Castine Golf Club applied to the Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, sponsored by Audubon International, in October 2012. This program helps golf courses to enhance wildlife habitats and protect natural resources for the benefit of people, wildlife, and the game of golf. The program is designed to give golf course managers the information and guidance they need to implement stewardship projects and receive recognition for their efforts. In December 2012, Castine Golf Club was recognized for achievement in environmental planning.
The program addresses five key environmental quality areas:
- Wildlife and Habitat Management - natural areas and outdoor landscaping
- Chemical Use Safety and Reduction – turf health and management, chemical use and storage
- Water Conservation – water use efficiency
- Water Quality Management – water quality and water features
- Outreach and Education – employee and community participation and public relations
We began to implement a variety of projects in each area in Spring 2013 so that we can become a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. This exemplary distinction is a national recognition of environmental excellence bestowed on organizations that are taking a leadership role in conservation projects. In January 2014 we were certified in Wildlife and Habitat Management. In December 2015 we received certification in Water Conservation and Outreach and Education. In December 2015, we were granted provisional certification in Chemical Use Safety and Reduction as well as Water Quality Management. We expect final complete certification in Summer 2018.
An Audubon consultant spent 3 days walking the course in October 2012 and has identified all native and invasive plant species, as well as inventorying bird and wildlife populations. A copy of his report, along with suggestions for improvements, is available in the pro shop and in the members only section of this website.
You might have seen the 4 bluebird houses that were placed on the course in 2012 (1 on the 4th fairway, 2 on the 6th fairway, and 1 by the pond by the 2nd green). Tree swallows nested in 2 of the boxes. Bluebirds were seen on the course and at surrounding properties during the summer.
You'll notice that 10 elm trees were planted in October 2012 along the Battle Ave curve, 4 along the right side by the 7th tee and 2nd green, and 6 along the right side of the 3rd fairway. The Club received an anonymous donation for these trees. In September 2013, 16 dying white spruce trees were cut down along the street side of the 3rd fairway, and thanks to another anonymous donation, 8 small elm trees were planted there. We also received a donation of a red maple tree that has been planted between the 2nd fairway and the practice range. Thank you all!
Five committees have been formed and are making plans for improvements on the course. The gardening committee has planted a bird- and butterfly-friendly garden next to the first tee.
And, a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the "Birdhouses Gone Wild" auction. We raised $6,500 to help implement improvements to the course. Special thank you to Mike and Betsy Brunner who purchased the purple martin "mansion" and donated it back to the course. It was installed on the 6th fairway near the green in the early spring.
We are very excited about this program – details are available at the pro shop.
Volunteers are needed for all committees. Call Marty Tenney at 326-9536 for more information.