Osprey Point is Re-Certified as an Audubon International Classic Sanctuary

Boca Raton, FL, June 13, 2015 --(PR.com)-- Osprey Point Golf Course was recently re-certified as a Classic Sanctuary after an on-site review by Audubon International. Osprey Point was the first certified Classic project in the state of Florida and only the second in the United States. Participating in the site review with Classic Program Director Nancy Richardson was Bethany King, General Manager of Osprey Point; Ken Smythe, Assistant Manager; Paul Connell, Golf Operations Supervisor for Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation; Scott Spara, golf course superintendent: and Lou Conzelman, Valley Crest Golf Maintenance.

Classic Program certified members must implement and follow a site-specific property management plan that addresses wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement, water quality monitoring and management, integrated pest management, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and management.

Environmental highlights of the project include:

Filtration. Water is treated through a series of infiltration sumps, bioswales, management zones, and wetlands throughout the golf course.

· Turf grass Selection. Instead of the original selection of Bermuda, a more environmentally-friendly grass called Platinum Paspalum was installed. This grass is more drought and wear tolerant, has decreased fertilizer and maintenance needs, and accepts a wider range of water quality and composition.
· Water quality is monitored on a regular basis to continue to ensure that management of the facility does not negatively impact the aquifer nor the habitat.

Irrigation. Irrigated acreage was minimized and native vegetation incorporated to limit water usage and pesticides and fertilizers.
Water Conservation. Conservation of water continues through the use of soil moisture sensors and a state of the art prescription irrigation system putting water only where, when and in the amount needed.
Pervious Surfaces. Coquina cart paths and waste areas were used to reduce impervious surfaces so that storm water can infiltrate.
Corridors. Created and enhanced the number of acres of wildlife habitat resulting in natural corridors for the movement of wildlife throughout the property and in highlighting such species as the frequently observed bobcat families.
Invasive Removal. Removal and eradication of invasive plants is necessary to prevent their encroachment and impact on native species. Once completely overgrown with Brazilian Pepper, cattails and other invasives, Osprey Point is now focused on a continuing and methodical process of removal.

“It is a pleasure to see that Osprey Point continues to improve in all environmental areas,” stated Nancy Richardson. “Not only is the habitat density and complexity improving, but the number of animal species, especially the number of bird species, is growing. Highlights of this trip was seeing the large populations of purple martins crowding the martin houses along the lake, the number of herons, egrets and grebes in the wetlands, and the populations of palm warblers between golf holes. Congratulations to Osprey Point staff on the re-certification as they continue to protect the environment and provide a great recreational experience.”

About the Osprey Point Golf Course
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department has a history of turning disturbed land into natural and recreational park settings for residents and visitors of Palm Beach County. The Osprey Point Golf Course is a 27 hole course built as part of the 550-acre South County Regional Park in Boca Raton, FL. The property is bordered by the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge to the north and west while the rest of the property is surrounded by residential development and a school. Before the county purchased the property for the golf course it was used as a shell quarry and as pasture.

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 organizations, properties, new developments, and entire communities.
Audubon International
Meaghan Wilkins
Nancy Richardson, Director, Signature and Classic Programs