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Play and protect: Golf club gains prestigious environmental status

The Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University has achieved designation as a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

The Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University has achieved designation as a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

The Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University has achieved designation as a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, making it one of 897 golf courses internationally to earn the designation. Endorsed by the United States Golf Association, the Audubon program for golf courses helps preserve and enhance wildlife habitat.

ISU’s course “has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program,” said Audubon International Executive Director Christine Kane. She commended the University’s efforts “to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property.”

Located on the northern edge of campus, the course is named after Illinois State alum and PGA Tour champion D.A. Weibring ’75. He finished first in 13 tournaments as a Redbird, and made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament. An All-American honorable mention, Weibring set team scoring records.

As a professional, Weibring earned 13 victories on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour. His firm, Weibring/Wolfard Golf Design, created plans for renovation of the ISU course and oversaw the project to completion in 2001.

More than a place of leisure and recreation, the course is home to a variety of turf and ornamental species. Vegetative landscapes, aquatic features and a diverse population of wildlife exist on the course.

“To achieve recognition for environmental stewardship through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses is an extreme honor,” said Travis Williams, who is the course superintendent. He noted the team effort in gaining the certification, which requires environmental excellence in several categories.

Areas examined include environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management and community education.

The recognition places ISU on par with courses in Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia and beyond. Learn more about the course at ISUgolf.com.

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