Wilmington, NC – North Carolina is part of a trend in southern states of making golf courses more environmentally friendly.
Audubon International has certified nearly 600 golf courses across the country that have taken steps to enhance wildlife habitat and reduce the amount of water and chemicals used for maintenance.
There are currently 18 certified golf courses in North Carolina, including the Carolina National Golf Club in Bolivia and St. James Plantation in Southport.
Jeremy Taylor, staff ecologist for Audubon International, says courses are finding what benefits the environment can also boost their image.
One of the things that a lot of them have found is that it's good public relations. Because golf courses quite often get a negative impression from the community because of chemical use and water use and things like that.
Taylor says many courses save money and reduce water and chemical use by allowing native plants grow in unused parts of the golf course. He says Audubon also offers schools and cemeteries similar certification.