ORLANDO, Fla. -- Marriott Golf, one of the world's premier golf operators, announced that Willow Crest Golf Club at Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort in Oak Brook, Ill., is the most recent property to achieve certification through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. This marks the 17th Marriott Golf managed property to achieve Audubon Certification, as part of the Company's green initiatives. By the end of 2008, 25 managed golf properties in North America and the Caribbean will become Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries.
Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries, which enable golf facilities to protect the environment by enhancing precious natural areas and wildlife habitats, are part of a systemwide commitment by Marriott International, Inc.to promote environmental stewardship. In order to achieve Audubon Certification, a golf facility is required to demonstrate that it is maintaining the highest degree of environmental quality in several areas including Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.
As part of the property's environmental efforts to become certified, Willow Crest Golf Club converted 14 acres of manicured turf to natural, un-mowed environmentally sensitive areas, which included all banks along its lake edges. With the taller grasses and emerging plants, the banks have become stabilized and have reduced erosion and aquatic weeds, while connecting habitats. Additionally, the increase of shoreline species has provided nesting areas, shelter, and a food source for wildlife.
Further, the golf team at Willow Crest Golf Club partnered with students at the Westmont Junior High School for the Audubon Adopt-A-School program, which educates students on the importance of protecting and preserving the environment, at school and within their own communities. Willow Crest Golf Club also contributed to its certification process by building, installing, and monitoring several bird houses throughout the property.
Located on the 150-acre estate of Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort, the Dick Nugent-designed course at Willow Crest Golf Club features gently rolling bent grass contoured fairways, quick rolling and well-bunkered greens, along with an abundance of water challenges. The par 70 golf course layout is very challenging, yet enjoyable for golfers of every skill level.
The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, and protect natural resources. Golf courses from the United States, Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, and Southeast Asia have achieved certification in the program.
About Marriott Golf:
Marriott Golf manages 61 golf courses at 45 locations in 13 countries, offering more than 1,000 holes of championship golf. Marriott has been managing golf operations since 1970 and is one of the world's premier golf operators. Marriott provides golf management and consulting services to a variety of operational environments including resort, private club, daily fee, golf school and franchises. For more information, visit www.marriottgolf.com.
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) is a leading lodging company with more than 3,000 lodging properties in the United States and 66 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 2007 year-end. It is ranked as the lodging industry's most admired company and one of the best companies to work for by FORTUNE®, and has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the 2007 Sustained Excellence Award and Partner of the Year since 2004. In fiscal year 2007, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $13 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com.
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