Heritage Oaks Golf Club has retained its designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International program. Bill Meyer, Parks Division Manager, led the effort to maintain sanctuary status on this course. Heritage Oaks Golf Club was first designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in 2015 and is one of over 900 courses in the world to hold certification from Audubon International.
The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Golf courses from the United States, Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, Mexico, and Southeast Asia have achieved certification in the program.
“Heritage Oaks Golf Club has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for preserving the natural heritage of the area by protecting the local watershed and providing a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property,” said Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International.
“To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas,” explained Kane. These categories include Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management. Courses go through a recertification process every three years.
During a recent course renovation process, environmental concerns were at the forefront of design with enhanced naturalized areas and enlarged ponds to better manage stormwater after rain events.
“A large part of our mission is to practice environmental stewardship,” said Molly Hamer, Executive Director of Northbrook Park District. “The Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary designation is a testament to our talented staff members who maintain and preserve our golf course and additional park assets in an environmentally responsible manner. An amazing byproduct of this work is a stunning course featuring 27 holes of golf for the community.”
This was an excerpt from a media release contributed by Frank Lavardera, Director of Environmental Programs for Golf at Audubon International.
About Audubon International
Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, properties, new developments, and entire communities.