OKATIE, SC (December 7, 2016) – Oldfield is the first private community in South Carolina to earn the Audubon Green Community Award for their ongoing sustainability initiatives from Audubon International, a non-profit environmental organization. Members of Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program are eligible for the award, which recognizes significant environmental achievement and recognizes completion of the first stage en route to earning the rigorous designation as a Certified Audubon International Sustainable Community.
“We are proud of the community and staff efforts that have brought us this far into the process. Oldfield is excited to move forward not only as a home to some fabulous flora and fauna, but also to demonstrate the habits and decisions that reflect responsible stewardship of these amazing resources,” said Charlie Nolette, Oldfield Clubhouse Manager.
Oldfield’s accomplishments include an environmentally sensitive golf course, designated a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in 2004 for protecting wildlife and reducing chemical and water use. The Oldfield Club reduced its use of potable water and became more environmentally friendly while reducing costs and not hindering aesthetics. Homes and amenities are integrated with 100 acres of open space through a nature trail, private roads, and river access points that offer healthy lifestyle activities like biking, horseback riding, golfing, kayaking, and swimming. Educational signs posted around the community’s environmental areas encourage awareness about stewardship projects like pollinator gardens, bat houses and bees, and viewing platforms offer opportunities for viewing eagles and other sensitive species. To engage visitors in reducing waste onsite, the community has incorporated recycling stations at all community facilities. Plans are now underway to create a community recycling center for residents to drop off household recycling.
“As the first private community in the State of South Carolina to receive the Audubon International Green Community Award, Oldfield has demonstrated a strong commitment to fulfilling the ideals of sustainability—economic vitality, environmental protection, and social responsibility,” said Joanna Nadeau, Director of the Sustainable Communities Program. “With the surrounding natural landscape of maritime forest along the Okatie River and an active and vibrant community, Oldfield has much to celebrate.”
Said Steve Massas, Oldfield Board Member and resident, “We moved to Oldfield in large part due to the natural beauty and abundance of wildlife on the property. Participation in the Sustainable Communities program will help ensure the continued natural vitality of the community.”
After a community sustainability plan is approved, communities in the program may apply for certification in the Sustainable Communities Program by demonstrating continuous progress towards goals in the plan under fifteen focus areas.
About Audubon International
Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, properties, new developments, and entire communities. Through the Sustainable Communities and Green Neighborhoods Programs, Audubon International works to help community leaders and stakeholders embrace environmental stewardship and sustainability as a central element of planning, policies, and practices.
Oldfield is an 860-acre gated community located in the coastal low country region of South Carolina. Prior to becoming a residential property in the early 2000s, Oldfield had a centuries-old tradition of agriculture and land stewardship that resulted in a natural setting evident throughout the community. Homes have been built around and among 100-year-old oak trees, wetland habitats, bird rookeries, and tidal marshlands, creating the impression of a much older, long-established traditional neighborhood. Modern family-friendly amenities blend in with the natural environment, from the rustic equestrian center to the Sports Club and golf clubhouse, to the Outfitters Center located aside the river. The multi-generational Oldfield community embraces its environmental legacy and traditions of land stewardship with the help of an on-staff naturalist and its participation in Audubon International’s programs.