Audubon International’s Signature Program celebrates 25 years

By |  August 27, 2018 0 Comments

Audubon International logoAudubon International is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Signature Program created to assist new developments with a more sustainable approach to design, construction and long-term management.

The Signature Program premiered in 1993 and focuses on promoting sound land management practices and appropriate land use changes based on sound scientific research. Signature Sanctuaries are currently located in 29 states and in Puerto Rico, China, Portugal and Spain.

As part of the celebration, Audubon International has updated the program guidelines to reward those certified Signature Program members that have successfully followed the program for 20 years or more. To do that, members who were certified at the bronze level now have the opportunity to move to the gold level. Among the requirements is an evaluation of the property and its changes over the years including its maintenance facility, and its outreach and education program.

The first certified Signature Program member to take advantage of this opportunity is Collier’s Reserve Country Club in Naples, Fla. In 1994, Collier’s Reserve Country Club became the first development in the world to work with Audubon International in its newly created Signature Program. After meeting the strict environmental criteria and requirements of the Audubon International Signature Program, Collier’s Reserve was designated as the first Certified Signature Sanctuary in the world.

Currently, the Signature Program certifies a new project in one of three levels: bronze, silver and gold. When Collier’s Reserve was certified in 1994, there were no levels. But this community has been consistent in their care for the environment, outreach to their community, protection of their wildlife, enhancing of wildlife habitat, judicious water usage, waste management, sustainable reuse of products and protection of water quality. Throughout nearly 25 years, they have been consistently recertified. With the guidance and support of the Collier’s Reserve residential community, Collier’s requested a review for an upgrade to the gold level. With their help throughout, Audubon International has learned how best to simplify this process for other eligible members in the future.

“It was an exciting time for Collier’s Reserve to have reached this benchmark and be further recognized for our continued commitment of care for the land and educating our community about our conservation efforts,” said Collier’s Reserve General Manager Nicholas von Hofen, who was golf course superintendent during the change.

“The Gold Signature Sanctuary Certification is another outstanding achievement for our team and club and we are truly honored to be recognized for all our efforts,” Von Hofen said. “Collier’s Reserve Country Club is a better place thanks to being a member of Audubon International’s Signature Program.”

To become certified, Signature Program members must implement and follow a site-specific Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP) that addresses wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement, water quality monitoring and management, integrated pest management, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and management, and green building products and procedures. Other changes to the Signature guidelines include those regarding level requirements for registration in the program.

“We congratulate Collier’s Reserve on its new designation as a Certified Gold Signature Sanctuary. It continues to serve as a model for other projects not only in Florida but the world as well,” said Nancy Richardson, Signature Program director.

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