Scarboro recognized for environmental excellence

Scarboro Golf & Country Club has achieved designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. Lesley Thomas, Assistant Superintendent, led the effort to obtain sanctuary designation on the property and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International.

“We’ve been a member of Audubon International since 1996 and seeking certification was mentioned over the years but last year was when I pursued the process seriously”, said Thomas. “It was an easy decision! I was really excited to be a part of getting the club certified and I knew we were doing some positive things but now I see we can do even more without interruption to play or at a large cost to the club.”

“Truthfully not a lot needed to be changed,” added Thomas. “I’m working with our gardener about using more native species, creating a Pollinator garden and a butterfly garden. We’re always looking into where we can cut water use and being a part of IPM since its inception means we are already reducing pesticide use.”

The Club is one of 55 golf courses in Ontario and 903 in the world to hold the title of Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

“Scarboro Golf & Country Club 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 Tara Donadio, Director of Cooperative Sanctuary Programs 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,” explained Donadio. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

Scarboro applied for certificates in all five categories at the same time and received them all, a fact that makes Lesley Thomas proud.

“Scarboro members expect world class conditions when they play their course and reaching this certification is a testament to all of the hard work of the greens department to meet those expectations” said Thomas. “Our goal is to not only be environmental stewards but leaders in the industry for best practices around a golf course. We will continue to work to improve our approach and share our passion for wildlife and the environment with others.”

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.

Scarboro Golf & Country Club is a 104 year old club that has made a prestigious mark in the world of golf. Host of four thrilling Canadian Opens and recipient of international recognition and accolades, it is consistently ranked among the top golf courses in the country. Scarboro’s rich history began with founder A.E. Ames. A charismatic stockbroker, he combined a passion for golf and competition, with his true love of the countryside. His lasting legacy was hiring legendary course architect A.W. Tillinghast, who masterfully utilized the natural environment to create a course that challenges golf enthusiasts and champions alike. Scarboro is the only Tillinghast course in Canada.

Audubon International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit 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 1-844-767-9051 or visit

For more information about Scarboro Golf & Country Club, call Paul Bussiere, Marketing & Sales Manager at 416-266-4546 x241 or visit


Peter Mumford
Peter Mumford is the Editor of Fairways Magazine. He's played over 500 different courses in 21 countries and met some fascinating people along the way. He's also a long-suffering Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

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