Audubon Certification Awarded For St. James Plantation's Fourth Golf Course

Press Release

May 29, 2007 St. James, North Carolina (NC) - Audubon Staff Ecologist Shawn Williams announced today that The Reserve Club course at St. James Plantation, the number one-selling community in the Coastal Carolinas, has been designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

"The Reserve Club at St. James Plantation has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program," Williams said. "They are to be commended for preserving the natural heritage of the area by protecting the local watershed and providing a sanctuary for wildlife."

The Nicklaus Design Reserve Club course, which opened in July 2006, becomes just the 21st course in North Carolina to become Audubon certified. St. James' other three golf courses, The Founders Club, The Members Club and The Players Club, are also on the list, having received certification in 2000.

Jay Atkinson, president of St. James Properties, LLC, said Audubon's conservation programs offer a good blueprint for maintaining golf courses.

"Audubon's programs are a smart, common sense approach that uses less water, fewer chemicals and is a win-win for both the golf course owner and the environment," Atkinson said.

Williams said certification requires golf courses to demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas. These include:

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

Audubon International tailors programs to address each course's unique situations. At St. James Plantation, the staff must pay particular attention to the area's wetlands. The Plantation also uses reclaimed water for irrigation, a practice that recharges the water table and improves the wetlands by reducing the nutrients in runoff.

Other practices St. James Plantation practices that have drawn praise from Audubon include:

  • The stocking of grass eating carp in the golf course ponds, which helps to control algae, thus reducing chemical applications.
  • Testing the soil and tissue of the grass plants, which helps to precisely determine the fertility needs of the turf. With this knowledge, the correct amount of nutrients can be applied, thus preventing excess chemicals from leaching into the groundwater or running off into the ponds.
  • Recycling of aluminum cans, pesticide containers and seed bags.
  • The erection of over 100 bluebird and bat houses, which encourage natural pest control.

St. James Plantation is a master-planned community located on North Carolina's coast, near the confluence of the Cape Fear River, Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. For more information, visit their web site at www.stjamesplantation.com or call (800) 245-3871.

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