Golfers aren't the only ones who love spending time at Locust Hill. More and more wildlife are calling the golf course home. Rick Slattery, the Locust Hill Superintendent, says, "We have wetlands over here to our northeast and southwest and Locust Hill actually acts as a conduit or connection between the two a lot of movement of wildlife and birds from each area. So, we kind of try to catch them in between and create habitat for them so they can nest." Slattery, started making environmental improvements to the course 20 years ago but it was just recently recognized for its environmental stewardship by Audubon International. Locust Hill is the 27th golf course in the state to get the designation, and the first in the Rochester area. In order to get the designation, the course had to prove it was being environmentally friendly in 8 different areas, including water conservation and wildlife. They've added nest boxes and feeding stations to attract birds, "We've had two bluebird families already using our boxes. We've had a chickadee family and a swallow family use our boxes."
Locust Hill also use less water than most golf courses because the variety of grass there requires less water and chemicals to stay healthy and they have a computerized irrigation system that can carefully target the areas that need help. Slattery says he's just doing his part, "sustainability and the environment are becoming buzz words and if recreational facilities like golf courses are going to survive, in the future we have to become sustainable like everyone else."
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