Callippe Preserve Golf Course has been an Audubon Sanctuary Certified golf course since 2006 and continues to hold that designation today. Audubon Certified golf courses must perform maintenance practices in environmentally sensitive and sustainable methods. Here at Callippe, we strive to be considered a leader in environmental stewardship. Wildlife habitat preservation as well as resource conservation and integrated pest management are all key concepts in Callippe's environmental management philosophy. Yearly, we receive recognition from the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America (GCSAA) as well as Golf Digest with their Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA) for Northern California.
We have many areas designated for native and riparian habitats, and preservation areas to protect endangered and threatened species. 176 acres on and around the golf course have been designated as permanent natural habitat or preserve. 17 of these acres lie within the golf course in the form of native channels. Over 3000 native plants (17 that are native to the bay area) were planted in the native channels.
We do not spray any chemicals within the immediate channel areas, and weeds are mechanically removed. The native plants are monitored regularly by our Environmental Manager, and adjustments are made as needed. All of our native channel areas are strictly enforced as Environmentally Sensitive Areas and golfers are not allowed to enter these areas for any reason. We have many wildlife species present in and around these channels and a few protected species. These protected species include the endangered California Tiger Salamander and the Federally Threatened California Red-Legged Frog. One of the main predators of Red-Legged Frog is the bullfrog. We strive to keep bull frogs from entering the property to increase Red-Legged Frog populations. During late summer each year, we dam all water that flows off of the property to keep bullfrogs from travelling upstream and into the golf course channels during their migration times. The dammed water is collected and pumped back into the irrigation lake to be reused on the golf course.
To the West of the golf course is protected grazing land designated as a preserve for the endangered Callippe Silverspot butterfly. This species of butterfly is native only to the local hills surrounding the golf course. The butterfly lays its eggs on native viola plants that come up in soft soil from hoof prints of local cattle. The butterflies hatch in April or May and only live for a few weeks.
One of the maintenance philosophies employed at Callippe Preserve is to conserve resources, and only apply "what is needed." This is true across the golf course from fertilizer and herbicide applications to irrigation management. We apply only the nutrients that are required by the turf as determined by the results of our soil tests. Twice a year we submit soil tests from our greens, fairways, and rough to determine the status of available nutrients in the soil. We use the results of these tests to determine not only what nutrients need to be applied, but also in what quantity. We apply the products in only the areas where they are deficient, and provide the minimally recommended rate. We also consider proper timing of the application of these products to allow for the best periods of plant uptake during growth stages.
Any applications made for weed and disease control are made through spot treatments as opposed to a blanket application.
Irrigation is applied only as needed and is based on the current weather conditions and calculations from our onsite weather station. During the summer months, the greens are checked daily for their moisture content and water is applied only where supplemental irrigation is needed. We do a lot of hand-watering in fairways to supplement dry areas and reduce overall irrigation during hot spells. We employ a "firm and fast" mentality on the fairways, refusing to over-irrigate simply to keep the golf course green.
Integrated Pest Management:
Callippe Preserve Golf Course operates under an Integrated Golf Course Management Plan that uses the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Best Management Practices (BMP) to establish a balanced, healthy turf resulting in sustainable management and environmental preservation.
On the golf course, several bird roosts and bird boxes can be seen providing vantage points for large raptors on the hunt. We also have foxes, skunks, and coyotes that have been seen scouring the area in search of gophers and other small vertebrate pests.