(Source: Audubon Lifestyles)
Audubon Lifestyles recently launched the Sustainable Golf Facility Program. The Sustainable Golf Facility Program was created as the next logical step in both recognizing the efforts already taken by golf facilities regarding environmental stewardship, but also to include the sustainable economic and social betterment aspects of the facilities.
While much as been accomplished over the past couple of decades regarding environmental stewardship, with those efforts being documented through a number of golf course certification programs, the Sustainable Golf Facility Program raises the bar in a unified way to give added recognition for work already accomplished, but also to help to position properly managed golf facilities as community, or even regionally, beneficial sustainable economic, environmental and social businesses.
During the program development process a Sustainable Golf Advisory Group was created that included individuals from the USGA, American Society of Golf Course Architects, University of Georgia, Texas A&M, Golf Course Builder Association, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Sustainable Golf & Development Inc., and other golf, environmental, and sustainability leaders. The Sustainable Golf Advisory Group offered advice, and insight, and played important roles in bringing the program to reality.
Those that have worked together to create the Sustainable Golf Facility Program believe that properly sited, designed and managed golf courses can be among the finest examples of sustainable land use and business management. The future of the game and of the golf course design and management professions rests on proving that is in fact true. The economic sustainability of golf courses will prove to be the foundation upon which environmental stewardship and social betterment rests.
“The Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Golf Facility Program is a great program for golf courses. It allows golf courses from around the world to make a concerted effort to be more environmentally aware, and lays the overall groundwork to enhance the image of golf course maintenance.”
To help continue to build upon efforts already undertaken, Audubon Lifestyles seeks commitments from Strategic Partners to help promote, and spread information about the Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Golf Facility program on local, regional and national scales. In order for the program to be truly successful, assistance from like-minded businesses, non-profits, municipalities, industry leaders, and individuals who are connected with the golf course industry from the planning, design, and management point of view, as well as those concerned about the environmental, social, and economic impacts of running sustainable golf facilities will be needed to help grow the program, and have the greatest impact.
“It is our hope that golf course superintendents, business owners, golfers, and anyone who cares about the future of the golf industry, the environment, or the economic stability of our communities will unite together with us, and become proponents of sustainable change,” stated R. Eric Dodson, President of Audubon Lifestyles. “Each and every golf facility has the capacity to become sustainability leaders by managing a fiscally sound golf facility, creating great playing conditions for golfers, and gaining recognition as true environmental, social and economic assets within their community and municipality.”
In addition to strategic partners, to kick-start the program, Pilot Members are also being sought. A wide variety of golf courses, from public to private to resort to executive courses from anywhere in the world are welcome to join the program and participate as a Pilot Member. As a Pilot Member, golf courses that join will not only become the first courses recognized as part of the Sustainable Golf Facility movement, but will be recognized as an integral part of refining program materials, and as leaders for sustainable change within the golf industry. To encourage golf facilities to participate, Audubon Lifestyles has decided to waive the $500 registration fee required to join the program to the first golf facility in each of the fifty States of the United States, each Province in Canada, and each Country for the rest of the world to register in the program. This Pilot Member incentive provides a potential to grant over three hundred complimentary memberships, and will stay in effect until 2011.
Participating in the Sustainable Golf Facility Program should not be viewed as only for large budget operations, or only for those golf facilities that are already thought to be “green” and/or sustainable. Sustainability doesn’t have anything to do with the size of the budget, but has everything to do with the attitude, focus and commitment for how a golf facility can be managed. Part of the benefit of joining the Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Golf Facility Program is the assistance that golf facilities will receive from Audubon Lifestyles staff as they implement sustainable management solutions. Any and all golf facilities are welcome to join.
To become an Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Golf Facility Program Strategic Partner, or to join as a Pilot Member visit the Audubon Lifestyles website at: http://www.audubonlifestyles.org/
About Audobon Lifestyles
Audubon Lifestyles is a non-profit organization based in the Principles for Sustainability, believing that the most natural way to foster sustainability is by working to balance the triple bottom line of people, profit, and planet.