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Lee County golf course achieves Audubon International environmental certification

Nature surrounds golfers who are out on the course. And one course is taking that aspect further. A local golf course is commuting to making positive environmental impacts and maintaining them for the good of wildlife and the public.

The Forest Country Club in Lee County is now a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

“It just shows our commitment to the environment,” said Peter Connor, a Green Committee member.

The Audubon International education and certification program helps golf courses protect the environment and preserve the “natural heritage of the game of golf.”

“Well that’s one of our goals is to sustain the environment,” said John Tomey, a Green Committee member. “And we thought this would be a noble way to do that.”

The club in is on track for committed sustainability, as it cuts back on pesticides and irrigated water.

“We’ve been working on the process for nearly five years,’ said Matt Gaudet, general manager at the country club. “It’s a very extensive process.”

The club’s efforts caught the attention of Audubon International and allowed Forest Country Club to meet criteria to become a certified sanctuary.

“It’s another credential for the club,” Connor said.

Forest Country Club is now among 45 among certified golf courses in Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties. To earn the title, the club had to focus on community outreach, pesticide use and water management.

The certification isn’t simply kept once it’s achieved by a course. The country club’s general manager said the club will have to re-certify with Audubon International every three years to show its commitment to the adjustments made.

“We are very closely monitoring the quality of our irrigation water,” Gaudet said. “Making sure that we continue to do our due diligence and try to live in harmony with nature and preserve mother nature’s most valuable resource.”

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Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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