Cliffs at Mountain Park earns wildlife sanctuary designation

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — The Cliffs at Mountain Park has earned a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" designation through Audubon International's Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife.

Located just off Hwy. 11 near Hwy. 25, the course is one of only 24 in South Carolina and 888 in the world to hold the title.

To reach certification, a golf course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas, including environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation and water quality management.

Efforts to get the designation at Mountain Park were led by Jason Harris, superintendent of Gary Player-designed, award-winning course.

Harris said the first eighteen months of the process were spent collecting information about the property, developing a plan to conserve the area area that was disrupted while the course was built.

“I’m very proud that we could achieve a golf course that is as beautiful and well designed as Mountain Park, but am also grateful for the chance to also provide a sanctuary that coincides with our natural wildlife,” said Harris.

Harris is also being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Golf courses from the United States, Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, New Zealand and Southeast Asia have achieved certification in the program.

In the recent release of Golfweek’s Ultimate Guide to Golf, The Cliffs at Mountain Park was ranked number 36 in the Top 100 “Best Residential Courses in America,” an improvement from the previous year’s ranking of number 43. The Cliffs at Mountain Park was also recognized within the Top 100 Modern Courses by Golfweek earlier this year.

The "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" designation is the highest Audubon International certification, and courses must be recertified every three years.

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