The Army has enrolled its 45 golf courses located throughout the world to pursue environmental certification through the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program. The courses will now each be reviewed to promote improvements towards sustainability, and outreach and environmental education will be initiated.
All 45 golf courses in the U.S. Army’s Program for Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) will pursue environmental certification through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) for Golf, Audubon International has announced.
The Army’s MWR Program maintains and operates 45 separate golf courses around the globe for enjoyment by golfers of all levels, including locations throughout the U.S., Hawaii, Alaska, and overseas locations such as Japan, Korea, and Europe.
The Army golf facilities function at high levels of participation, accommodating nearly two million rounds of golf each year. “We are excited to work with [an] environmental organization [like] Audubon,” said Michael McCoy, Golf Program Manager for the U.S. Army, IMCOM, G9. “They help courses protect the natural assets that are part of the golf experience—nature, coastlines, rivers, grasses and trees.”
In the ACSP for Golf program, each golf course will undergo a review process including environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management, with a goal of making voluntary improvements toward greater sustainability.
In addition, outreach and environmental education are required components of the program. This emphasis on community outreach and education in the ACSP for Golf program supports the MWR focus on increasing family participation, promoting accessibility, and growing the game of golf, Audubon noted.
The enrollment of the Army’s MWR golf facilities in the Audubon program demonstrates the Army’s continued pursuit of sustainability to enable its current and future missions, safeguard human health and the well-being of soldiers, families, and civilians, control costs, and protect the natural environment, Audubon noted.
“The U.S. Army has really advanced its commitment to environmental concerns, while also improving recreational and family programs,” said Doug Bechtel, Executive Director for Audubon International. “We are so thankful that the Army is taking action to improve environmental performance on golf courses.
“This commitment is perfectly aligned with other Army efforts to improve the environmental quality on lands they own and manage,” Bechtel added. “As with all golf courses in this program, the Army can help demonstrate that environmental responsibility goes hand-in-hand with offering the highest level of playability and guest experience.”