ACT, Inc. has achieved designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP), an Audubon International program. Brad Spillman, Grounds Manager, has led the effort to obtain sanctuary designation on the property and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International. ACT, Inc. is the first property in Iowa and the 74th property in the world to be certified in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Businesses and Organizations.
The final step for certification requires a visit by a local community representative. Patrick O’Malley, Commercial Horticulture Field Specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach was given a tour of the property and sent his observations to Audubon International. “I found the ACT, Inc. grounds remarkable for the diversity of both managed and natural landscape and I was especially impressed with the incorporation of over 20 native trees and shrubs on the property,” O’Malley reported. “I feel the entire organization is committed to sustainability, both indoors and out.”
“ACT, Inc. has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on their property,” said Laura Karosic, Associate Director of Environmental Programs. “By taking action to implement indoor and outdoor conservation projects, the management and staff at ACT, Inc. have demonstrated their commitment to the sustainable management of their natural resources.”
ACT Chief Executive Officer Jon Whitmore said, “Sustainability is one of ACT’s six official values. We’re reminded of its rewards every day through the nature outside our windows. We also try to live that value by recycling, composting, and using energy-efficient equipment. Sustainability is truly central to everything we do. I hope this recognition encourages others to join us in our efforts.”
“To reach certification, a property must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas,” explained Karosic. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Water Quality and Conservation, Resource Management, and Outreach and Education. Properties go through a recertification process every two years.
The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program provides information and guidance to help businesses and organizations preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, and protect natural resources. Businesses, schools, parks, and other properties from the United States, Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, and Southeast Asia have also achieved certification in the program.