Sandridge Golf Club, in partnership with its long-time maintenance contractor IGM, retained its designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International program. Sandridge Golf Club and IGM have maintained the environmental designation since 1999 and have been reaccredited every three years. It is one of 114 courses in Florida and 904 courses in the world to hold the honor.
IGM Executive Vice-President Greg Plotner said, “Ryan Duffel, our golf course superintendent at the property, led the process and mandatory site visit. We are extremely proud of his work at Sandridge Golf Club and the Club’s shared commitment to environmental preservation. Participation in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program is part of our master plan with all our golf course maintenance clients.”
The program is designed to help golf course maintenance personnel plan, organize, implement, and document a comprehensive environmental management program and receive recognition for their efforts. To achieve certification, a course must demonstrate a high degree of environmental quality in such areas as: environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management.
Site visits by knowledgeable community representatives provide “an objective verification of some of the more visible aspects of the course’s environmental management activities” as well as encourage community support, according to Audubon information. Michael Platt, Director of Turfgrass Management at Indian River State College, toured the course and sent his observations to Audubon International as a community representative. “Sandridge Golf Club has proven their commitment to promoting Audubon International’s principles in their daily golf course management, including the promotion of wildlife habitat management through the entire operation. They are a wonderful example of how a golf operation should run and should be considered a valuable asset to Indian River County,” Platt reported.
Specific accolades for IGM and Sandridge Golf Club from the Audubon program included:
- IGM Superintendent Ryan Duffel’s positive attitude and experience in enhancing wildlife habitats and environmental quality.
- Continuing efforts to create naturalized areas on the golf course, which provide valuable water, food and habitat for local and migratory wildlife in the area.
- Connected patches of native grasses between the holes, which offer wildlife corridors for movement, as well as minimal disturbance to soil and the natural surrounding landscape.
- Natural plants along the course’s water features, which provide an excellent buffer to ensure proper water quality on the golf course by helping to slow and filter course runoff and reducing erosion.
- Water quality monitoring every four to six months to detect any changes in the ecological health of ponds and streams on the property.
- IGM’s adherence to an integrated pest management program that contributes to both water quality and the course’s natural beauty.
- Efficient water usage through careful attention to weather patterns, targeted irrigation heads, and routine irrigation system maintenance.
“IGM at Sandridge Golf Club 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 Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International. Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources.
IGM provides complete golf course maintenance and management services in markets across the country. The company is committed to agronomic excellence and environmentally-conscious methods and products. To request a consult, please contact Greg Plotner, Executive Vice President, 407-589-7200. Additional information may be obtained by visiting IGM’s website at golfmaintenance.com.