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    U.S. Army golf course in Korea receives rare environmental sanctuary certification

    U.S. Army golf course in Korea receives rare environmental sanctuary certification

    Courtesy Photo | U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys’ River Bend Golf Course, opened April 1, 2019, is built...... read more read more



    Story by Richard Kim 

    USAG Humphreys

    CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea – U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys’ River Bend Golf Course was designated a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses Nov. 28, 2022.

    The River Bend Golf Course, managed by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR), is only one of six golf courses in the Department of Defense to earn the designation and one of less-than 700 worldwide. Along with the Directorate of Public Works’ (DPW) Environmental Division, the road to certification took nearly three years to complete and concluded with an on-site visit by the organization to ensure the course met all the criteria.

    “River Bend Golf Course has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program,” said Christine Kane, CEO of Audubon International, in a recent press release. “They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property.”

    Audubon International, a nonprofit organization, recognizes places that employ sound environmental stewardship and works with businesses, schools, communities, and resorts to implement sustainable practices that preserve and protect the environment.

    Endorsed by the U.S. Golf Association, the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses Certification required River Bend to meet and maintain a high degree of quality in six categories: environmental planning; wildlife and habitat management; outreach and education; chemical use reduction and safety; and water quality management and conservation. The submitted package required detailed documentation outlining the procedures and impact in each of the categories.

    Brent Borelli, River Bend Golf Course superintendent, DFMWR, along with Keith Smith, environmental protection specialist with USAG Humphreys, DPW Environmental Division, spearheaded the effort.

    “Receiving certification and designation as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Golf Course is a big deal and an important one,” said Smith. “A golf course that has achieved this certification sends a resounding and reassuring message to the community and its patrons of its commitment to environmental stewardship and natural resource preservation.”

    The garrison’s DPW Environmental Division regularly conducts environmental compliance assessments and inspections, to include River Bend’s pesticide shop and stormwater in and outfall area. Since its opening, the golf course has never been out of compliance with its environmental requirements, according to DPW.

    “You want a symbiotic relationship with golf and the environment – a green space,” Borelli said. “To be good stewards of the game means being a good steward for the land it is played on.”

    Borelli went on to explain that the course’s main feature, the marshland ecosystem, has rich flora and fauna. The waters surrounding the course is home to the native Snakehead fish, which attracts many avian predators, such as egrets and cormorants. Other animals that visit the course include raccoon dogs, leopard cats and vampire deer, which are all local to Korea. To educate and raise awareness, the course’s clubhouse display information about the diverse ecosystem.

    Maintaining and promoting a vibrant habitat, rich with birds and bats, can help combat mosquitoes and other pests, said Borelli. Local chapters of the Boys and Girls Scouts built bird and bat houses to deal with the problem naturally rather than pesticides or other harsh chemical treatments that may damage the ecosystem.

    The River Bend Golf Course opened April 1, 2019. Designed by American Golf Course Architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the course is managed under the DFMWR and features an 18-hole course , driving range and a club house with dining and a pro shop.



    Date Taken: 12.08.2022
    Date Posted: 12.08.2022 00:38
    Story ID: 434726
    Location: CAMP HUMPHREYS, 41, KR

    Web Views: 122
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