The greens are green in more ways than one at the Bellevue Golf Course. Audubon International, an environmental education organization, has certified the course in North Bellevue as a sanctuary for wildlife.
The course, located at 5500 140th Ave. NE, features increased plantings of native vegetation for birds and wildlife and enhancement of natural corridors to other habitat areas.
The ponds are protected now, with cart paths relocated away from them and pesticides banned from use near them. Water quality is tested regularly on the site. Invasive blackberry and ivy has been removed; and nest boxes, feeders and brush piles have been built for wildlife.
The Bellevue Golf Course has been certified through Audubon International's Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses.
In addition to certifying the course, Audubon International is recognizing course superintendent Randy Leifer for environmental stewardship. Bellevue Golf Course, managed by Premier Golf Centers for Bellevue, is the 11th course in Washington to receive the certification.
"Our community has a proud tradition as a steward of the environment," City Manager Steve Sarkozy said. "This honor is another reflection of that."
Over the years, Bellevue's ongoing environmental programs have helped earn the city the nickname, "City in a Park." Last year, the City Council adopted an expanded environmental stewardship initiative, and as part of that initiative, approved a Bellevue Climate Action resolution to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions.
Several other environmental projects are currently underway, including an expanded focus on the city's tree canopy, utilization of natural drainage and green building practices, and expansion of recycling efforts throughout the city, including parks and ball fields.
The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, and protect natural resources.
Golf courses from Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe and Southeast Asia have also achieved certification in the program.
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