IV’s Championship Course again recognized for environmental excellence | TahoeDailyTribune.com

IV’s Championship Course again recognized for environmental excellence

TINS Naturalist Sarah Hockensmith (third from right) helps participants on the Audubon Nature Walk spot a Western Wood Pewee at the Incline Village Mountain Golf Course on Aug. 1.
Provided / IVGID

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Championship Golf Course at Incline Village retained its designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses and anyone can get a first-hand look next week.

The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science will lead a nature walk at 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15 at the course.

TINS naturalist Sarah Hockensmith will lead people on a leisurely ½-mile stroll around the golf course on cart paths and surrounding areas to observe the numerous species of birds and plants that are found in Tahoe and learn about the Audubon Certification through the Audubon International program.

People are asked to arrive 10 minutes early to meet with Hockensmith outside the golf shop entrance (955 Fairway Blvd., Incline Village).

The walk is free (with a suggested donation to TINS) and binoculars are available to rent from TINS for $5 (cash).

To register or for information, visit http://www.yourtahoeplace.com/events/audubon-nature-walks-incline-village-golf-courses.

“It was mostly golfers who came out for the first walk, and I had a lot of conversations along the lines of ‘I play this course all the time but never really stopped to think about what lives here,’” said the course’s marketing manager Paul Raymore. “It was cool to see them taking an interest.”

For the course to reach certification, it must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas including: environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management.

Participation is designed to help course personnel plan, organize, implement, and document a comprehensive environmental management program and receive recognition for their efforts.

“Championship Golf Course at Incline Village 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, Executive Director at Audubon International in a press release.

Championship Golf Course at Incline Village is one of seven courses in Nevada and 911 courses in the world to hold the honor.

Golf courses from the United States, Africa, Australia, Central America, Europe, South America and Southeast Asia have also achieved certification in the program.

The Championship course was designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in 2010. After designation, courses go through a recertification process every three years.

This year, the recertification process, coordinated by Jeff Clouthier, grounds superintendent, required a visit by a local community representative.

Domi Fellers, Environmental Scientist for the Nevada Tahoe Conservation District, was given a tour of the course and sent her observations to Audubon International.

“We see the site visit as an important component of a course’s recertification,” Kane said in the release. “It provides an objective verification of some of the more visible aspects of the course’s environmental management activities. In addition, it offers an opportunity for golf course representatives to share publicly some of the voluntary actions they have taken to protect and sustain the land, water, wildlife, and natural resources around them.”