek is Retained!

It is official, Stone Creek Golf Club has retained its designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP), an Audubon International program.  Stone Creek has been a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 2006. Since we have been in the program we have demonstrated and maintained a high degree of environmental quality in: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ACSP. To prepare for the celebration, Audubon International released two surveys in which I would like to share some of the results with you.

Wildlife & Habitat Management
  • The average member has natural vegetation around 72% of their shorelines, compared to 33% before joining the program.
  • Prior to joining the program, 31% of the respondents had no naturalized shorelines and 11% had all naturalized shorlines. Now, 2% of the respondents have no naturalized shorelines and 31% have naturalized shorelines.
  • Since joining the program, 60% of  members have removed turfgrass at an average of 11 acres.
Water Quality Management
  • Where shorelines are in play, 89% of members raised mowing height along shorelines to slow and filter runoff.
  • 79% mow in-play shorelines at the recommended 3" or higher (compared to 27% before joining)
  • 88% mix and load chemicals over an impervious surface (compared to 57% before joining)
  • 91% have pesticide storage with secondary spill containment (compared to 55% before joining)
Water Conservation
  • Since joining the program, 50% of members have reduced irrigated turfgrass by an average of 8 acres.
  •   68% have replaced full circle irrigation heads with part circle heads.
  • On average, 15% of full circle irrigation heads were replaced with part circle irrigation heads.
Turfgrass Management
  • Since joining the program, 58% of the members have reduced the average numbers of acres to which pesticides are regularly applied by 16.5 acres.
  • 96% are transitioning to pesticides with a lower toxicity level (compared  to 46% before joining)
  • 70% are transitioning to biological pesticides (compared to 22% before joining)
  • Since joining the program, members have reduced the average number of acrew to which fertilizers are regularly applied by 15.5 acres.
Business Value 
Many golf courses are registered in the ACSP because it is considered "the right thing to do," but there is also a strong business case for voluntary environmental action. In these days of tightening budgets, many ACSP recommendations reduce costs while also allowing you to frame the reasons for the changes in a positive, environmental light.
  • 52% of members have reduced water costs.
  • 70% have reduced pesticide costs.
  • 66% have reduced fertilizer costs.
  • 44% have reduced fuel costs.
  • 46% have reduced electricity costs.
  • 51% have reduced wast management costs.
In addition, even during these times of decreasing rounds, 15% report that they have new golfers and/or members because of their involvement in the ACSP.

These findings demonstrate loud and clear the benefits of a good and sound environmental program.Thank you Audubon International for your first 20 years and all of your diligent efforts in helping the golf industry become keenly aware of its potential to become true stewards of the environment.

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