Committed to preserving the natural landscape, Tetherow is an Audubon International Certified Signature Sanctuary and was the first golf course in Oregon to achieve the certification. Tetherow’s pledge to ensuring environmentally sound philosophies and practices are integrated into nearly every aspect of the course development and on-going agronomic practices that support sustainability and environmental excellence.
There are only 87 Audubon International certified signature sanctuary golf courses worldwide. We are proud to be one of them.
Tetherow’s Audubon Sanctuary Plan
Tetherow’s Audubon Sanctuary Plan is a comprehensive document that guides the development and management of the property in conjunction with the requirements and guidelines set forth by the Audubon Sanctuary program. Operational costs for implementing our Natural Resource Management Plan are comparable, if not lower, than those of a non-signature development. This makes sustainability both a physical and financial reality.
Each year we work with Audubon International and our Advisory Committee to update our goals as we continue to improve our work in being a sustainable golf course.
Harvesting From Within
With 700 acres at our fingertips, we are proud to use building materials from our own property. Some of the natural resources found on site that were used during construction include plant material, rock and soil. We’ve also preserved rock piles and snags to provide shelter along the golf course for native animals.
Buildings such as the Golf Academy, the snack shack and the comfort stations feature “living roofs” made up of native vegetation. Various monuments around the resort use rocks found on the property, many of which weigh more than 5 tons each!
Additionally, a majority of the plants that must be moved for development are replanted throughout the resort. Because Tetherow is committed to preserving its natural landscape, much of the vast native vegetation was either left untouched or replanted throughout the property during resort construction.
The rock fascia on the buildings, patio and pool area is tri-colored basalt. It was mined from Hole 13 of the golf course and used throughout the clubhouse, outbuildings, pathways and patio areas.
Tetherow’s course uses many products that are either sustainable in their production or come from a waste product. We use fertilizers that contain plant waste, chicken waste and kelp that is harvested and processed in Ireland. We also create our own beneficial microbes that keep our ponds clean and clear, help with our nutrient release from our soils, produce better soil structure and control the mosquito population. We utilize dogs to help control the prevalence of geese on the golf course in an environmentally friendly manner.
Tetherow has 160 acres of total golf course property and 9 acres of lakes and wetlands. Eighty of the 160 acres were left natural or were re-naturalized, and 80 acres are maintained turfgrass. (The average Bend-area course has approx 110-130 acres of maintained turfgrass.)
We use pesticides as little as possible here at Tetherow. The only fungicide application we use is to protect the turfgrass from winter disease. We have been able to virtually eliminate any disease outbreaks by maintaining the fine fescue turfgrass. We spot-spray weeds throughout the maintained portion of the golf course; anywhere else, weeds are picked or pulled by hand.
Tetherow generally uses half as many pesticides and fertilizers as neighboring golf courses, which helped us gain certification from Audubon International.
Our grass is not as green as other courses, and that’s on purpose! We picked our grass (fescue) because it works well for a links-style golf course design like ours. The fine fescue does not naturally get as green as other turf types. While some courses use additional fertilizers and irrigation to make their grass greener, Tetherow does not.
The grassing plan for the entire course is a blend of Fine Fescue and Colonial Bentgrass. This combination of grasses creates a different look (the color) and feel (playability) on the golf course. It also dictates the resource management of the course.
With the help of East Cascades Audubon Society, ongoing efforts promote and protect various bird species by placing bird and bat boxes around the course. More than 45 different species of wildlife have been spotted on the property, including great blue herons, Rocky Mountain elk, deer, ducks, osprey, marmots, bunnies, coyotes, countless birds, frogs, bats and so much more.
Tetherow has established wildlife corridors to aid in the migration of native fauna and fowl and preserved snags, rock and brush piles throughout the property as natural habitat for smaller animals.
Rock piles and snags (downed trees) have been retained throughout the property to provide shelter for native animals. These are especially visible near the bridge between Holes 2 and 3 on the golf course. Bat boxes are housed throughout the resort. (Check out the one near Hole 6 on the golf course.)
The year-round water supply in the ponds throughout the golf course have allowed many animals to make Tetherow their home, or at least a nice rest stop!
The Lewis’ woodpecker is currently on the watch list for endangered species. We are working with the Cascade Bird Conservancy to help improve their nesting potential by placing bird boxes in strategic locations around the property. We have placed 80 bird boxes available for bluebirds and swallows around the resort, and 8 boxes are available for Lewis’s woodpeckers.
The lakes throughout the golf course have been stocked with bluegill and black crappie populations, which have grown significantly in just a few years. These hungry fish help keep the mosquito population in check and keep our ponds clean, naturally!
The Tetherow resort contains 9 acres of lakes and wetlands.
This is our home, too! We work hard to incorporate sustainability into our daily operations and business model as often as possible. Explore below to learn about our daily commitments to honoring this amazing planet.
Operational costs of implementing our Natural Resource Management Plan are comparable if not lower than those of a non-signature development. This makes “sustainability” both a physical and financial reality.
We love sharing our knowledge and experiences! Grade school class field trips and member open houses at the maintenance facility allow us to expand upon our environmental sustainability programs and initiatives. We hope to inspire home owners, guests and other resorts to take an environmentally-friendly approach their future projects.
Tetherow also hosts seminars on ornithology (see photo), ‘fire-free’ xeriscaping, creating wildlife habitat and more. Tetherow Members and guests are encouraged to contact us to learn more about building bird and bat boxes, native landscaping and more!
The “Rock Chuck” or the yellow-bellied marmot is the unofficial mascot of Tetherow. Some days you’ll find our superintendent chasing them off the course.
Tetherow’s buildings are environmentally responsible in a variety of ways. To operate the lights in the Tetherow Lodges, guests must place their electronic door keycard in the receptacle near the entry. When departing, removal of the keycard automatically turns off all lights, saving energy. Tetherow’s Clubhouse features motion-activated lights. If a room in unoccupied, the lights will not be on.
Buildings such as the Golf Academy, snack shack and comfort stations feature “living roofs,” which absorb rainfall, help create clean air and provide natural insulation for the buildings they protect.
Recycling, recycling and recycling – the cornerstone of any environmental sustainability program. We recycle plastics, grass clippings, glass bottles, tree branches, paper, bedknives, food waste from the kitchen, wash water/rinse water, motor oil, plant material from thinning projects, rock, fertilizer jugs and barrels, just to name a few!
Our to-go cups are made from corn and are compostable, too.