Jekyll Island (Ga.) Club won the Biodiversity Award, Park Ridge Golf Course in Lake Worth, Fla., won the Community Engagement Award, and The Villages in Sumter County, Fla., won the Best Photograph contest in this year’s event, which included local gatherings at golf courses between March 20 and June 21.
Jekyll Island (Ga.) Club, Park Ridge Golf Course in Lake Worth, Fla., and The Villages in Sumter County, Fla., each won awards through Audubon International’s BioBlitz 2017.
Now in its third year, Audubon International’s BioBlitz creates an opportunity for school children, community members, golfers, and more to take a closer look at the habitats provided on golf courses. In addition to demonstrating the large diversity of species on golf courses, the competition also engages local interest and support of the green space and recreational opportunities they provide to their towns. Participants from North America to South Africa competed for three awards for most species counted, most participants, and best photo.
“Our participants and staff love this event and hope it continues in the coming years,” said Yank Moore, Conservation Coordinator at Jekyll Island Club, the winner of the Biodiversity Award for the greatest number of species counted. Volunteers at the course spotted, identified, and listed a total of 532 species.
Park Ridge Golf Course received the Community Engagement Award for having the most participants, with a total of 144 volunteers assisting with the species count and identification. “We struck on a really good relationship between our yearly Earth Day golf tournament and BioBlitz which allowed us to involve staff, volunteers, and tournament participants in a fun day of golf, environmental outreach, and friendly competition,” said Phil Henry, Golf Course Manager.
The Villages, one of four new sites to participate this year, won the Best Photograph contest with a spectacular photo of a bobcat. “We are delighted that this honor comes to Tom Lamb, a resident of The Villages and member of the photo club,” said John Rohan, Director of Recreation. “It is particularly gratifying that his photo in this international contest draws attention to the efforts we have made over the years to make this community an environmentally sensitive one that is a good place to live for wildlife as well as our human residents.”
The program recorded almost 2,000 unique species of animals, plants, fungi, and insects living on golf courses around the world. Hundreds of enthusiastic community volunteers, ranging from school groups to birding clubs to professional naturalists, gathered at local events between March 20 and June 21 to discover and document the species inhabiting these important green spaces.