The Legends Golf Course at Parris Island has become the first worldwide military installation golf facility to gain the GEO Certified® eco-label, the global mark for sustainable golf.
Uniquely located within the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island, Beaufort, South Carolina, The Legends Golf Course facility is truly multifunctional, welcoming visitors of all abilities to play golf or to enjoy the numerous nature trails, fishing spots and important historical sites it offers.
“Parris Island has made Marines for over 100 years, having a positive role as an important part of the local community. It’s also our role and responsibility to ensure we preserve such a historic institution and the surrounding community through deliberate, sustainable action” said Brig. Gen. Austin E. Renforth, command general, MCRD Parris Island and Eastern Recruiting Region. “I’m proud to have The Legends Golf Course set the example as the first military golf course to earn GEO certification. We welcome visitors and members of the local community, alongside our service members and their families to play at The Legends Golf Course”
GEO Certified® clubs are recognized for their commitment to the protection of nature, efficient use of resources and providing positive community value. Clubs awarded with the certificate have achieved the voluntary industry standard for sustainability, assured by membership of ISEAL Alliance, and are each assessed by a qualified independent verifier. GEO Certified® is a highly regarded, credible recognition sought by clubs throughout the world.
“I’m so impressed by the strategic initiatives which The Legends Course has in place for ongoing continued improvement to enhance habitat for wildlife, reduce turf inputs, promote community engagement, and track resource use,” said Teresa Wade, independent GEO Certified® assessor for The Legends at Parris Island and founder of local sustainability not-for-profit Experience Green. “Amongst the highlights for nature is the course’s Bluebird trail with 10 purpose-built bird boxes which, in two years, has achieved 90% occupancy. The 45 acres of native woodland is home to threatened species including Fox Squirrels, Wood Storks, Bald Eagles, Ospreys and American Alligators. The 11 onsite ponds provide natural habitat and also collect and store rainwater which is used for 100% of course irrigation. Energy efficiency is prioritized within the design and construction of a new clubhouse that is expected to open in 2018. In taking care of its Marines and sailors, Unit Golf Clinics provide four sessions of course instruction for $1 each to active duty military, and each receives their own set of pre-owned clubs upon completion. Furthermore, education displays around the course, and its public nature trails, inform visitors of the important history of the site throughout the centuries, as a Native American camp, a French stronghold and the capital of Spanish Florida.”
The Legends at Parris Island is also part of a wider sustainability in golf initiative in the Hilton Head Island area, joining 14 other local golf clubs working together on a collective sustainability in golf initiative. “We are proud to collaborate with community initiatives that benefit our facility, but also the Lowcountry destination that is known for golf and prioritizing care of the natural environment” said Andy Hinson, Director of Golf at The Legends.
“The staff at The Legends has shown a deep understanding and sincere passion for both the environmental and social value of the facility” continued Ms. Wade, “As active members of the Hilton Head Island sustainability in golf collaboration, and the investment in becoming GEO Certified®, they have demonstrated their commitment to grow this positive value; I look forward to seeing their continued progress along their sustainability journey.”
Golf Environment Organization www.golfenvironment.org
The Legends at Parris Island http://www.thelegendspi.com