About the Signature Program
The Signature Program is an environmental education and conservation assistance program created to help landowners and managers follow comprehensive sustainable resource management principles when developing and managing properties. By working closely with planners, architects, managers, and key stakeholders, the Signature Program helps landowners and developers design for the environment so that both economic and environmental objectives are achieved and sustained in the long-term. For a full list of all golf courses certified in ACSP for Golf, Signature, or Classic Programs, click here.
Make the Environment Part of Your Plan
The Signature Program starts where minimum environmental compliance leaves off, offering a "beyond compliance" approach, continues through construction, grand opening, and long-term management. In addition to minimum certification standards, each project is given the opportunity to work towards different levels of certification. The program is flexible and adaptable to the project, but generally involves:
- Initial Site Assessment- An on-site assessment conducted by Audubon International staff of the natural resources that the property has to offer and how those resources may be impacted by the development project.
- Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP)- A management plan must be produced as a tool for management but also to provide continuity with staff. The plan serves as a guide for the construction and management of the property focusing on wildlife management, habitat enhancement, waste management, energy efficiency, water quality and conservation, and pest management.
- Implementation- To become certified, a project must implement the NRMP, meet the minimum certification standards and site-specific requirements set forth by Audubon International, and pass an environmental audit. Site visits are conducted by Audubon International staff during the major phases of the project to supplement training and education of construction and operational personnel as well as consulting staff.
- Environmental Audit- An on-site Environmental Audit by Audubon International staff will assess compliance with program and site-specific requirements to long-term management in accordance with Signature Program standards.
In order to join the Signature Program a property must apply for membership. Applications will be reviewed by Audubon International to ensure that the proposed project is a good fit for the Signature Program. A one-time, non-refundable program registration fee of $7,500 (USD) is required once the application has been approved. Annual program membership fees thereafter are $500 (USD) for all properties.
- Recertification- Demonstrating continued maintenance of program criteria, implementation of the NRMP and Outreach and Education activities are necessary for recertification. Projects will host a site visit from a member of a local environmental group on year three after the Environmental Audit. Subsequent site-audits are conducted every third year by Audubon International staff.