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Bathurst Glen Golf Course Recognized for Environmental Excellence

Jun 17, 2010

 (TORONTO, June 17) - Bathurst Glen Golf Course has achieved designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International program. Bathurst Glen Golf Course is the 46th course in Ontario and the 765th in the world to receive the honour. The par-63 family-friendly affordable golf course is located beside one of the last remaining natural corridor links between the eastern and western parts of the Oak Ridge Moraine in the Town of Richmond Hill. Toronto and Region Conservation operates the 4,400 yard golf course and maintains the park lands on behalf of the Province of Ontario.

"Bathurst Glen Golf Course has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program.  They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property," said Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs. "To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas." These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

TRCA has been working towards this international designation since 2006 by taking a detailed site assessment, developing an environmental plan to protect natural resources, implementing conservation practices, as well as developing an action plan to guide future environmental and stewardship efforts.

 "For the past 50 years TRCA has been leading the way with environmental protection and conservation in the GTA. The environment is integral to the game of golf, you can't separate one from the other and through our work with Bathurst Glen Golf Course, we know that where golf courses are built, how they're built, and especially how they're maintained are important factors to consider" said Brian Denney, CAO, Toronto and Region Conservation. "As water becomes scarcer, as integrated pest management practices increase, as awareness of how climate change affects us becomes more widespread, more golfers will demand to play on eco-friendly courses. The way the game is played will also change from playing on the built environment - to playing on the 'natural' environment and this will bring exciting new challenges."

Some key accomplishments include:

  • Integrated Pest Management Program was implemented and resulted in an 80 per cent reduction of pest control product usage
  • Naturalizing 12 acres of previously manicured turf to allow the development of natural corridors for wildlife protection
  • More than 900 native trees and shrubs were planted by volunteers and 50 nesting bird boxes were installed
  • Reduction of water consumption by 20 per cent through eco-friendly irrigation practices

Outreach education is also a big part of the Audubon Certification process. Bathurst Glen Golf Course continually engages the local community through planting events and interpretive hikes. At this year's Bathurst Glen Junior Camp, run by Henry Brunton a CPGA Master Professional, junior golfers learn about healthy "green" golf practices, various species of wildlife seen on the course, and how natural wetlands help plants and wildlife. They also learn what Bathurst Glen does to help conserve water and energy, and more importantly why it's important to care.

"We conduct Canada's leading golf camps for children ages 7-14," said Henry Brunton, CPGA Master Professional. "At this age, in addition to golf skill acquisition and on course playing skills, it's important to teach participants to respect and appreciate the environment. This is a key part of the weekly camp curriculum at Bathurst Glen. Coaches lead participants on nature walks and group discussions on how golf and golf courses have a positive effect on life and the planet."

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, and protect natural resourses. Golf courses from Canada, Africa, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico and Southeast Asia have also achieved certification in the program.

For more information on golf and the environment, visit www.golfandenvironment.org.  In addition to golf courses, Audubon International also provides programs for parks, businesses, schools, communities and new developments.  For more information, contact Audubon International, 46 Rarick Rd., Selkirk, NY 12158, USA, (518) 767-9051, e-mail them via the Internet at acsp@auduboninternational.org, or visit their website at www.auduboninternational.org

Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) continues to lead in crafting and promoting the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program in Canada for nature-based recreational parks. This program is for education and certification to help organizations and businesses protect our environment. It offers information and guidance in implementing environmental management plans that improve efficiency and conserve resources. With more than 50 years of experience, TRCA helps people understand, enjoy and look after the natural environment. TRCA's vision is for The Living City - where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity.

For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at www.trca.on.ca

 

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Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist

(518) 767-9051, Ext. 116

jsluiter@auduboninternational.org

 www.auduboninternational.org

 

Rowena Calpito

Supervisor, Media Management

Tel: 416-661-6600 Ext. 5632

Cell: 416-358-3446

E-mail: rcalpito@trca.on.ca

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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856
media@trca.on.ca

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