Cranberry Highlands Golf Course has once again been designated by Audubon International as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary
The designation affirms that the golf course has maintained a high degree of environmental quality in a variety of areas including planning, wildlife and habitat management, education, reduced chemical use, water quality management and more.
Dave Barber, who has been Superintendent of Cranberry Highlands since the course was built in 2001, led the facility’s environmental stewardship efforts. Audubon International notified Barber on June 19, 2017 that the golf course’s recertification had been issued. The course was initially recognized as part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program in 2009 and recertified two years later. The most recent certification specifically called out a program begun last year to create wildflower areas around the fairways designed to support pollinator insects – species which have been under stress in much of the country due to loss of habitat as well as other issues.
In her letter to Barber, Audubon Program Specialist Allie Smith cited Cranberry Highlands’ “superb outreach and education efforts, including your involvement with the Boy Scouts to build bird houses.” Other Audubon-inspired projects have included the creation of a half-mile nature trail in a wooded area within the 18-hole facility.
Cranberry Highlands maintains a balanced environment in which golfers and wildlife live and play in harmony. Insect control, for example, is accomplished by providing homes to birds for whom insects are a diet staple. A growing variety of owls, butterflies, bats, hawks, deer, amphibians, fish and small animals now live in a natural ecosystem where wildlife thrives and golfers flourish.
In the spring of 2009, a nature trail was constructed in a wooded area of Cranberry Highlands, between holes three and four. Guided tours are available upon request. Visit our Nature Trail page.
Cranberry Highlands was created to celebrate the hilly wooded landscape that is the hallmark of Western Pennsylvania’s terrain. Designed by Love and Kington Golf Course Design and Land Planning of College Park, Maryland on a 332-acre site which includes an assortment of sensitive environmental features, the course was built to showcase the area’s four-season ecosystem and its rugged topography
Of the 332 acres in the Cranberry Highlands site, only 186 have been developed as a golf course. Much of the remaining space has been dedicated to natural preservation, enhancement and educational purposes. Community organizations including the Boy Scouts have been involved in the development of the Nature Trail. We welcome the active involvement of other organizations which, share the Audubon’s philosophy of land conservation and stewardship.