West Vancouver golf course awarded Audubon wildlife sanctuary designation
Dec 2, 2016
The District of West Vancouver’s Gleneagles Golf Course has been given Audubon International’s designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
Only 14 golf courses in British Columbia have the designation, which requires a golf course to demonstrate that it maintains high environmental standards in environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, reduced use of chemicals, water conservation and more.
Dan Henegar, the District’s manager of parks arboriculture and horticulture, says the last three years of golf staff embracing new environmental practices paid off. For example, staff created buffer zones around creeks by leaving the grass longer there and fostering native plant species, which has markedly improved habitat for fish that need shaded areas in the creeks to spawn. Staff have also worked to enhance the habitat for native birds and bats, and their resident numbers are increasing on the course.
“We’re seeing great results from taking a different approach, which is all about protecting and enhancing our natural assets and managing them in the right way, with guidance from local groups like West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society,” says Henegar.
Golfers are pleased because the ball plays better on the course’s healthier grass, and significantly fewer fungicide applications are required than before, which is good for creeks and good for keeping costs to taxpayers down.
Globally, only 891 golf courses have achieved the Audubon designation. Audubon International is a US-based non-profit that facilitates the sustainable management of natural resources.