Washington Reservation Golf Learning Center Achieves Audubon International Re-Certification
Cleveland, OH, September 08, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- Washington Reservation Golf Learning Center was recently re-certified as an Audubon International Signature Sanctuary. The learning center is the only facility in the state of Ohio to earn and maintain gold certification in the prestigious Audubon International Signature Program.
To become certified, Signature Program members must implement management of the property according to a site-specific Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP) addressing 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. To become re-certified, members must provide an annual update including completion of education and outreach projects, water quality monitoring analyses, and an on-site review.
Washington Reservation, managed by Cleveland Metroparks (CMP), is a 58-acre property along Washington Park Boulevard in a densely-developed residential/industrial community. The principle attribute of the property is that it serves as an “island of green” or a resting and refueling spot for birds crossing Lake Erie. Washington Golf Learning Center is either the last (in northward migration) or the first (in southward migration) refueling area before or after the crossing of Lake Erie. It became the goal of Audubon International and the CMP staff to improve the site for migratory birds by restoring and creating habitat, as well as to provide residents of the neighborhoods adjacent to this open-space with an opportunity for environmental education and recreational open-space opportunities in a park setting.
Environmental highlights of the learning center include the following:
- Wetland Complex. A 4.5 acre wetland complex consists of open water, wet meadow, cattail marsh, and wet forest. In Ohio, with over 90% of historic wetlands destroyed, creating habitat for waterfowl is very important.
- Drainage. The entire golf course drainage system outlets into the wetland complex through a series of storm piping, vegetated swales, and overland flows.
- Hydrology. Restoration and expansion of the former wetland will restore the necessary hydrology to the site to insure the long-term survivability of the wetland.
- Native Plants. Use of native plant materials maximized the “out-of-play areas” to create habitat.
- Green Materials. The clapboard covering of the maintenance facility is guaranteed for 50 years.
- Water Quality Monitoring. Water quality of water bodies is monitored on a regular basis to ensure the quality of surface and ground water remains consistent. In addition, a minimum twenty-five foot buffer no-spray buffer is located around all wetlands and water bodies to aid in filtering storm water runoff.
In addition to its function as a wildlife sanctuary and community recreational facility, Washington Reservation Golf Learning Center is home to the First Tee of Cleveland, providing a permanent home for the activities of the youth of the area.
“We are extremely proud of our campus and the work of the Cleveland Metroparks in maintaining an outstanding environment for our 600 participants,” said Patricia LoPresti, Executive Director. ”The First Tee Code of Conduct is respect for yourself, respect for others, and respect for the environment. Brad Vecchio, the golf course manager, helps educate our participants about our wonderful environment, and gets them involved in hands on projects.”
About Cleveland Metroparks
The Cleveland Metropolitan Park District was established in 1917 to provide open space for the people of Greater Cleveland, as well as to conserve and preserve the natural valleys and native biodiversity of Northeast Ohio for future generations. Today, after 90 years of “Conservation, Education and Recreation”, Cleveland Metroparks consists of over 20,000 acres of protected land in 15 reservations (a.k.a. parks), 100 miles of parkways and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The park system lands are all within the Lake Erie watershed and include significant holding along three major rivers; The Chagrin River, Rocky River and Cuyahoga River. The Park District is commonly referred to as the "Emerald Necklace" because the reservations encircle the city of Cleveland like a green necklace.
About Audubon International
Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, properties, new developments, and entire communities. The Signature Program premiered in 1993 and is focused 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 Canada, Puerto Rico, China, Portugal, and Spain.
For more information, contact Nancy Richardson at Audubon International’s Kentucky office, 230 Second Street, Suite 311, Henderson, KY 42420, (270)869-9419, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.auduboninternational.org.