Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program
The Glencoe Golf & Country Club has achieved the designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon International golf program. We are proud to be the 12th course in Alberta and the 654th in the world to receive this prestigious honour.
To reach certification, a golf course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in several categories, including: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation and Water Quality Management. Each course must go through a recertification process every two years.
To continue being re-certified, we must maintain wildlife habitat in at least 50% of all minimally used portions of the property. The Glencoe must do its best to connect wildlife corridors to encourage movement through the course. We are expected to maintain varying types and heights of plants in habitat areas. Dead trees are left standing when they do not pose a safety hazard. At least 50% of out-of-play shorelines must be naturalized. The flower beds across the course have been designed to be perennial, drought resistant, pollinator gardens that promote longevity and cost effectiveness. Nesting boxes have been placed throughout the course to encourage bats and many different species of birds. In 2014, we also installed several beehives on our property that each year provide us with "Glencoe Honey" which is sold out of the Golf Shop and used by the kitchen in some recipes. Across the 450 acres of land, The Glencoe has a total of 50 bird houses, and 2 bat boxes. The bird houses can be seen on the edge of the forested areas all around property. They get maintained once a year in the early spring to clean out the previous year’s nests. The bat boxes are located at the Slopes #5 washroom, and the Slopes #1 snack shack. These boxes are along an area of the building that doesn’t see people walking, and allow the bats a place to live without being a nuisance in the building.
With this program, the Club has an environmental plan that strives to protect habitat, conserve water, safeguard water quality, and encourage communication of our efforts to staff, members and neighbours alike.
Habitat Management Program
The Glencoe Golf & Country Club strives to balance the needs of our members with the needs of our native wildlife. During your round you might see deer or a moose, an osprey fishing in a pond, or a coyote stalking prey in one of our many natural grass areas. The focus of our habitat management program is to provide a variety of habitats that satisfy the needs of our wildlife for food, water and shelter.
Of our 440 acres, roughly 180 acres are maintained as a golf course. The remaining acreage is composed of forest, natural grass areas, wetlands, ponds and streams. The Elbow River Valley is a historic wildlife corridor that is being increasingly developed for residential uses. The golf course property provides extensive habitat for large and small mammals, birds, fish and a few species of amphibian. The surrounding forests provide a travel route around the golf course while the on-course natural grass and riparian areas provide corridors for wildlife movement through the property.
Maintenance of habitat areas is kept to a minimum with winter tree removal being limited to hazardous trees or trees that create difficult growing conditions for greens. Maintenance of natural grass areas involves mowing to replicate the natural cycles of evolution of these grasses. No maintenance occurs in these areas during bird nesting season from May to August.
Our aquatic habitats are maintained with minimal interference as well. Mechanical removal of leaves and other organic matter from ponds and streams limits algae growth and eliminates the need for synthetic controls. By fostering the growth of native riparian vegetation like sedges, rushes, and cattails, we are providing nesting material, shelter and a food source for muskrats, ducks, and other birds.
Bird observations made by volunteers are compiled and submitted to the Federation of Alberta Naturalists (FAN) Alberta Birdlist Project for inclusion in a provincial database of bird populations. Amphibian observations made by our staff are submitted to the Alberta Volunteer Amphibian Monitoring Program (AVAMP). Run by the Alberta Conservation Association, AVAMP is a citizen science program that allows participants to learn about the amphibians in their communities and help conserve amphibian populations by reporting frog, toad, and salamander observations.
The Glencoe has 3 bee hives located on a 5 acre plot of land attached to the South West edge of the property. This plot of land has been planted with a perennial, drought resistant, pollinator garden. There is some alfalfa that has started to grow on the south east side of the plot of land closest to the road as well as some sweet clover that naturally grows. There is also a wild strawberry patch just inside the 5 acre plot on the golf course itself which is a great source of pollen. The horticulturalist at the course will also plant the annual flowers in the garden beds near the 5 acre plot of land with flowers in the blue – violet color range as bees see in the ultraviolet color spectrum and cannot decipher reds and oranges well.
We hope that you enjoy the unique natural setting that is The Glencoe Golf & Country Club and take pride in the way it is integrated into the environment.
Integrated Pest Management Program
Our Integrated Pest Management Program monitors the health of the turf, limits the use of application products on the golf course and protects the Elbow River ecosystem and drinking water for Calgarians.
We actively monitor the property for known pests and population sizes, as well as identify any new pests, and develop an all-encompassing management plan for each. Establishing a threshold for pests helps us determine what needs to be done. Whether a pest is present and whether it poses a problem (or future problem) are very distinct questions and will inform how we manage them. Our management options range from cultural, physical, biological, and synthetic. Choosing a management option depends on the severity of the pest, however we generally follow the option with the least amount of environmental impact, applying a pesticide only if the other control methods are ineffective. Finally, once we implement a management option or options, we evaluate the effects on the pest population and adjust our IPM accordingly.
Our IPM program is a fundamental part to every season at the Glencoe. We strive for the maintenance of a healthy playable environment with the least amount of application products. In many cases, our best line of defense against any turf-related pest is maintaining a healthy stand of grass through standard cultural practices. These practices include fertility, aeration, topdressing, not under or over watering, and proper mower maintenance. The healthier the grass, the best chance the turf has to defend against any pest and not allow it to establish to a level where it's going to cause damage.
Since its inception in 2008, The Glencoe Golf & Country Club Recycling Program diverts over 30,000 pounds of its waste from the landfill every year.
"The Glencoe Golf & Country Club has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property."
– Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs.
- 2021: Use of a steam machine to control weeds in bunkers and mulch beds.
- 2020: Installed initial aeration system in one of the ponds to help control algae. Plan to expand to other ponds in 2021.
- 2019: Introduced over 30 acres of Low Input Areas and Naturalized.
- 2006-2007: Irrigation Upgrade allowing for more conservation of water.
- 2005: Construction and distribution of approximately 50 nesting structures for birds throughout our property.
- Continuous planting of many grasses and trees native to Alberta on our 440 acres of property.