Sanctuary Program


In 2004, Ekwanok began a program to plan and implement management practices that help ensure that the natural resources at the Club are sustainably used and conserved in our community. At that time we established The Ekwanok Country Club Sanctuary Program with a group called Audubon International.

That company runs a variety of programs for different industry sectors, including one designed solely for golf facilities, i.e., the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf. This program assists golf courses in creating environmentally-friendly areas while still having great places to play golf. It focuses on such things as environmental planning, water conservation, water-quality management, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, and chemical-use reduction and safety. Over 2,100 golf courses in more than 25 countries participate in this program.

To encourage and promote the environmental management and protection efforts of its participants, Audubon International provides for the “certification” of those participants that demonstrate a deep commitment to the preservation of natural resources and the wildlife habitat of its property. The certification process is a rigorous one that can take several years to complete and document. And after becoming certified, there is an extensive re-certification process every three years!

Being involved with Audubon International, and especially being a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, benefits not only the Manchester environment but also Ekwanok, it members, employees and guests. It helps to change and improve the public perception of golf courses, it makes us a good neighbor in the community, and it enables each person who visits Ekwanok to be exposed to fewer chemicals and more natural beauty. Truly, a win-win proposition.

Maple Street School

Because outreach and education are integral parts of the Ekwanok Sanctuary Program, in 2014 the Club established an on-going community partnership with the Maple Street School in Manchester, an independent day school serving children in kindergarten through grade 8. The children work with us on a wide range of environmental-related activities, including:

  • Assisting with turkey feeders and bat houses that have been set up on the golf course, and helping us inspect and repair nest boxes set up on our “Bluebird Trail.”
  • Participating in courses taught at the school by volunteer naturalist Marshal Case on such topics as “Climate Change” and "Ecosystems/Pollinators.”
  • Participating in courses taught at the school by volunteer naturalist Marshal Case on such topics as “Climate Change” and "Ecosystems/Pollinators.”