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Audubon Park Golf Club Signature Sanctuary

Audubon Park Golf Club Recertified as Signature Sanctuary

Audubon International announced that Audubon Park Golf Club in New Orleans has been recognized for continual sustainable management of its natural resources and has been awarded recertification as a Certified Signature Sanctuary. The golf club was redesigned by Atlanta based ASGCA member Denis Griffiths in 2002, and was the first golf course in Louisiana to be certified as a Silver Signature Sanctuary in 2004. Although the golf course and the certifying organization were both named for John James Audubon, the ornithologist, naturalist and painter, they are not related in any way.

Originally opened in 1898 on the site of the 1884 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, Audubon Park Golf Club is situated in the huge recreational area in the Garden District known as Audubon Park which includes the Zoo. Bricks from the main building foundation of the Exposition still border the lake on the ninth hole. The exquisite beauty of the golf course is second to none among the layouts around New Orleans. The competitive layout is an 18 hole executive course with a par of 62, including 12 par 3’s, 4 par 4’s and 2 par 5’s, winding through ancient oaks and pristine lakes and lagoons.

To become recertified, Signature program members must demonstrate their continued commitment to the Principles of Sustainable Resource Management as outlined in their site-specific Natural Resource Management Plan(NRMP). This plan addresses wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement,water quality management, integrated pest management, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and the adoption of green building products and procedures.

Using an infill location that had been disturbed by a previous golf course project, Audubon International and Aububon Nature Institute worked cooperatively on 80 acres near the historic Garden District to restore habitat and provide a cohesive educational program aimed at golfers, area residents and park users, “The challenge initially was to improve connections throughout the property to isolated wildlife habitat patches and lakes, and to increase the vegetation diversity in these patches and corridors,” said Nancy Richardson, Signature Program Director for Audubon International, during the required staff visit to the property. “Today, the interaction of patrons, walkers and joggers with the course provides an opportunity for education about the natural systems on the property.”

The golf course is circled by a paved pedestrian and bike path, shaded by the huge live oaks with wide sweeping canopies which, in some cases, extend down to the ground. Hurst Walkway, another pedestrian path through the middle of the golf course from east to west is still used by walkers.

Following the site review, Will Guererri, golf course superintendent stated, “The Audubon International Signature program is a great program to hold industry leaders to a responsible and ethical standard that, in my mind, all facilities should participate in. From wildlife management to water conservation, our facility has improved the quality of our guest experience and encouraged me and our staff to fulfill our responsibility as an Audubon Signature facility.” To learn more about the Golf Club, go to http://www.AudubonInstitute.org/golf.

Dave Daubert

Lehigh University graduate, Procter & Gamble retired. Previously a Managing Editor and Feature Writer for a regional golf monthly magazine for 11 years. Married to wife Carol and residing in Solivita, an active adult community in Central Florida

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