Pottawatomie Golf Course has retained its designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International program. Denise Gillett-Parchert, Golf Course Superintendent, led the effort to maintain sanctuary status on this course. Pottawatomie Golf Course was designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in 1997, the first 9-hole golf course internationally to become certified, and is one of over 900 courses in the world to currently be designated as such.
Native plants have a greater fibrous root system to help naturally purify the water before it reaches the Fox River. Plantings provide a more natural habitat for various animals found at the golf course including deer, foxes and egrets. In order to enrich the aesthetic views of these areas and maintain the District’s Audubon status, staff continually remove invasive non-native vegetation such as canary reed grass and purple loosestrife, said Gillett-Parchert.
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.
“Pottawatomie Golf Course 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.
Audubon International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Troy, NY. In addition to golf courses, Audubon International also provides programs for businesses, schools, communities, and new developments with the purpose of delivering high-quality environmental education and facilitating the sustainable management of natural resources. For more information, call Audubon International at 1-844-767-9051 or visit www.auduboninternational.org.