A barred owl photographed at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., during BioBlitz 2016. A local high school biology class visited the course — overseen by 19-year GCSAA member Alex Stuedemann, CGCS — as part of the event to tally plant and animal species present on the property. Photo courtesy of Alex Stuedemann
Environmental nonprofit Audubon International’s fourth annual BioBlitz will take place April 21 through May 13 — Earth Day to World Migratory Bird Day.
BioBlitz is designed to showcase the environmental value of natural habitats on golf courses. Participants such as golfers and their families, youth groups, community members and local environmental experts gather to enjoy nature while counting plant and animal species located on the golf course property. This year’s event is sponsored by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and is open to all golf courses the world over.
“Each year, BioBlitz brings hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers from communities around the world together to document the large diversity of species that call golf courses home,” says Christine Kane, executive director of Audubon International. “Last year’s BioBlitz participants recorded almost 2,000 unique species of animals, plants, fungi and insects on golf courses from North America to South Africa.”
Many golf courses opt to host a BioBlitz event around Earth Day, which is what Park Ridge Golf Course in Lake Worth, Fla. — the 2017 winner of the Community Engagement Award for the most participants — did last year. “We struck on a really good relationship between our yearly Earth Day golf tournament and BioBlitz, which allowed us to involve staff, volunteers and tournament participants in a fun day of golf, environmental outreach and friendly competition,” says Phil Henry, golf course manager at Park Ridge.
Following BioBlitz, Audubon International will compile the lists of plant and animal species recorded and report on the findings. Awards will be given for Most Species, Most Participants and Best Photo.
Register for BioBlitz 2018 and receive your free toolkit.