The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, is off to a green start in 2008,
having been named a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary
Orlando, FL " January 2008 " Grande Lakes Orlando 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 Golf Club, Orlando has worked
diligently to achieve certification in the programs 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.
- more "
Efforts which have been applauded by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program
o Protection of the habitat for endangered/threatened species on property
o Naturalization of over 40 acres of out-of-play property on the course
o Removal of exotic invasive vegetation such as Brazilian Pepper and Hydrilla
o Implementation of a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management and Best
Management Practices program to maintain healthy turf and monitor problems
o 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 Grande Lakes Orlando
Grande Lakes Orlando is a unique 500-acre resort with a luxury 584-room Ritz-Carlton
and deluxe 1,000-room JW Marriott Hotels. In particular, the Grande Lakes Outfitters
program, which includes kayak and canoe eco-tours and an ORVIS fly fishing school,
reflects the resorts natural surroundings. Grande Lakes also offers the culinary mastery
of award-winning Chefs Melissa Kelly and Norman Van Aken, new total-wellness
inspired treatment programs at The Ritz-Carlton Spa and an 18-hole championship golf
course designed by Greg Norman. The estate is located 15 minutes from the Orlando
International Airport, five minutes from the Orange County Convention Center and
minutes from the major theme parks.
Guests at both hotels can enjoy all the facilities and services at Grande Lakes Orlando,
including the 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Greg Norman, the 40,000-
square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa offering a wide selection of natural treatments, baths and
hydrotherapies, and advice from the worlds first Citrus Consultant.
For more information about Grande Lakes Orlando, visit www.grandelakes.com.
# # #
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company with more
than 2,900 lodging properties in the United States and 67 other countries and territories. Marriott
International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton,
Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and
Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott
Vacation Club, Horizons by Marriott Vacation Club, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Grand
Residences by Marriott brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished
corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. The
company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and had approximately 151,000 employees at 2006
year-end. It is ranked as the lodging industrys most admired company and one of the best places
to work for by FORTUNE. The company is also a 2006 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) ENERGY STAR Partner. In fiscal year 2006, Marriott International reported sales from
continuing operations of $12.2 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web
site at www.marriott.com.