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Here you can find all the latest Audubon International news! From the great environmental efforts of our members, to where we will be next, to helpful tips you can apply at your golf course, you can find it all here.
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  • 10/30/2018 8:24 AM | Alison Ritchie (Administrator)

    Click the links below for more information and application instructions for these positions:

    Environmental Program Specialist
    Member Services Manager

  • 07/26/2018 11:16 AM | Allie Eustis (Administrator)

    Thousands of Volunteers Converge on Golf Courses for Species-Counting Competition

    Golf courses join fourth annual competition to document large diversity of species that call golf courses home


    Participants at Southwinds Golf Course, FL’s 2018 Junior BioBlitz Day (Photo credit: Sean Steinemann / Cheryl Glick)

    TROY, NY – Audubon International’s BioBlitz 2018 recorded over 2,000 unique species of animals, plants, fungi, and insects living on golf courses. Thousands of enthusiastic community volunteers, ranging from school groups to birding clubs to professional naturalists, gathered at local events between April 21st and May 13th to discover and document the species inhabiting these important green spaces. This year’s program was sponsored by the United States Golf Association (USGA). 

    Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International, says, “It’s wonderful to see so many golf courses embracing BioBlitz as a fun and exciting way to help people spend time outdoors and learn about their local environment.”

    Now in its fourth year, Audubon International’s BioBlitz creates an opportunity for school children, community members, golfers, and more to take a closer look at the habitats provided on golf courses. In addition to demonstrating the large diversity of species on golf courses, the competition also engages local interest and support of the green space and recreational opportunities they provide to their towns. Participants competed for three awards for most species counted, most participants, and best photo.

    Naples Lakes Country Club, FL received the Biodiversity Award for the greatest number of species counted. The course has participated in Audubon International’s BioBlitz each year since the program’s inception in 2015. Volunteers at this year’s event spotted, identified, and listed a total of 496 species, including the federally threatened Wood Stork, and the Little Blue and Tricolored Herons, both state threatened species in Florida.

     “Naples Lakes Country Club is extremely honored to win the Biodiversity Award for the 2018 BioBlitz,” said Bryan Roe, General Manager at Naples Lakes Country Club. “Our residents truly look forward to participating in the annual event and coming together to enjoy the natural habitat that surrounds our community. Our course and community have experienced a remarkable recovery following the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma last September, and the amount of species that remained in the area following the storm speaks volumes to the environmentally friendly atmosphere we foster.”

    The Community Engagement Award for having the most participants went to Southwinds Golf Course, FL, with a total of 242 volunteers assisting with their species count and identification. “We are honored that Southwinds Golf Course is the winner of the Community Engagement Award for most participants as a part of the 2018 BioBlitz campaign. Our team enjoyed creating activities to engage golfers from juniors to seniors in recognizing the rewards of environmental stewardship,” said Sharon Painter, General Manager at Southwinds Golf Course. The course’s BioBlitz activities included both Ladies’ Night Out and Junior BioBlitz events, as well as BioBlitz themed drink specials during the event dates.


    Best Photograph Winner: The Hummingbird, Bay Oaks Country Club, TX (Photo credit: Deborah Repasz)

    Bay Oaks Country Club, TX won the Best Photograph contest with a spectacular photo of a hummingbird. “The need for a Biodiversity count is very important to the ecology of a golf course or any area for that matter, and I was very excited to help our course’s superintendent, Kyle Brown, with the Bay Oaks count,” said Deborah Repasz, the BioBlitz volunteer who took the hummingbird photograph. “Every time I go out birding or in nature I take my camera with me. We were identifying plants when I saw a hummingbird getting nectar from a Bottlebrush. I did not have much time, so I switched on my camera, focused as best I could for the circumstances, and started photographing the hummingbird. Luckily, several of the photos turned out. I am definitely looking forward to next year’s count and more help to identify and count an even larger numbers of species.”

    Visit https://auduboninternational.org/BioBlitz2018 to see more photos from the competition and a full listing of first, second, and third place in each category.  

  • 07/10/2018 10:42 AM | Jessica Latus (Administrator)

    New award will recognize sustainable projects with a focus on water use efficiency.

    July 10, 2018, NEW YORK— Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply and Audubon International are now accepting nominations for the Water & Sustainability Innovation Award—a new opportunity for landscape companies, organizations and municipalities.

    “As critical water challenges become increasingly prevalent, innovative projects that use sustainable practices serve as important examples for our country and the world,” said Warren Gorowitz, Ewing Vice President of Sustainability.

    This new award will recognize a project that addresses sustainability challenges and water-efficiency, and contributes to a healthy environment, equity (quality of life), or a vital economy.

    “We want to recognize and promote the positive impact landscapes and other green spaces have in creating more sustainable communities,” said Christine Kane, CEO of Audubon International.

    To be eligible, projects must have been initiated within the past three years, and been operational for at least one year.

    Entries will be accepted online through October 12, 2018 at http://bit.ly/2018WSIA. To view the award guidelines, visit http://bit.ly/WSIAGuidelines.

    “We look forward to showcasing the great work our Green Industry peers have accomplished,” said Gorowitz.  

    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.

    About Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply

    Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply is the largest family-owned supplier of landscape and water management products in the country. As your business partner, we offer products and education for irrigation and landscape, turf and land management, outdoor living, sports fields, golf and sustainable solutions. Our nationwide network of friendly, knowledgeable staff helps green industry professionals discover products and services for business success.



  • 06/29/2018 12:08 PM | Allie Eustis (Administrator)

    White Haven Memorial Park Recognized for Environmental Excellence


    Left to Right: Town Supervisor Michael G. Barker (Town of Perinton), Andrea Vittum (President at White Haven Memorial Park), Christine Kane (CEO at Audubon International), and Elizabeth Gustafson (Representative from NYS Senator Rich Funke’s office)

    PITTSFORD, NY – On June 28, 2018, Audubon International recognized White Haven Memorial Park for 20 years of certification as an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary through its commitment to environmental stewardship and efforts to maintain a comprehensive environmental management program focused on wildlife and habitat management, water conservation, resource management, and outreach and education.

    “We’re very proud to count White Haven Memorial Park among our members,” said Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International.  “They made environmentally sustainable property management an integral part of their operating principles long before it became an accepted option. Their leadership has already brought many benefits to their community over the past two decades and will continue to do so long into the future.”

    To reach certification in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP), a property must maintain a high degree of environmental quality in several areas including: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Water Resources, and Resource Management. After designation, properties must go through a recertification process every three years.

    White Haven Memorial Park was the first cemetery in the world to be designated as a Certified Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary in April of 1998. Through participation in the ACSP, White Haven Memorial Park has been involved in numerous environmental projects, including a bluebird program that has successfully fledged over 100 birds, the installation of bat houses to help increase bat populations in Western New York, and the creation of public use hiking trails to promote recreation and the enjoyment of nature.


    Christine Kane (CEO at Audubon International) and Andrea Vittum (President at White Haven Memorial Park)

    “Over these past 20 years, White Haven Memorial Park has benefitted tremendously from Audubon International’s guidance in managing our property with wildlife and the environment in mind. We’ve saved thousands of dollars by learning how to limit our use of herbicides and pesticides and by using resources such as water and electricity in the most efficient manner. We’ve also protected the wildlife on our property by maintaining natural areas,” said Andrea Vittum, President at White Haven Memorial Park. All in all, it has been a winning situation for wildlife and the environment, for the cemetery, and for the public that enjoys this beautiful place.”

    White Haven has also developed two unique, earth-friendly burial options. The Nature Trail for cremation burial and the Bluebird Meadow for green burial use native plants, are free of herbicides and pesticides, and provide habitat for a variety of wildlife. “I am so pleased that, with Audubon International’s inspiration, we have found a way to preserve our magnificent hardwood forest and bluebird meadow while also meeting the need for additional burial space,” said Harriett Neville, Board Chair at White Haven Memorial Park.

    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, single properties, new developments, and entire communities. Through the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program, Audubon International works to help organizations and businesses embrace environmental stewardship and sustainability as a central element of planning, policies, and practices. For more information, contact Audubon International at (518) 767-9051 or visit their website at www.auduboninternational.org.

    About White Haven Memorial Park

    White Haven Memorial Park is Rochester, NY’s only memorial park. White Haven offers two earth friendly burial options; the Nature Trail, with sites located along beautiful forest paths, and the Green Burial site, located in a lovely wildflower meadow that is home to nesting bluebirds in the spring. White Haven Memorial Park was the first cemetery in the world to be designated as a Certified Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary in 1998. For more information, visit their website at http://www.whitehavenmemorialpark.com/.


  • 05/31/2018 10:35 AM | Marcus Gray (Administrator)

    Golf course managers across North America have begun planting milkweed and wildflower habitat to attract butterflies, bees and … golfers.

    May 31, 2018

    (TROY, NY) Audubon International and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) recently partnered to launch Monarchs in the Rough, a program to assist golf courses in the United States, Canada and Mexico in creating habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators in out-of-play areas.

    The program first rolled out in January 2018 with a goal of enrolling 100 courses. Today, the program has far surpassed its initial goal by enrolling more than 250 courses. The program has set a new goal of enrolling 500 additional courses, and launched a new website to feature participating courses.

    “The response from the golf community to helping pollinators recover from dramatic declines in recent years has been tremendous,” said Christine Kane, CEO of Audubon International. “Habitat loss is a key driver of the monarch butterfly’s decline, and golf courses are uniquely positioned to help create new habitat and turn things around for this iconic species.”

    Golf course properties occupy approximately 2.5 million acres in the United States. Audubon International estimates there are at least 100,000 acres that have the potential to become suitable habitat for butterflies and bees, if managed appropriately.

    Monarchs in the Rough encourages golf courses to adopt conservation practices such as planting milkweed and other wildflowers that monarchs need to breed and feed, in addition to changing mowing practices to support the timing of the monarch’s migration, and protecting sites from pesticide treatments.

    “This program is not only helping turn things around for the monarch – it’s also an opportunity for the golf community to change the assumptions many people have about golf courses being unsustainable,” said Yank Moore, land manager for the Jekyll Island Authority and Golf Club in Jekyll Island, Georgia. “We have a real opportunity here to showcase the stewardship ethic of golf course managers and superintendents, and to educate the public about conservation practices that support monarchs and other pollinators.”

    Monarchs in the Rough provides course superintendents and staff with the information they need to incorporate monarch habitat into the unique layout of each course.

    “We bring the scientific expertise and the technical support, and the golf courses bring the land and the staff who are already well positioned to implement conservation practices,” said Daniel Kaiser, senior manager of habitat markets at EDF. “As an avid golfer and conservationist, I couldn’t be more excited about this partnership and the potential it has to help change the trajectory for the monarch butterfly.”

    “I can’t wait to hear what our golfers have to say about these conservation efforts,” said Isaac Breuer, golf course superintendent at the A.L. Gustin Golf Course at the University of Missouri. Breuer is an early program participant who has incorporated wildlife habitat management into the university course since 2010.

    “We know that our golfers notice and appreciate every effort we make to improve the natural beauty and sustainability of the course, because it makes the whole experience more enjoyable for both the golfer and the butterfly,” Breuer said.

    # # #

    For more information about Monarchs in the Rough, including a resource guide, please visit: www.monarchsintherough.org.


  • 03/19/2018 2:27 PM | Jessica Latus (Administrator)

    OKATIE, SOUTH CAROLINA –  On March 15, 2018, Audubon International recognized Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA), the Town of Hilton Head Island, and Oldfield Community Association as South Carolina’s first Audubon International Certified Sustainable Communities. Audubon International held a recognition ceremony to honor each community’s commitment to creating a sustainable future by developing and implementing sustainable management practices around the three pillars of sustainability: healthy local environment, quality of life for citizens, and a vital economy.

    To become certified, Sustainable Communities Program members must develop and implement management practices and policies according to a community-driven Long-Term Sustainability Plan that has timelines and measurable goals addressing 15 focal areas: agriculture; economic development and tourism; education; environment; governance; housing; open space and land use; planning, zoning, building and development; population; public safety and emergency management; recreation; resource use; transportation; and volunteerism and civic engagement.

    “We are excited to honor these communities for their commitment to creating a sustainable future,” said Christine Kane, Executive Director at Audubon International. “As the first communities in South Carolina to receive the Audubon International Sustainable Communities certification, Hilton Head Island, Seabrook Island, and Oldfield are demonstrating a strong commitment to the environment that will benefit us all for many years to come.”

    Seabrook Island Property Owners Association achieved certification in 2017, and is the first Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in South Carolina, and is 6th overall to receive this designation. “SIPOA residents have been tremendously supportive of the efforts to focus on preservation, conservation and sustainability within our community,” said Julie McCulloch, SIPOA President. “The hard work and many months of meetings and synthesis of materials and views has firmly established our relationship with Audubon International, culminating in this exceptional award.” 

    Also achieving certification as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community before the end of 2017 was the Town of Hilton Head Island. They are the first municipality in South Carolina, and the 7th overall to receive this designation. “Development on our Island was born in a climate of sustainability, and the Town of Hilton Head Island strives to continue our partnership with nature via public education, public-private partnerships, the use of green building techniques and a deep respect for our natural environment and the many natural services it provides our residents and visitors,” said Sally Krebs, Sustainable Practices Coordinator.

    Oldfield Community Association received designation as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in February of 2018. They are the fastest community to ever achieve certification, completing the work in only a year and a half, and are the 8th community overall to receive this designation. “Oldfield residents, management and staff joined in a common cause to mold the community in accordance with the precepts established by Audubon International,” noted Steve Massas, Oldfield Club board member. “Oldfield has doubled its emphasis on sound ecological and sustainable practices to ensure Oldfield remains a community attractive to future generations of environmentally conscious individuals. We look forward to a long term, mutually beneficial relationship with Audubon International.”

    These communities’ multi-stage, staff and volunteer led efforts will help to preserve their unique settings and enhance quality of life for all residents over the long run. Seabrook Island Property Owners Association, the Town of Hilton Head Island, and Oldfield Community Association join Eufaula, Alabama; Williamston, North Carolina; Coconut Creek, Florida; Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont; Rio Verde, Arizona; and The Landings on Skidaway Island, Georgia as Audubon International Certified Sustainable Communities.

    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. Through the Sustainable Communities and Green Neighborhoods Programs, Audubon International works to help community leaders and stakeholders embrace environmental stewardship and sustainability as a central element of planning, policies, and practices. For more information, contact Audubon International at (518) 767-9051 or visit the website at www.auduboninternational.org.

    About Seabrook Island Property Owners Association 

    Seabrook Island, South Carolina is a 2,400-acre barrier island/maritime forest located approximately 23 miles SW of historic Charleston. Residents of this gated community enjoy miles of pristine, private beach on the Atlantic Ocean and North Edisto River. With 2,600 properties, the island is home to both full time and part time residents. Seabrook Island is also a popular guest/rental destination. Seabrook Island received designation as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in 2017. They are the first community in South Carolina, and the 6th overall to receive this designation.

    About the Town of Hilton Head Island 

    The Town of Hilton Head Island is a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina encompassing 54 square miles, including 13 miles of beaches and a permanent population of approximately 40,000. Since incorporating in 1983 the Town has been known for its “green culture” and sees sustainability as the next logical step in its evolution. Hilton Head Island achieved designation as an Audubon Certified Sustainable Community in 2017. They are the first municipality in South Carolina, and the 7th overall to receive this designation.

    About Oldfield 

    Oldfield overlooks a spectacular horseshoe bend in the Okatie River, deep in South Carolina's legendary lowcountry. This private community's 860 acres are replete with magnificent moss-draped specimen live oaks and dramatic marsh vistas for which this area is known. Homes in Oldfield reflect the best of lowcountry architecture nestled along a stunning Greg Norman Signature golf course that was built with respect for the land and the heritage that it brings. Oldfield achieved designation as an Audubon Certified Sustainable Community 2018. They are the fastest community to ever achieve certification, completing the work in only a year and a half, and are the 8th community overall to receive this designation.

    ###

  • 02/26/2018 8:45 AM | Allie Eustis (Administrator)

    Audubon International’s Global Nature Competition Coming in April

    BioBlitz is a free event designed to showcase the environmental value of natural habitats on golf courses

    Audubon International’s 4th annual BioBlitz will run from April 21st through May 13th (Earth Day to World Migratory Bird Day).

    “Each year, BioBlitz brings hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers from communities around the world together to document the large diversity of species that call golf courses home,” said Christine Kane, Executive Director of Audubon International.  “Last year’s BioBlitz participants recorded almost 2,000 unique species of animals, plants, fungi, and insects on golf courses from North America to South Africa.”

    This year’s free event is sponsored by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and is open to any golf course worldwide. Participants such as golfers and their families, youth groups, community members, and local environmental experts gather to enjoy nature while counting plant and animal species located on each property. Many courses choose to host an event around Earth Day, which is what Park Ridge Golf Course, the 2017 winner of the Community Engagement Award for most participants, did last year. “We struck on a really good relationship between our yearly Earth Day golf tournament and BioBlitz which allowed us to involve staff, volunteers, and tournament participants in a fun day of golf, environmental outreach, and friendly competition,” said Phil Henry, Golf Course Manager.

    Awards will be given for Most Species, Most Participants, and Best Photo. Following BioBlitz, Audubon International will compile the lists of plant and animal species recorded and report on the findings.

    To register for BioBlitz 2018 and receive your free toolkit, please visit https://auduboninternational.org/event-2813521.

     

    About Audubon International

    Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental organization 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. 

  • 02/14/2018 12:20 PM | Alison Ritchie (Administrator)

    Almost every golf course in the northeast looks like this right now.

    Even though Silo Ridge Golf Club, near Amenia, NY, looks this way on the outside, plants are pushing their heads up through the soil on the inside.

    Back in December, the staff began a series of trials at their green house with various species and mixes of wild flower seed. Over the month of January, the seeds began to germinate. They are currently testing different watering and fertilization methods in an attempt to maximize germination rates and speed up the time needed for the plants to bloom. The crew continues to monitor the plants and hopefully sometime in late February will see some early flowering of the plants.


    Silo Ridge is a member of the Audubon International Signature Program working toward certification as a Silver Signature Sanctuary.


  • 02/12/2018 1:55 PM | Jessica Latus (Administrator)

                        

              

    South Carolina Sustainable Communities Recognition Ceremony

    WHAT:  Ceremony recognizing Hilton Head Island, Oldfield and Seabrook Island as South Carolina’s first Audubon International Certified Sustainable Communities.

    Audubon International will honor each community’s commitment to creating a sustainable future by developing and implementing sustainable management practices around the three pillars of sustainability: healthy local environment, quality of life for citizens, and economic vitality.

    WHO:  Audubon International - Christine Kane, Executive Director 
    Oldfield Community Association - Jill Kombrink, Naturalist 
    Town of Hilton Head Island - Marcy Benson, Senior Grants Administrator  
    Seabrook Island Property Owners Association - Heather Paton, Executive Director

    WHEN:  March 15, 2018; 10:00 am – 11:30 am 

    WHERE:  Oldfield Community Association  
    10 Oldfield Way; 
    Okatie, South Carolina 29909

    HOW:  For interviews or additional information please contact Jessica Latus, 518-767-9051 ext. 124, jessica@auduboninternational.org.

    South Carolina Sustainable Communities Recognition Ceremony.ics

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  • 01/26/2018 11:20 AM | Allie Eustis (Administrator)


    Photo taken by Matt Ceplo, Audubon International Board Member and Monarchs in the Rough participant

    (TROY, NY) Audubon International is the newest partner of the Monarch Joint Venture, the largest collaborative established to arrest the decline of monarch butterflies. With a wide range of programs involving high-quality environmental education, such as the global Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, it is no surprise that Audubon International has made great ecological stewardship gains in communities, neighborhoods and with businesses over the last thirty years.

    “Managing properties for pollinators, like monarchs & other butterflies, is a great way to pull together best practices to protect water quality, diversify wildlife habitat, improve aesthetics of golf and more. While you can’t promote everything on the same acre, we certainly can provide for multiple ecological services needed by communities by providing resources critical to monarch conservation,” says Christine Kane, Audubon International’s Executive Director. 

    The organization’s programs strive to facilitate the sustainable management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. Audubon International achieves this by educating property managers, program administrators and others about best management practices. The Monarchs in the Rough program works to establish monarch habitat on golf courses across the country and beyond. Staff estimates that in the United States alone, there are 100,000 acres of available space to create this habitat. If these areas are improved to have 200 milkweed stems per acre, the program could offer 20 million milkweed stems toward the 1-1.5 billion goal!

    “Golf courses and other lands that dot the landscape have incredible potential to not only create additional monarch and pollinator habitat, but draw attention from the public eye to this important conservation issue,” says Wendy Caldwell, MJV Coordinator. “Audubon International is a welcomed partner in our endeavor to increase habitat for monarchs on all landscapes, including golf courses!”

    Audubon International offers a variety of certification programs alongside habitat restoration efforts. For more information about these programs, visit https://www.auduboninternational.org/programs.


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