Stowe Mountain Club Earns Signature Sanctuary Status

Stowe Mountain Club in Vermont has earned Audubon Signature Sanctuary Certification from Audubon International, a nonprofit environmental organization headquartered in New York State.

To be recognized in the program, the golf project has been successfully designed, constructed, and managed with a comprehensive approach to environmental protection. Stowe Mountain Club becomes the first golf course in Vermont and one of only 63 golf courses in the world to become an Audubon Signature Sanctuary.

"Stowe Mountain Club is the result of careful planning, years of development, and coordination with all of Vermont's major environmental organizations," said Walter Frame, operations manager for Spruce Peak at Stowe. "Now, as the course finally opens, we're proud to offer a truly unique and natural experience for our club members, and look forward to participating in continued sustainable development programs with Audubon International," Frame said.

Stowe Mountain Club's environmental accomplishments include:

* Phased construction was established in order to limit areas of disturbance.
* Tree clearing was conducted during two winter seasons to minimize the potential for soil erosion and riparian protection areas were established.
* A native wildflower seed mix was used in many out-of-play areas to provide a food source for native animal species and to decrease the potential for the introduction of invasive plant species.
* A 200-foot section of Big Spruce Brook along the 3rd hole was restored to its natural condition and the culvert replaced with a bridge improving fish passage and normal stream flows.
* Turfgrass for greens, tees, fairways and rough was selected for their high levels of pest resistance and ability to thrive at high elevations in order to promote dense growth.
* An innovative Integrated Pest Management Plan is in place that incorporates cultural, biological, and extremely limited chemical strategies to manage the turfgrass of the golf course.
* Golf course irrigation is provided by recycled storm water that has been collected in the main Stowe Mountain Resort snowmaking reservoir - Peregrine Lake.
* Stringent construction storm water management and use of recycled storm water for snowmaking in winter.
* Two new wetlands were created near the new snowmaking reservoir to help filter drainage from the golf course before entering the reservoir.
* The construction process of this new mountain golf course resulted in over 175 acres without any significant erosion or discharges. The Natural Integrated Pest Management Plan limits the use of pesticides or herbicides. * Over two years of growing took place to insure healthy turf that would be more resistant to disease.
* Regular water quality monitoring was established to insure the integrity of adjacent streams and wetlands.
* Hand-picking of weeds and the use of native plants; part of the Integrated Pest Management Plan.
* A Natural Resource Management Center (Maintenance facility) was built to ensure the highest standard of worker safety and health. This includes but is not limited to; the latest technologies for equipment wash down and wash water treatment.

"The Signature Program gives the landowner and Audubon International a common frame of reference by which a project such as Stowe Mountain Club can be planned, constructed, and managed to ensure that biodiversity conservation, environmental quality and sustainable resource management are built into the project," explains Nancy Richardson, Signature Program Director. "Working with such a dedicated and focused group of people was truly a pleasure. The result is a project that exemplifies Audubon International's principles for developing and managing property where man and nature co-exist in harmony."

The Stowe Mountain Club golf course, set to open in June 2007, was created by golf architect Bob Cupp. The 18-hole, par-72 layout winds along the lower reaches of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak to an elevation of more than 1,800 feet. Available exclusively to club members, as well as guests of Stowe Mountain Lodge, the course offers stunning mountain views of Mt. Mansfield, Spruce Peak and the Worcester Range. In addition to the golf course, the project, a development of AIG Global Real Estate, also features residences, a luxury hotel called Stowe Mountain Lodge, a spa and wellness center, performing arts center, dining and retail, a swimming pool and ice skating rink.

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