[caption id="attachment_25202" align="alignright" width="360" caption="The Fountaingrove golf course’s environmental efforts pay off in certification by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary."][/caption]

SANTA ROSA – Fountaingrove Golf & Athletic Club’s greens are green enough to be certified by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

A two-year effort to reduce chemical use, conserve water and manage wildlife and habitat has paid off with recognition for environmental stewardship by Audubon International, the 57th course in California and the 785th in the world to receive such an honor.

“Jon Griffith on our greens committee brought it up two years ago, and the committee pushed for it,” said Fountaingrove board President Ken Mackay.

“It’s an honor not only for our course but also the staff team that worked hard to achieve it and continues to keep the course special.”

Built in 1981 around the Fountaingrove reservoir, the 80 acre 18-hole course attracts plenty of wildlife, according to John Rehons, Fountaingrove COO.

Quail, red tail hawks, Canada geese and wild turkeys are among the birds spotted frequently. Fish and otters inhabit the ponds and lake, and fox, deer and the occasional big cat feed and hunt on the course.

[caption id="attachment_25203" align="alignleft" width="360" caption="The 10th tee at Fountaingrove golf course"][/caption]

According to course Superintendent Andrew Trinkino, who led the  certification effort, the club will be working to inform the community, particularly club members, and Santa Rosa and county residents as a whole, about sensitive maintenance practices and habitat preservation.

To reach Audubon certification, a course must demonstrate that it is maintaining a high degree of quality in environmental planning; wildlife and habitat management; outreach and education; chemical use reduction; and safety, water conservation and water quality management.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for golf courses is endorsed by the U.S. Golf Association and provides information and guidance to help golf courses worldwide preserve and enhance natural resources.

“The Fountaingrove Golf & Athletic Club is to be commended for its efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife and its commitment to its environmental program,” said Jim Sluiter, staff ecologist for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs.