Environmental sustainability is one of the fundamental philosophies in operations at Santa Barbara Golf Club. Our goal is to be a leader and model for environmental management practices within the community and golf course industry. Our cultural practices provide a healthy and eco-friendly recreational destination through responsible management practices which positively impact the environment, course conditions and overall experience for our golfers and residents of the City.
Below are programs, best management practices and initiatives that are playing a critical role in successful environmental management at Santa Barbara Golf Club. We remain committed to pursuing ongoing excellence in preserving the natural environment for the present and future generations.
Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program: GOAL-To enhance Santa Barbara Golf Clubs Environmental Stewarding by pursuing and achieving certification. We are committed to enhancing and preserving the natural environment and have taken the steps forward in achieving the Six Primary Components of the Audubon Program. This includes:
- Environmental Planning - We’re in the process of evaluating our current environmental management practices and capitalizing on conservation projects that safeguard and enhance the quality of the property’s environment.
- Water Conservation - The purpose of this is to ensure adequate water supplies not only for irrigation but also for the healthy ecological functioning of water bodies, such as streams, lakes, and ponds.
- Water Quality Management - This ensures clean water supplies by protecting the health and integrity of water bodies such as the ocean. This is an essential component of our commitment to maintaining the healthiest water quality that enters and exits the golf course.
- Wildlife & Habitat Management - We’re in the process of enhancing natural areas and landscaping on the golf course to protect and improve native habitats and the wildlife that depend on them for survival.
- Outreach & Education - In our commitment to invest in environmental improvement projects, it’s our goal to invest in outreach and education activities to help build support and awareness as these practices can be implemented throughout the community in all facets of parks and recreation. This collaboration within our community and industry is what outreach and education are designed to serve. To educate patrons, staff, decision-makers and community members about programs and projects on the golf course than improve environmental quality.
- Chemical Use & Reduction - This component focuses on ensuring safe storage, application, and handling of pesticides. Santa Barbara Golf Club has been ahead of the curve in this area. Several years ago, the City adopted an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) strategy that promotes environmentally sensitive pest management by developing a Pesticide Hazard and Exposure Reduction Model. We are proud to be continuing this focus on avoiding pesticide applications when feasible. Pesticides are only utilized as a last resort with the least toxic active ingredients being the preferred choice.
- 91% of our total irrigation use is recycled water.
- We are currently in the planning process of eliminating 17% of our potable irrigation use with irrigation upgrades.
- The golf course property is 110 acres; 100 acres is equipped with irrigation.
Other environmental initiatives we’ve implemented include:
- Completed a customized Irrigation Audit-We’ve taken the step to utilize technology with GPS by mapping every single irrigation head onsite; creating a grid that will be downloaded on our central irrigation computer. This enhancement gives us the ability to have pinpoint accuracy of irrigation output including options to make an adjustment in the field and most importantly, control of each individual irrigation head on the property.
- Modifying the irrigation system to improve irrigation efficiency and distribution
- Reducing irrigation in areas where playability is not a major concern
- Created and designated environmental habitats-no entry for golf carts/maintenance equipment.
- Member of the FIRST GREEN PROGRAM which promotes community involvement with community schools and students. The golf course is utilized as an educational science laboratory, and students are brought to the golf course to better understand the relationship between environmental practices and the impact on plant and animal species and habitat.
- Implementing cultural practices like aerification to ensure the plant and turf system is as healthy as possible.
- Applying wetting agents which improves moisture distribution and targets the specific areas where it can be efficiently absorbed by the root system. These agents also aid in our efforts to preserve and conserve water consumption.
- Applying soil products like humic acid which stimulates microbial activity and enhances the soil’s capacity for air, nutrient and water availability which leads to a healthy growing environment.