Tennessee Golf Trail Demonstrates Leadership in Environmental Management
The Tennessee Golf Trail features these courses achieving designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International:
Each of these courses met specific criteria in the areas of environmental planning; wildlife and habitat management; outreach and education; chemical use reduction and safety; water conservation; and water quality management. They have taken positive steps to preserve and enhance wildlife habitat while protecting the integrity of their course’s land and water resources. Golf courses throughout North and Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia have achieved certification through this program, but only 825 golf courses worldwide have been designated as Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries. There are fewer than twenty Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary courses in Tennessee.
These locations are part of a short list of golf courses located within state parks that have achieved this certification for environmental excellence. Paris Landing was the first park affiliated golf course in the southeastern U.S. to earn this recognition for environmental performance in 2004. “Since then we have encouraged all our courses to generate environmental results that would secure this certification,” said Tennessee Golf Trail Director Jim Webb. “We are proud the Tennessee Golf Trail offers quality playing experiences on courses that are sensitive to the natural beauty surrounding them.”
Groundwater Guardian Green Sites are places with significant green space – such as golf courses, ball fields, educational campuses and office parks – that implement effective groundwater and surface water practices to protect water quality. Our courses demonstrate an array of groundwater-friendly practices to earn this exclusive designation. They are actively protecting local water supplies by optimizing fertilizer applications, applying natural organic products when possible, and creating vegetative buffer areas around wetlands and shorelines.
In the Spotlight: Bear Trace at Harrison Bay State Park
The Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay State Park was designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in May 2008. Paul L. Carter, Certified Golf Course Superintendent, led the effort to obtain sanctuary status for this course. “Achieving Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary status has been a very rewarding process for the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay,” Carter said. “Members, guests and staff have a greater appreciation for the natural beauty of the golf course and better understand how our actions – both direct and indirect – impact wildlife, waterways and other aspects of the environment.” Follow Paul’s blog.
The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay received the 2009 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award for Excellence in Parks and Recreation. The course has installed 45 nesting houses, created a large plant bed comprised of 218 plants native to Tennessee, and renovated the golf course's chemical storage facility. In addition, 40 acres of the course have been naturalized to minimize maintenance and the turf grass has been changed from "bent grass" to Champion Ultradwarf Bermuda grass - reducing the course's chemical use and budget from $39,000 to $8,000 annually.
The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay was also designated as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site in 2009 by The Groundwater Foundation a result of the groundwater-friendly practices implemented at the golf course. Learn more.
About Audubon Certification
The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System (ACSS), the educational division of Audubon International, is endorsed by the United States Golf Association and provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Learn more.
About Groundwater Guardian Green Site Designation
Groundwater Guardian Green Sites is a program administered by The Groundwater Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Lincoln, Nebraska, with a mission to educate and motivate the public to care about and for groundwater. Learn more.