Beaufort, SC (January 9, 2019) - An award, along with the recertification, was presented to Dataw for 10 years as Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary-certified golf courses. Brian Hollingsworth, Director of Golf Course Maintenance, wanted to especially thank two important people who make maintaining this certification a reality, Mary Ann Foutch and Gretchen Blickle.  “We are proud of the Audubon work we have done here for many years, but it doesn’t happen by accident.  It takes special members who care and are willing to volunteer their time and hard work to make it a reality.  Mrs. Foutch and Mrs. Blickle have been integral in maintaining our blue bird trail for many years.”

With a combined service of 18 years, these two “bird ladies” (as they are referred to by other members of the Dataw Island Community), volunteer their time to maintain 16 nesting Blue Bird boxes along both Cotton Dike and Morgan River golf courses.

What they enjoy most about helping with the bird program is: “I really enjoy birds and have always had an interest in them,” Foutch says. “This work makes me get up and go in the morning,” said Blickle. 

When asked why they think this work is important, Blickle says, “It’s taking care of the environment and that is what we are all about.” Foutch added, “It’s a small part of things that need fixed in this world; we start with the Blue Birds.”

The Blue Birds come each year around April and begin laying eggs around May. The first hatch comes in June with a second hatch around July. Blickle and Foutch said they love being able to show visiting children the Blue Bird babies, and the children seem to enjoy it as well.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program helps golf courses protect our environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf. By helping people enhance the valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats that golf courses provide, improve efficiency, and minimize potentially harmful impacts of golf course operations, the program serves an important environmental role worldwide. 

Cotton Dike and Morgan River have been certified since 2008, thanks to the efforts of member volunteers and staff practices. 

Dataw Island is a gated golf, tennis and boating lifestyle community located fifteen minutes outside of historic downtown Beaufort. The island features two recently-renovated golf courses by designers Tom Fazio and Arthur Hills, a tennis center, a community center with workout and massage facilities, indoor and outdoor pools, three restaurants and impeccably-maintained croquet lawns. The community has also been ranked the number one best retirement destination in South Carolina by Best Retirement Destinations and is the recipient of the 2017 Bliss Award for “Happiest South Carolina Community.” 

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