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Re: E-M:/ Re: Ecological Golf Courses?

Enviro-Mich message from Michael Boyce <birder@voyager.net>

Deanne and others interested in making golf courses better stewards of their

The information I provide here is for informational purposes only.  Please be
crystal clear that neither National Audubon Society nor any of it's chapters,
including Michigan Audubon Society and Detroit Audubon Society, nor any chapter of
Michigan Audubon Society, is in any way affiliated or associated with Audubon

Audubon International has for several years been involved in helping golf courses
become beter stewards of their land.  They saw that more and more golf courses
were springing up all the time, and figured they would help these property owners
realize the financial, esthetic, and wildlife values that could be gained by
improving golf course management practices... they also saw this as a way for them
(AI) to make money, and this program and similar programs for businesses and
schools, have become a major source of funding for them.

When the program is run well, it offers tremendous environmental benefits compared
to a typical golf course.  When it's run poorly, it provides little environmental
benefit but it provides opportunities for good PR for the golf course.
Knowledgeable citizen involvement is often key.

Here is some of the information from their website

"The mission of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System is to educate people
about environmental stewardship and motivate them to take action, to enhance and
protect wildlife and their habitats, and conserve natural resources."

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for existing Golf Courses (ACSP) claims
to promote ecologically sound land management and the conservation of our natural
resources.  Golf courses, they say, can enhance and protect wildlife habitat and
water resources. This program provides an advisory information service about how
to conduct proactive environmental projects for golf courses.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP) was created by
Audubon International and is sponsored by the United States Golf Association
(USGA). Together, the USGA and Audubon International are striving to:

1. Enhance wildlife habitats on existing golf courses by working with the golf
course manager and providing advice for ecologically sound course management.

2. Encourage active participation in conservation programs by golfers, golf course
superintendents, course officials, and the general public.

3. Recognize golf courses as important open spaces and credit the people actively
participating in environmentally responsible projects.

4. Educate the public and golf community on the benefits of golf courses and the
role they play relative to the environment and the wildlife.

I hope you find this information helpful.

For a local (Michigan) contact working to make golf courses more environmentally
friendly, contact Steve Allen Buboswa@aol.com from the Kalamazoo Nature Center
(616) 381-1574.  Steve works as an environmental consultant to several golf
courses throughout the state and comes highly recommended.

Michael Boyce
Baker Sanctuary Resident Manager
Co-chair., Environmental Action Committee
Michigan Audubon Society

ECOARTDB@aol.com wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from ECOARTDB@aol.com
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dear Enviromich Network,
> I would like to find more information about the concept of "Green" golf
> courses ...that  are less polluting and energy intensive.  I can imagine
> smaller greens, grass that needs less mowing and perhaps no fertilizer,
> native plantings with gardens open to the public. Perhaps some of the wild
> parts of the course could be developed as Forest Gardening (a Permaculture
> concept), Empty Bowl Gardens, etc. I can see the course being put in at
> Oakland University becoming such a "model".  Although there are certainly
> many serious concerns with the building of golf courses, these strategies
> would diminish the impact, and possibly lead the way toward a different
> landscaping value system.
> Does anyone know how to connect with information about "More Ecological" golf
> courses? Are there any organizations working on this, or articles written?
>                                                                      Thanks,
>  Deanne Bednar

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