Vancouver Island Golf Club Receives Prestigious Environmental Honour

12.08.09-Audubon.logoHost course for Canadian Tour season-opener joins short list of semi-private clubs on Island to achieve prestigious certification

Golf Canada via press release

Victoria, BC —Published on Wednesday, Jun. 06, 2012 02:57PM EDTLast updated on Wednesday, Jun. 06, 2012 02:59PM EDT

The Canadian Tour opening tournament just got a little ‘greener’. Host course for the 29th annual Times Colonist Island Savings Open, Uplands Golf Club in Victoria, B.C., has recently achieved designation as a ‘Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary’.

To achieve this certification, a golf course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental stewardship in a number of areas that include: environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management. In achieving this certification, Uplands has demonstrated a commitment to native wildlife habitat and significantly lessening their environmental footprint.

“Uplands Golf Club members are proud of this achievement and enjoying an enriched golfing experience as a result of our commitment to sustainable and environmentally sensitive practices”, said Brian Youell, Uplands Master Superintendent. “For example, our nest box initiative has been very successful and is providing a rich diversity of bird species that has enhanced our member and guests’ experience. Uplands has preserved and enhanced native species while maintaining the uniqueness of the golfing experience in our parkland setting in the heart of Oak Bay”.

12.08.09-UplandsThe 120-acre, 18-hole championship course was established in 1922. For over 90 years, Uplands has continued to evolve and lead the charge in environmental stewardship. In addition to course upgrades, Uplands is known for their vast tree population. Since 2008, the course has been using a tree management system that has revolutionized the way they monitor their trees.

“We are the only golf course in Canada to use Arborvue Tree Management software,” explained Youell. “It’s a program that allows us to monitor our entire tree population and develop plans to maintain and enhance their growth habits. Each tree has a tag that has an identification number with 22 different attributes. All the trees are geo-referenced on a digital map, allowing us to use a GPS unit to locate a specific tree and perform certain maintenance activities. The software can produce digital maps that can show the various species and their locations, develop pruning recommendation plans, and also keep track of our maintenance practices.”

By enhancing their wildlife assistance program and significantly lessening their environmental footprint, Uplands has joins a handful of other recognized golf courses on the Island including Cordova Bay, Fairwinds, Storey Creek and Crown Isle with this prestigious certification.