Bolingbrook and Butterflies

Scientists, philosophers, deep-thinkers, and meteorologists have pondered the “butterfly effect” theory for decades, which, generally speaking, asks if a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state, or more commonly put: ‘Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?’

Chances are that the “butterfly effect” theory specifically did not cross the minds of Bolingbrook Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta, the Bolingbrook Village board members, nor executive officers of KemperSports Management, but undoubtedly, the intention of the betterment of the environment of Bolingbrook Golf Club’s 300 acres, other properties on Rodeo Drive, Wheatland Township, Will County, the state of Illinois, the United States of America, the Northern Hemisphere, and the entire world did, as just recently Bolingbrook Golf Club achieved designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses.

Jeff Gerdes, superintendent at Bolingbrook Golf Club, completed the effort to obtain sanctuary designation on the property — Bolingbrook Golf Club becoming the 49th golf course in Illinois, the 734th nationwide, and the 926th in the world to achieve such status.

Bolingbrook Golf ClubLocated just forty minutes southwest of Chicago, Bolingbrook Golf Club is an Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest designed golf course. The course, stretching to 7104 yards and playing to a par of 72 , was once an open field but now challenges golfers with elevated tees, rolling fairways and seven lakes. Other amenities at this championship facility include practice putting green, driving range, learning academy, state-of-the-art GPS-equipped golf carts, and the modern 76,000 square foot clubhouse.

“Bolingbrook Golf Club has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property,” said Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International. The Village of Bolingbrook and Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta are most appreciative to Bolingbrook Golf club for their efforts in water conservation, protecting nature wildlife and increasing native acreage on the property. Bolingbrook Golf Club is a community asset for all residents to enjoy.

“To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas,” explained Kane. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management. Bolingbrook Golf Club’s accomplishments include:
extensive native acreage on the property, reducing irrigated areas to conserve water, establishing buffers around water bodies, and conducting outreach and education activities.

Bolingbrook Golf ClubExpanding areas of native grasses and the provision of buffers around water body penalty areas are known to be proven methods of attracting butterflies to golf courses. Butterflies are one of nature’s pollination agents, and are an indicator of a healthy environment.

“The Village of Bolingbrook’s vision, along with the maintenance team at Bolingbrook Golf Club led by Superintendent Jeff Gerdes, have paved the way for this honor. The leadership and dedication to being stewards of the environment along with being best in class made this certification possible,” said Doug Friess, Bolingbrook Golf Club General Manager.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses is endorsed by the United States Golf Association which provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources.

The efforts of superintendent Jeff Gerdes could be acclaimed as ‘one small step for Bolingbrook, but one giant leap for the world’s environment’.

Bolingbrook Golf Club

2001 Rodeo Drive
Bolingbrook, Illinois 60490
(630) 771-9400


Greg Miles

Greg Miles has been a writer following golf in Chicago since 1990. For the past 30 years he has been a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and currently is classified as a GWAA "Life Member". He played his first round of golf on his 11th birthday, and since then has played more than 7,300 rounds of golf in his lifetime at 517 different courses. He has interviewed more than 280 golfers across all the professional tours along with famous celebrity golfers. Additionally, he is a member of several other competitive and honorary golf associations, as well as the Golf Nut Society.

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