Downers Grove Golf Club Recognized for Environmental Excellence

Wed January 31, 2018

Downers Grove Golf Club has achieved designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. Jeff Pozen, Golf Course Superintendent, led the effort to obtain sanctuary designation on the property and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International. Downers Grove Golf Club is one of 54 golf courses in Illinois and 912 in the world to hold the title of Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

"Downers Grove Golf 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 Christine Kane, Executive Director 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 Kane. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

Geoff Penman, Director of Operations & Development for the Downers Grove Park District, which operates the Downers Grove Golf Club said, “Over the past twelve years, our golf course maintenance staff has made environmental practices a cornerstone of our operation. In the spring of 2016, in an effort to highlight these efforts, staff began the process to achieve designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. We are so proud to have received this recognition as a result of the diligence of our staff and volunteers.”

“Through the conversion of six acres of mowed turf grass to native prairie, enhanced irrigation and attention to our wetlands, we were able to create a sustainable sanctuary that is now home to Eastern Bluebirds, Great Blue Herons, Egrets and other native birds,” said Jeff Pozen, Golf Course Superintendent.

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.

The Downers Grove Golf Club is owned and operated by the Downers Grove Park District. Celebrating 125 years, the historic Downers Grove Golf Club was established by Charles Blair Macdonald as America’s first 18-hole course. Today, the unique and challenging 9-hole course features a driving range with 24 permanent and turf hitting stations, a large practice putting green, sand trap and chipping area. For more information, visit or call 630.963.1306.

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 844.767.9051  or visit