Thursday, November 02, 2006

Golf and Nature Education can go Together

Nature Learning Center at Algonkian Golf Course

One of the goals for all of our parks this year is to expand their natural and/or historic interpretation. This comes from our mission that calls on us to “foster an understanding of the relationship between people and their environment.”

This goal is straight forward part of our system like the nature center at Potomac Overlook, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, or our historic sites like the Carlyle House, Balls Bluff Battlefield, Temple Hall Historic Farm, or Aldie Mill. It is more of a challenge for the parks that have traditionally been more focused on the recreational part of our mission. A good example of how the recreational and educational portions of our mission can be married is the nature learning center in the pro shop at our golf course at Algonkian Regional Park. This display area has a wealth of information on the flora and fauna that golfers will likely see as they play this beautiful course along the Potomac River.

Another way we are building the bridge between our recreational and environmental elements of our mission is our efforts to get all three of our golf courses certified by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programfor Golf Courses. This program sets high standards for golf courses in the following areas:
· Environmental Planning
· Wildlife and Habitat Management
· Chemical Use Reduction and Safety
· Water Conservation
· Water Quality Management
· Outreach and Education

For more information on this program see: