The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program and Duran Golf Course
The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses was created as a win-win relationship to help others understand and address pertinent environmental issues and make meaningful contributions to improving environmental quality. Administered by Audubon International, the ACSP is designed to encourage homeowners, golf courses, schools, and businesses to register their land and buildings through cooperative sanctuaries. Through this registration, Audubon International staff aids in the conservation management plans for the property, offers assistance to land managers in implementing those plans, and recognizes the efforts of those who become involved in the program.
To recognize and support these efforts Audubon International grants certificates of achievements for course conservation projects. Courses can earn certifications in the following six categories:
- Environmental Planning
- Chemical Use Reduction and Safety
- Wildlife and Habitat Management
- Water Conservation
- Water Quality Management
- Outreach and Education
Duran Golf Club has received certifications in Environmental Planning and Wildlife and Habitat Management to date. We are looking forward to completing the remaining categories within the next year and become an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
We have committed to the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program because it is our job to provide high quality golfing conditions on a daily basis in an environmentally responsible way. As part of our involvement with Audubon we are currently undertaking and documenting the following projects:
- We have installed and are monitoring nesting boxes for Purple Matins, Tree Swallows, Carolina Wrens and Bats.
- Created five acres of environmentally sensitive areas that are considered "no spray zones" and will only have foot traffic 2 times per year to manually remove invasive plant material.
- Create Naturalized areas that will act as "core habitats" for wildlife and native plant material. These areas will have minimal chemical applications and will be walked though twice per year to remove exotic invasive plant material. These areas will have a diverse population of plant material to provide food and shelter for wildlife. We will encourage the growth of native Florida wildflowers and plant material as long as they don't threaten the health of the core environment.
- Duran will be implementing a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management program. IPM is the reduction (not elimination) of chemical usage on the golf course. Our program includes: employee education, scouting for insect, disease and weed pressure, and spraying only when the pest pressure reaches a set threshold level.
- Conserving water by hand treating dry areas as needed or by utilizing nonionic surfactants (wetting agents) to reduce the amount of water needed.
- Monitoring our lakes, ponds, and wetlands for nutrient loading, pH, and invasive plant and wildlife.
- We will encourage golfers, homeowners, and employees to develop a wildlife and plant material inventory by listing animals, trees, and flowers the see during their time on Duran.
Future plans include:
- Adding nesting boxes to the Development Center.
- Developing an "Audubon Corner" on the Duran website to show our progress and efforts.
- Continue to add wildflowers and native plants to the property for increased wildlife habitat.