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/24-7PressRelease/ - ORLANDO, FL, February 10, 2008 - The JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes has been recognized for its commitment to the environment and is pleased to announce that The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Grande Lakes is now a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary."
Endorsed by the United States Golf Association, the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses provides information and excellence to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, and protect national resources.
"The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Grande Lakes 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 Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs.
Being at the foot of the Florida Everglades lends itself to environmental responsibility and consideration for wildlife. The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Golf Course, has worked diligently to achieve certification in the program's qualification areas of Planning, Wildlife and Habitat Management, Water Quality Management, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Outreach and Education and Water Conservation. To become certified, the resort had to first apply, and then present evidence by way of photography and more, in order to show that steps were being taken to protect the area.
Andy Ragsdale, Course Superintendent, has led the effort to obtain sanctuary status on this course and is being recognized for Environmental Planning and Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International.
"We are extremely proud to offer guests an outstanding golf experience while taking environmental impact into consideration," stated Patrick Dill, Director of Golf. "To be certified by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary is an honor that we will continue to uphold and will strive to grow upon in the future."
Efforts which have been applauded by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program include:
• Protection of the habitat for endangered/threatened species on Orlando golf resort property
• Naturalization of over 40 acres of 'out-of-play' property on the course
• Removal of exotic invasive vegetation such as Brazilian Pepper and Hydrilla
• Implementation of a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management and Best Management Practices program to maintain healthy turf and monitor problems
• Increased awareness among golfers through education measures (including signage of safe zones for native animals) regarding the importance of natural areas (the Gopher Tortoise and Eastern Indigo Snake are protected wildlife near holes 1-9 and 13, and receive easy, undisturbed access to nearby Shingle Creek)
The course at Grande Lakes Orlando is the 78th in Florida and the 655th in the world to receive this honor. In addition to golf courses, Audubon International also provides programs for businesses, schools, communities, and new developments. For more information about Audubon International, visit www.auduboninternational.org.
About JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
Indulge in an architectural masterpiece at the striking JW Marriott Orlando Resort, anchoring 500 acres of lush, tropical landscape with remarkable prominence and grace. As Florida's premier destination, this exquisite Orlando Florida Resort features an invigorating spa, the championship Greg Norman-designed golf course, and a variety of delightful restaurants from organic Southern Italian cuisine at Primo, to freshly prepared sushi in the Lobby Lounge. Lavish accommodations offer endless personal indulgences from oversized marble bathrooms to amazing Orlando resort views. Situated minutes from the area s top attractions, enjoy a convenient Orlando luxury hotel location in the heart of the action. Elect this exceptional Orlando Florida resort as your retreat after exploring adventurous theme parks or effortlessly orchestrate your next business or social endeavor in sophisticated style. For any occasion, simply relax as the JW Marriott Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando Florida leaves nothing to be desired. For more information or to make a reservation, call 407-206-2300 or visit http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mcojw-jw-marriott-orlando-grande-lakes/.
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