"Sustainability is the practice of using natural resources responsibly today,
so they are available for future generations tomorrow."
- National Geographic
As a resort with a hotel, restaurant and two golf courses, Turf Valley has instilled a personal environmental responsibility to focus on conservation and sustainability throughout all aspects of our operations.
Golf Course Sustainability
As golf has increased in popularity, courses have faced criticism over environmental concerns related to water usage, pesticides, and loss of wildlife habitat. Due to efforts from groups like Audubon International, new programs have been implemented to create more eco-friendly golf courses.
One such effort focuses on education and certifications for golf courses that meet specific criteria to be designated as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. To reach certification, a course must demonstrate their ability to maintain a high degree of environmental quality in Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.
Turf Valley's golf courses were first designated a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary," in April of 2019 after a ten-year process to achieve necessary milestones. Every three years, courses must undergo a recertification process, which Turf Valley completed in May 2022.
Turf Valley's accomplishments include:
- Reduced irrigated turf areas by over 40 acres
- Invested in geo-fencing technology to protect sensitive areas
- Planted heat and drought tolerant grass varieties during course renovation
- Updated the design of irrigation sprinklers to reduce water consumption
- Created habitat for wildlife through the naturalization of out-of-play areas
- Maintain a pollinator habitat through the Monarchs in the Rough program
Monarchs in the Rough focuses on developing and maintaining a habitat of one acre or more to protect and expand endangered Monarch butterflies. An abundance of milkweed is planted in out-of-play areas to serve as a protected sanctuary for monarchs to lay their eggs and as a food source when caterpillars hatch.
"Turf Valley Resort's commitment to establishing and expanding acreage with native, low maintenance vegetation and maintaining native areas is exceptional. They continue to maximize their wildlife habitat and reduce water usage," says Scott Turner, Environmental Program Specialist, who performed the recent site visit at Turf Valley's golf courses.
Meeting Green Initiatives in our Hotel & Conference Center
As a business operating 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, there is no period of downtimes that exists, as with most companies. Therefore, we put forth our best efforts to reduce energy and water consumption and waste whenever possible.
With our original building established in the 1960's and the hotel added in the 1980's, we are continually making the latest upgrades to high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, LED and occupancy sensor lighting and installing low-flow shower heads, toilets, faucets, and energy efficient hand dryers.
Recycling has become an integral part of our operations with the goal to recycle and reuse more than we throw away. We encourage guests to reuse linens/towels during a short stay and have training programs for employees managing our waste management initiatives.
Recycling receptacles have been added to all guest rooms, public areas, and event facilities. The easy access makes it a common practice among our visitors.
Waste Reduction in our Restaurant and Catering
Our culinary teams in our Restaurant and Banquet Catering Team focus heavily on using locally grown and seasonal foods. While it not only reduces the transportation of these items, it also ensures we are providing the freshest food possible. We introduce new menus quarterly that feature in-season produce and ingredients and we actively participate in Howard County's Farm to Table Restaurant Weeks throughout the year.
Our restaurant has replaced all plastic containers and to-go items with compostable, non-plastic alternatives. In addition, Turf Valley works with Veteran's Compost, a veteran-owned composting company. On a weekly basis they provide commercial collection of food scraps and food waste that is turned into high quality organic compost to be reused again.
Committed to a Greener Future
As a family-owned and operated business, it is very important for the Turf Valley staff and management to strive toward a greener Earth for generations to come. Not only do we seek to ensure compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations, we are committed to upholding green practices throughout every aspect of our resort.
Our green committee, comprised of employees, meets quarterly to discuss new ideas as well as maintain practices currently in place. As a team, we have over a decade of making our resort property more sustainable.
Learn more about Turf Valley's green initiatives.