Photo courtesy of Turf Valley Resort.

Turf Valley Resort, in Ellicott City, has retained its designation as Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. Turf Valley is one of 19 golf courses in Maryland and more than 900 in the world to hold the title of Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

Turf Valley’s golf courses were first designated a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in April of 2019. Every three years courses must undergo a recertification process, which Turf Valley completed in May 2022.

“Turf Valley Resort’s commitment to establishing and expanding acreage with native, low maintenance vegetation and maintaining native areas is exceptional. They continue to maximize their wildlife habitat and reduce water usage,” says Scott Turner, environmental program specialist, who performed the site visit.
To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in several areas including Environmental Planning, Wildlife and Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation and Water Quality Management.
Turf Valley’s accomplishments include:
● Reduced irrigated turf areas by more than 40 acres
● Invested in geofencing technology to deter golfers from disturbing sensitive areas
● Planted heat and drought tolerant grass varieties during golf course renovation
● Updated the design and piping of irrigation sprinklers to reduce water consumption
● Maintain pollinator habitat through the Monarchs in the Rough program
● Created habitat and corridors for wildlife through the naturalization of out of play areas

“Turf Valley’s golf course renovation was the primary focus of the grounds department efforts over the past two years. Upgrades to our irrigation system, grass variety selection and geofencing technology installation were key components to recertification. I look forward to devoting more time to environmental outreach and education projects with our staff and members moving forward,” said Jeff Roeder, golf course superintendent at Turf Valley.