To become certified, Signature Program members must implement management of the property according to a site-specific Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP) addressing wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement, water quality monitoring and management, integrated pest management, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and management, and green building products and procedures. Receiving designation as a Certified Signature Sanctuary is contingent upon the quality and completeness of the NRMP and its implementation.
"Black Oak Golf Club is excited to be a part of the Audubon International family. Their Signature Program gave us guidelines for successfully focusing on preservation, conservation, and sustainability during construction,”
Located in Washington Township, Morris County, New Jersey, Black Oak Golf Club is a David Glenz-designed 18-hole golf course set on 315 acres and includes a temporary clubhouse, pro-shop, practice area and other amenities. A 250-acre forested wetland and preserve forms the center of the property and is associated with a tributary to the South Branch Raritan River. Corridors of stately trees surround the open meadows and rolling fairways, and lead to vistas unobstructed by any visible housing. Aptly named, the site hosts black oak trees throughout.
Environmental highlights of the project include:
•Construction – The course was built three holes at a time leaving less soil surface exposed to the elements which can lead to erosion and reworking of the holes.
•Salvage of Trees – Specimen trees were identified and transplanted to an on-site nursery for use in landscaping.
•Water Monitoring – To ensure that on-site wetlands, streams, and the Raritan River are not degraded from construction or long term use of the property, a water quality monitoring program was implemented and continues in the operational phase of the project.
•Drainage – No drainage from the golf course flows into any water body or wetland area without appropriate filtration before entering or upon exiting the drainage pipe.
•BMPs – Best Management Practice (BMP) ‘Trains’, where separate BMPs are ‘cars’ of the train, are used throughout Black Oak. This maximizes the filtration and reduces the release of storm water from the property.
•Vegetative Buffers – Tall, native grasses along the edge of the numerous water bodies help to filter the water and prevent erosion. A 25-foot “no spray zone” ensures that pesticides will be absorbed before they reach these water bodies.
•Landscaping – Using xeriscaping as a landscaping practice means planting species that are drought tolerant making for efficient irrigation practices and reduced maintenance.
•Wildlife Corridors – Corridors of forested acreage and dense understory surround most of the golf holes providing cover and habitat for species such as deer and wild turkey to move unobserved throughout the property.
“The completion of this golf course has been a while in coming, but it is certainly worth the wait,” said Nancy Richardson, Signature Program Director. “Black Oak is representative of a sustainable approach to development with a special focus on water quality protection and wildlife habitat preservation, and will serve as a model for other projects in the northeast.”
About Audubon International
Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, properties, new developments, and entire communities. The Signature Program premiered in 1993 and is focused on promoting sound land management practices and appropriate land use changes based on sound scientific research. Signature Sanctuaries are currently located in 29 states and in Puerto Rico, China, Portugal, and Spain.
For more information, contact Nancy Richardson at Audubon International’