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Audubon Sanctuary


Ironwood Golf Course achieved the prestigious designation as an "Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" in July of 1999.  An incredible amount of work was completed by Ironwood Golf Course Staff and Nature Operations which are divisions of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. We also partnered with the Department of Environmental Horticulture at UF, OneSource Golf and Landscape, and the UF Turfgrass Club. Jan Weinbrecht, a Turfgrass Biologist at UF and owner of Southern Turf Research, Inc., deserves most of the credit for the success in his role as Chairman of our Audubon Resource Committee.  We relied heavily on Jan for his expertise and leadership, and he continues play the lead role in our recertification process.  The City of Gainesville is proud of this accomplishment which reflects the highest degree of environmental stewardship in the golf industry.                                      


Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP)

The ACSP is an award winning education and certification program that helps golf courses protect our environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf. By helping people enhance the valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats that golf courses provide, improve efficiency, and minimize potentially harmful impacts of golf operations, the ACSP serves as vital resource for golf courses.

Who can join?

Membership is open to golf courses in the United States and internationally, including private clubs, public and municipal courses, PGA sites, 9-hole facilities, resort courses, and golf residential communities. Golf courses must be open for play; those under development or construction may join an Audubon Signature Program.

Your next step is to take stock of environmental resources and potential liabilities, and then develop an environmental plan that fits the course’s unique setting, goals, staff, budget, and time. Audubon International provides a Site Assessment and Environmental Planning form to provide guidance, as well as educational information to help you with:

          •   Environmental Planning
          •   Wildlife and Habitat Management
          •   Chemical Use Reduction and Safety
          •   Water Conservation
          •   Water Quality Management
          •   Outreach and Education

Based on your golf course assessment, we provide a site-specific report and work with you to implement your plan. The ACSP offers educational information and assistance, but all decisions regarding the operation of the course remain with the golf course itself.

How does a golf course obtain certification?
Certification improves the practice of golf course management. Your course can achieve certification by implementing environmental management practices in the above areas and documenting your results. Certification demonstrates your leadership as a steward of the environment and publicly recognizes and rewards your environmental achievements.

Get involved and get results!
ACSP golf courses receive A Guide to Environmental Stewardship on the Golf Course; an attractive membership art print; a subscription to our bi-monthly newsletter, Stewardship News; and a Certification Handbook to help plan, organize, and document environmental efforts. Membership also includes certification review by Audubon International ecologists and staff support and direct consultation via telephone, written communication, and email. Site visits are available on a fee-for-service basis.

The ACSP is all about results. Participating golf courses improve environmental performance and community relations, reduce liability, save money, and contribute to the conservation of our environment.