The Old Collier Golf Club

The Old Collier Golf Club is fairly well known for their environmental efforts. They've done an excellent job at public education, the following video is just one example (press Read Full Article to view Video):
We all know that golf courses can have a negative connotation with non-golfing public. One way to overcome this is to educate those people and help them understand the environmental benefits of a golf course. Tim Hiers, CGCS at Old Collier Golf Club, is doing just that. He has established a tour to teach the public about what goes into maintaining a golf course.

From their website:
For generations, respect for the land has been a guiding force in Collier family businesses. Within the 1.3 million acres acquired by Barron Gift Collier in the 1920s were the 267 acres selected by his grandson, Miles C. Collier, as the site of The Old Collier Golf Club.

This pristine property, only minutes from the Gulf of Mexico beaches and bordering the Cocohatchee River, was ideally located for a world-class golf club that would complement the natural environment. Working cloesly with Audubon International and regulatory agencies, Collier Enterprises devised a water management plan with new approaches to water use and conservation, land management, landscape design, and selection of turf grass and native plants.

Collier Enterprises identified a new, salt-tolerant turf grass called Seashore Paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum), a perennial native grass that thrives in the coastal environment, and then funded the research and investment to confirm that this grass would produce a superior playing experience. Today, The Old Collier Golf Club is well known as the first golf course in the continental United States to use this remarkable grass tee to green. The success of the Paspalum, combined with a decison to landscape the course entirely with salt-tolerant native plants, meant that the course could be irrigated with available brackish water - a huge step in preserving local fresh water sources.

The course landscape was designed with both players and wildlife in mind. Turf areas are limited to 77 acres. More than 50 acres of mangrove and wetland habitat have been set aside as a wildlife preserve, and another 109 acres of continuous native habitat corridors are also preserved. The result has been an significant increase in wildlife activity since completion of the course. More than 100 species of birds have been observed here including eagles, woodstorks, pileated woodpeckers, eastern blue birds, great horned owls and screech owls. Other native species such as foxes and gopher tortoises have also found a home.

The Old Collier Golf Club's committment to conservation extends across the entire project. Golf course bridge surfaces, benches, trash cans and water coolers are made of 100 percent recycled plastic designed to meet both aesthetic and environmental standards. A program of Integrated Pest Management has reduced the use of pesticides and fertilizer. Staff members use best management practices in recycling water and materials, heating and cooling systems, lighting and energy management, and equipment cleaning and maintenance.

The Club's design, materials, landscape, management and operations have resulted in a course that offers a magnificent golfing experience while providing an international model for environmental stewardship. In 2001, The Old Collier Golf Club was named the world's first Audubon International Certified Gold Signature Sanctuary and in 2003 was recognized by the Council for Sustainable Florida
with the 
Sustainable Florida Award.

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