Sanctuary award for Black Diamond


Sean Dudley

Black Diamond Ranch is now a ‘Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary’. The status, awarded by Audubon International, is a recognition of the efforts put in by the golf course to look after its surrounding environment.

“Black Diamond Ranch has shown a strong commitment to its environmental programme,” said Jim Sluiter, staff ecologist for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programmes. “They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property.

“To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas,” explained Sluiter. These categories include: environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management.

“I feel that we have accomplished a lot in a short time and our group is proud that we can show that golf courses can be one with the environment,” said course superintendent David Court who led the effort to obtain this status. “Black Diamond has a lot of natural habitat that has been incorporated into the design of a beautiful golf course setting. The architect Tom Fazio, and owner Stan Olsen have given thought into water conservation as well as maintaining the natural beauty for so many birds and wildlife to call home or just to pass through. It is great to know that we share the same space with bobcats, coyotes, fox squirrels, raccoons and alligators. The birding is great too with over 30 types of birds on the property.”