This April the Glencoe Golf Club is celebrating its 5th year as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses was established to assist golf courses in their efforts to enhance and protect the valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats that golf courses provide. The process to become certified in Glencoe began by assessing the golf course and developing an environmental plan. Key changes were initiated in several categories including; wildlife and habitat management, water conservation, chemical use reduction and water quality management. Through the use of the management tools provided by Audubon International the golf course was able to make significant changes to the day-to-day operations that have had a direct benefit to the environment.
A major project that was undertaken to aid in water conservation was the expansion of our existing retention pond. The pond expansion project increased our capacity to store rain water by 10%, thus reducing our dependence on utilizing treated municipal water for irrigation purposes. The creation of five acres of no mow natural areas and the elimination of watering the rough throughout the course has also taken place in an effort to conserve water.
One of the Club’s most recent wildlife conservation efforts has been focused on the plight of the Monarch Butterfly. The disappearance of milkweed in the United States has been the biggest culprit in the decline of the Monarch population. The Club, which is a member of the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Program, took action to combat the decline in habitat and began to plant and preserve milkweed throughout the course. In addition, a Butterfly Garden was created to provide nectar sources, and shelter for the Monarchs. Our initiative was rewarded this past summer as we experienced a resurgence of Monarchs on the property. Hopefully our efforts will help in some way to assure the preservation of the species.
As the weather warms up we invite you to visit the golf course to help us celebrate our environmental achievements and to take advantage of the best conditioned golf course on the North Shore, right in your backyard. The Club offers competitive greens fees, junior golf camps, professional golf lessons, club fittings and a full menu in our restaurant. We hope to see you this season not only to enjoy the golf facility but to experience how our commitment and high standards of environmental management can provide a benefit for the entire community.