The Port St. Lucie, Fla., club’s golf course is seeking Audubon International certification by allowing nearly 25 acres of the property to become a natural area for wildlife. A nearby resident sees it as ruse for not maintaining areas that are now overgrown with grass and weeds.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay’s golf course is creating a native habitat for Florida wildlife by allowing portions of the course to become overgrown to obtain Audubon International certification, the TC Palm reported.
“We have a buffer system from the homeowners’ property line to the preserve areas that is 10 feet wide that we maintain on a weekly basis,” said Chad Leonard, regional Golf and Resort Manager for the Port St. Lucie, Fla., club. “So if you were to leave your backyard, you wouldn’t walk straight into the naturalized area from your yard.”
The buffer zone is cut to about 2 inches and was recently inspected, and passed, by the city’s code enforcement department. However, a neighbor is upset by the eyesore, the TC Palm reported.
“This spring and summer Club Med Sandpiper Country Club is refusing to cut the grass and weeds in many areas around its golf course,” Mike Shannon wrote in a letter to the editor in the St. Lucie County News Tribune. “The course has signs along the areas where the ridiculously overgrown grass/weeds meet the neighboring residents’ lawns that state: ‘Environmentally sensitive area; Entering this area is not permitted; Note LOCAL rule.’ ”
The club has spotted egrets, ibis and wildflowers on the 25 acres of habitat, which Joellen Lampman, Program Director at Audubon International in New York, said indicates the habitat is taking shape, the TC Palm reported.
“The golf course program includes environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, water quality management and outreach and education,” Lampman said.
The club could get certification once the habitat has been established for a few years and the facility has fulfilled the educational aspect, the TC Palm reported.