Industry News

Maryland’s Leisure World Golf Course attains Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary status

APRIL 26, 2023 Audubon International – the environmentally focused non-profit organization offering members numerous certifications and conservation initiatives to protect the areas where we all live, work, and play – announces that Leisure World Golf Course has achieved Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP for Golf) certification. 

Frank McLaughlin, Golf Superintendent, and Alan Nelson, Golf and Greens Committee Certification Project Manager, led the effort to obtain sanctuary designation on the property. The course is now one of 19 of the 160 courses in Maryland and 900 courses in the world to hold certification from Audubon International. 


"Leisure World Golf Course has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property," said Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International. 

"To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas," added Kane. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

The Course’s accomplishments include:

  • Expanding Native Vegetation
  • Removing Invasive Plant species
  • Providing quality wildlife habitat
  • Conducting water quality testing

For their contributions to this project, McLaughlin was awarded a certificate in environmental stewardship from Audubon International, and Nelson was awarded a certificate in environmental planning. They’re also quick to credit Leisure World’s 8,500 residents with the achievement. “A key component of environmental planning certification success is the support and receptiveness of the Leisure World at large,” said Nelson, who provided PowerPoint presentations about the project to community members. “There was total recognition [by residents] from the start.”

Leisure World of Maryland has a beautiful, heavily wooded 18-hole, Par 70 championship golf course with Bermuda grass fairways and well-maintained greens.  Planned renovations by McDonald & Sons are expected to be completed this summer which will further the course’s beauty and efficiency. 

For more on Audubon International’s certification programs for golf, lodging and more, visit

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About Audubon International

An environmentally focused non-profit organization, Audubon International offers members numerous certifications and conservation initiatives to protect the areas where we all live, work, and play. Its certifications are designed to increase environmental awareness, encourage sustainable environmental efforts, and educate both its members and their communities.

Dan Shepherd Public Relations
Vic Williams,,+1 775 745 3190
Gary Trask,, +1 978-228-0314