Manchester Country Club is a proud member of the Audubon Cooperative
Sanctuary Program, created and administered by Audubon International. Under the
program we are striving to implement best management practices in environmental planning,
wildlife and habitat management, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation,
water quality management, and outreach and education. Our goal is to have our efforts in
environmental stewardship recognized by becoming certified as an Audubon Cooperative
“In order to provide the best possible playing conditions we are constantly making refinements and adjustments to our agronomic program. Environmental responsibility is an important component to this process.”
-Sean Monahan, Golf Course Superintendent
Our environmental plan
includes managing woodlands, ponds, and golf play areas with the needs of wildlife in mind,
implementing integrated pest management techniques and best management practices, conserving
water, and keeping our maintenance facility environmentally sound.
PLANT AND WILDLIFE INVENTORY
We invite members of our club and community to participate in our plant and wildlife inventory. In 2019 we documented over 150 plant and animal species. Thank you Carol berry and Mary Durland for helping with our initial plant inventory. We are also working with the Battenkill CISMA to identify and manage invasive plant species.
We have identified and mapped the distribution of various habitats within the property along with special management zones, wildlife structures, environmental projects, reduced/zero pesticide use zones and water testing locations.
We annually conduct extensive surface water testing at locations upstream, within, and downstream of the golf course. Groundwater is also tested at two well locations on the golf course. Our initial baseline data was completed in the fall of 2019 and not only are nutrient levels significantly low but in many locations nitrate and phosphorous levels are not detectable. We have also determined that the water entering the golf course is nearly identical to the water leaving, and there is no presence of pesticides.
We invest a great deal of time and utilize cutting edge technology to ensure that our irrigation system operates at maximum efficiency. Over the past 3 years we have completed irrigation system upgrades and repairs resulting in an estimated savings of over 80,000 gallons/year. Our intensive agronomic program also contributes to significant water conservation. The use of soil surfactants, growth regulators, the implementation of various cultural practices, and hand watering are all components to our water conservation efforts.
WILDLIFE AND HABITAT MANAGEMENT
Manchester Country Club has over 85 acres of pristine woodlands, wetlands, meadows, freshwater ponds, streams, and approximately 2500ft of the Battenkill River flows through our property. This acreage serves as core habitat for a variety of wildlife species. We have also created additional habitat within the golf course with the establishment of additional native areas, nesting structures donated by members of the club, additional butterfly and pollinator gardens, and we are currently participating in the Monarchs In The Rough Program. Thank you Amy Greher for your help with monitoring our nesting boxes.
OUTREACH AND EDUCATION
The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program serves to educate and inform members of our club and surrounding community about wildlife habitat and conservation efforts on the golf course. We invite employees, patrons, and community members to help with stewardship projects and activities. Thanks to The Garden Club of Manchester for choosing Manchester Country Club as the site for their annual bird walk!
CHEMICAL USE REDUCTION AND SAFETY
We implement a comprehensive integrated pest management program (IPM) at Manchester Country Club and are proud to have eliminated the use of neonicotinoids, organophosphates and phosphorus. Using an IPM Approach involves using a variety of management measures to keep turfgrass pest populations below levels that are economically and aesthetically damaging, without creating
a hazard to people and the environment.
Contact Sean Monahan, Golf course Superintendent