Audubon International – the environmentally focused non-profit organization offering members numerous certifications and conservation initiatives to protect the areas where we all live, work, and play — announces winners in several categories for its 7th Annual BioBlitz competition, which took place in June.
The popular event played out across the United States and Canada as hundreds of nature lovers of every stripe, from club members to school kids to local environmental groups, came together to observe more than 3,000 species of flora and fauna thriving on Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for Golf-certified courses.
“We were eager to welcome back BioBlitz as an annual celebration of sustainable golf after a several-year Covid-19 break,” says Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International. “We anticipated strong participation and got it — member courses were just as excited to gather people together to not only identify an incredible wealth of wildlife in their natural habitats but learn why environmental stewardship is crucial to every course’s health. These winners proved their passion in a big way.”
Southwinds Golf Course in Florida received the Community Engagement Award with a total of 247 participants. Key to their success was both a BioBlitz Ladies Scramble with special cocktails named after local birds and a Junior BioBlitz session that included a BioBlitz themed putting contest. Glencoe Golf Club in Illinois and the University of Maryland Golf Course took second and third place.
The award for Best Photograph went to the University of Maryland Golf Course for participant Adrienne van den Beemt’s shot of a Dolichopus comatus (long-legged fly). “Using the golf course in this way had many educational and environmental benefits, said Laura Russell, University of Maryland’s General Assistant. “Students were able to practice wildlife identification skills they had only read about in the classroom. Professionals from the community shared techniques and strategies they have learned over their careers. We all learned the immense value the golf course provides as a home to such a diversity of species. With knowledge gained we will be better equipped to take protective actions needed to keep and further develop a healthy, diverse ecosystem on this beautiful UMD green property.”
Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club in Florida received this year’s Biodiversity Award, with 607 species identified. Said Mary Hutchinson, 2023 BioBlitz, “Having a well-organized, sortable and comprehensive master species list was likely one of the keys to our success at Harbour Ridge. We had participated in two previous BioBlitzes prior to this year’s event, so we spent some time improving upon our 2018 master species list. Within each of the categories we used common names for species that were also sorted alphabetically, helping to identify any missing or duplicate species on the master check list. It further allowed participants to more easily locate a species on the list and check it off during the 24-hour count.”
Second place for Biodiversity went to Meadow Club in California with 444 species sighted. Michigan’s Ironwood Golf Course took third place, reporting 405 species.
To learn more about BioBlitz, how golf courses, communities, lodging properties or resorts gain recognition for their environmental efforts, and to learn how to expand initiatives through Audubon International’s numerous environmental certifications, visit www.auduboninternational.org or call toll free: 1-844-767-9051.
About Audubon International
An environmentally focused non-profit organization, Audubon International offers members numerous certifications and conservation initiatives to protect the areas where we all live, work, and play. Its certifications are designed to increase environmental awareness, encourage sustainable environmental efforts, and educate both its members and their communities.