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Harpeth Hills Golf Course Recognized for Environmental Excellence


Harpeth Hills Golf Course has retained its designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International Program.

Harpeth Hills Golf Course is one of 17 courses in Tennessee and 912 courses in the world to hold the honor. The golf course was originally designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in 2014. After designation, courses go through a recertification process every three years. This year the recertification process, coordinated by Harpeth Hills Course Manager Kevin Forte, required a visit by a local community representative. Cynthia Lee, from the Cumberland River Compact, was given a tour of the course and sent her observations to Audubon International.

Christine Kane, Executive Director at Audubon International said, "Harpeth Hills 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."

Participation in the program is designed to help course personnel plan, organize, implement, and document a comprehensive environmental management program and receive recognition for their efforts. To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas including Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

Harpeth Hills is widely respected as one of Tennessee's top public golf facilities. Originally designed in 1965, the course was rebuilt in 1991 to enhance its playability as well as highlight the natural landscape. The par 72 Championship layout is surrounded by a natural wildlife habitat that offers a challenge to golfers of all levels. In 1991, Harpeth Hills became a regional qualifying site for the USGA Public Links Championship.

The course is one of the seven that form Nashville Fairways.  Metro Parks maintains the courses in five parks throughout the city; six of which are open year-round.  With 9 – 27 holes per course, and a variety of terrains – there’s a course for every skill level.

Friends of Warner Parks provided funding for the department’s original application process and consulted on environmental planning.  The not-for-profit Friends group also funded the fabrication of an interpretive panel to educate golf course visitors about the Audubon Sanctuary program.  FOWP, a 501(c)3, dedicated to the preservation, protection, and stewardship of Percy and Edwin Warner Parks works to protect the natural and historical integrity of the area by supporting appropriate recreational activities, maintaining and enhancing its features, and promoting programs that inspire appreciation and conservation of the parks.

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.

Audubon International is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Troy, NY. In addition to golf courses, Audubon International also provides programs for businesses, schools, communities, and new developments with the purpose of delivering high-quality environmental education and facilitating the sustainable management of natural resources. For more information, call Audubon International at 518-767-9051or visit