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Audubon International Recognizes The Ford Field & River Club for Environmental Excellence

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The Ford Field & River Club is delighted to announce that it has retained its prestigious status as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International initiative.

First achieved by The Ford in 2020, this accomplishment underscores the community’s unwavering commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable practices and places The Ford’s Pete Dye-designed course among one of only 16 golf properties in Georgia that hold this prestigious certification.

John Johnstone, General Manager/COO of The Ford Field & River Club, expressed his gratitude, “I want to extend a special thank you to our Director of Golf Course and Grounds, Jared Nemitz, and The Ford’s Audubon committee for their remarkable dedication and efforts. Our successful recertification is a testament to The Ford’s emphasis on education, community outreach and commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Valerie Foradas, Audubon Committee Chair, Dr. Bill Thompson, Green and Grounds Committee Chair, Jacob Bennett, Golf Course Superintendent, Shannon Matzke, Naturalist and Lakes Manager Dalton Taylor were instrumental in achieving recertification.

Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International, commended The Ford for its dedication to environmental preservation, stating, “The Ford Field & River Club has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They continue to safeguard the natural heritage of the area by protecting the local watershed and creating a sanctuary for local wildlife within the golf course property.”

Kane explained that to retain this certification, a golf course must consistently maintain high standards of environmental quality across multiple categories, including Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management. Golf courses must undergo a rigorous recertification process every three years to ensure these standards are upheld.

Recognized by the United States Golf Association, the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses offers resources and expert guidance to golf courses, enabling them to enhance wildlife habitats and protect invaluable natural resources. The Ford’s successful recertification reaffirms its position as a leading residential community in environmental stewardship, setting the benchmark for harmonizing luxury and sustainability within the sporting club space.

Learn More

To learn more about the efforts of The Ford in conserving the Lowcountry while engaging its members in meaningful and memorable ways, including the community’s Bluebird and bat boxes, Native Plant Sale, BioBlitz and Monarch’s in the Rough program read this Field Notes story.


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