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SustainAbility Newsletter

The Oaks Equestrian Center First to receive 5-Star Rating and Seal of Sustainability

Rhonda Gailey

In early 2008 The Oaks Equestrian Center - an O'Connor Signature Facility joined as a pilot member of the Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Equestrian Facility Program, a voluntary program that is setting the standard for sustainably-managed equestrian facilities. The facility was recently recognized by Audubon Lifestyles as the epitome of sustainability by receiving a Five-Star rating. In doing so The Oaks Equestrian Center - an O'Connor Signature Facility became the first equestrian facility in the world to receive the designation. In addition to receiving the Five-Star rating from Audubon Lifestyles, The Oaks Equestrian Center - an O'Connor Signature Facilityhas also been issued the Seal of Sustainability from the International Sustainability Council (ISC).
 
The Oaks is a project of Dicks Realty which is located in Lake City, Florida, in the triangle between Ocala, Jacksonville and Tallahassee. The planned neighborhood development has over 1,200 rolling acres, filled with large, mature oak trees, and is located near the Osceola National Forest.  The development includes more than 15 miles of looped riding trails, giving residents and property users the feeling of being in a wilderness. In addition, the cross-country course (custom designed by Olympian David O'Connor) and custom top-of-the-line 33-stall barn is complemented by a competition-quality outdoor ring, covered round pen, and a large covered arena. These features and more distinguish the O'Connor Signature at the Oaks Equestrian Center as a truly premier and one-of-a-kind equestrian facility.  
 

In June 2009, The Oaks Equestrian Center - an O'Connor Signature Facility prepared Oconnor Signaturefor the on-site audit conducted by R. Eric Dodson, CEO of Audubon Lifestyles, "I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to The Oaks Equestrian Center - an O'Connor Signature Facility, and the staff should be commended for doing an outstanding job. Rhonda Gailey, the General Manager, in particular provided me with invaluable information about the equestrian industry and the issues related to properly managing an equestrian facility. This information will undoubtedly lead to further improvements and help to strengthen the Audubon Lifestyles Equestrian Facility Program. I am grateful to The Oaks Equestrian Center - an O'Connor Signature Facility and their participation as a pilot member, and I am certainly proud to showcase The Oaks Equestrian Center - an O'Connor Signature Facility as the first Five-Star Audubon Lifestyles Equestrian Facility, and to issue the International Sustainability Council's Seal of Sustainability to the facility,” commented Mr. Dodson.
  The Oaks Logo
“Participating in this process seemed like a natural fit for us, as the O'Connor Signature Brand itself was developed using sustainable models that included economic, social and environmental considerations,” said Rhonda Gailey, General Manager for The Oaks Equestrian Center - an O'Connor Signature Facility.
  The Oaks Facility
The Audubon Lifestyles Equestrian Program includes guidelines and incentives for equestrian facility owners and managers seeking to adopt economic, environmental and socially-responsible best practices. In addition, the program includes safety protocols for horses and riders, as well as criteria for facility planning, environmental practices and operations. Through these standards, equestrian facilities will be recognized for following design and operational parameters that promote all aspects of sustainability. 
 
In addition to setting the standard for sustainably-managed equestrian facilities the Audubon Lifestyles Equestrian Facility Program was developed to offer achievable, yet comprehensive sustainable programming to equestrian managers and owners, and to reward facilities that do more, than the minimum through a series of recognition and branding opportunities. Not every facility will choose the path toward sustainability, but those that chose to participate will become the leaders in the industry.

To learn more about The Oaks Equestrian Center visit: www.OconnorOEC.com
   


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References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.com

The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org 

O'Connor Signature at the Oaks
www.theoakslakecity.com

The City of Franklin, Tennessee
www.franklin-gov.com

LandDesign
www.landdesign.com

American Society of Golf Course Architects
www.asgca.org

Sustainability Campaign
sustainabilitycampaign.blogspot.com

Green Living Tips
www.greenlivingtips.com

The Daily Green
www.thedailygreen.com

Energy Star
www.energystar.gov

Bird City, Kansas
www.birdcity.com 

Urbana University
www.urbana.edu

 

SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Colorado Golf Carbon Project Gains Support

Golf Turf

As the initial stages of the Colorado Golf Carbon Project continue, the number of organizations supporting the initiative is growing. In recent letters of support the National Turfgrass Federation as well as the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and The Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) show their appreciation of the project:

"This project is a logical extension of previous groundbreaking environmental projects completed in Colorado by Colorado State University, the USDA/ARS, and the Allied Golf Associations of Colorado. The National Turfgrass Federation and its allied associations believe that resources from a diverse group of stakeholders make the Colorado Golf Carbon Project an undertaking that will provide valuable environmental information. There is no doubt that the information generated by this project will have a lasting impact on the management of energy, water and other environmental issues encountered by the users of turfgrass and other businesses in Colorado, and throughout the United States," says the National Turfgrass Federation.

"The goals of the Colorado Golf Carbon Project align with the environmental efforts of GCSAA and the EIFG to work collaboratively with the golf course industry to advance the compatibility of the game of golf with the environment. GCSAA and the EIFG have identified three areas of focus for the golf course industry: water conservation; water quality protection; and energy conservation, and these areas of focus all influence the carbon footprint of a golf facility," says Mark J. Woodward, CGCS Chief Executive Officer at GCSAA.

The Colorado Golf Carbon Project is a first of its kind not only in the way that it presents a partnership between a diverse group of representatives within the golf industry and research entities, but also in what it is setting out to accomplish: 

  • To develop a carbon emission and carbon sequestration data collection system for golf courses of Colorado. Results documenting the total carbon effects of sequestration and emissions will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • To document the sequestered carbon at Colorado's golf facilities on an annual basis and create marketable offsets, thus creating a self sustaining funding mechanism for this and future projects aimed at improving conservation and environmental stewardship at golf facilities.

The Colorado Golf Carbon Project is a joint effort between Golfpreserves® and the Allied Golf Associations of Colorado, including the Colorado Golf Association, the Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendent's Association, the Colorado Section of the PGA, the Colorado Women's Golf Association, the Colorado Chapter of the Club Managers of America and the Colorado Chapter of the Golf Course Owners Association and is supported by the USGA Green Section, Audubon International, the International Sustainability Council, Sustainable Golf & Development and Audubon Lifestyles. Research partners participating in the development of the project include Colorado State University and the USDA/ARS.
 
"This project is supported by representatives from every section of golf, as well as the USDA/ARS, Colorado State University, Audubon International, the International Sustainability Council, Audubon Lifestyles and the turf grass industry. To have the National Turfgrass Federation as well as the GCSAA and EIFG joining us in our quest is not only a welcomed addition in support, but also solidifies our strong belief that the project will contribute to make the industry of golf even stronger for the future," says Noble Hendrix of Golfpreserves®.
 
Learn more at: www.golfcourseproject.com


PDF

 
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE NEWSLETTER IN PDF FORMAT

 

References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.com
 
The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org 

General Motors
www.gm.com

Toyota
www.toyota.com

Fisker Automotive
www.fiskerautomotive.com

Golfpreserves
www.golfcourseproject.com 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership
www.cmhp.org

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
www.cbf.org 

University of Alaska Fairbanks
www.uaf.edu 

Taylor Properties Group
www.taylorpropertiesgrp.com  

Urbana University
www.urbana.edu 

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA)
www.gcsaa.org 

American Society of Golf Course Architects
www.asgca.org

The United States Golf Association (USGA)
www.usga.org

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