Skip to Main Content

The Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain State Park Twice Recognized for Environmental Excellence

Wednesday, February 09, 2011 | 03:40am
Designated as an Audubon Sanctuary and Groundwater Guardian Green Site
CROSSVILLE, Tenn. – Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced the Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain State Park was recently recognized both as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International and as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site, designated by The Groundwater Foundation. 
Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary
The course is the 12th in Tennessee and the fifth within the Tennessee State Parks system to receive Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary status. Approximately 850 golf courses worldwide have received this honor. 
Golf Course Superintendent Tim Brock and Ed Brown, a member of the Cumberland Mountain course’s maintenance staff, led the effort to obtain sanctuary status and have been recognized for environmental stewardship by Audubon International. The environmental program they helped initiate already has garnered positive results for both staff and golfers. 
“The Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain joins Warriors’ Path, Fall Creek Falls, the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay and Paris Landing’s golf course in achieving the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary status,” Martineau said. “Tim Brock, Ed Brown and the entire team have led a commendable effort to provide a sanctuary for wildlife and I am proud of the staff’s dedication in achieving such a notable designation.” 
To achieve Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary certification, a golf course must demonstrate a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas including environmental planning; wildlife and habitat management; outreach and education; chemical use reduction and safety; water conservation; and water quality management.
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. For more information on golf and the environment, visit
Groundwater Guardian Green Site
The Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain joins Pickwick Landing, the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay State Park, Paris Landing and the Montgomery Bell courses as one of the only five sites in Tennessee with this designation from The Groundwater Foundation. 
Groundwater Guardian Green Sites are places with significant green space – such as golf courses, ball fields, educational campuses and office parks – that implement effective groundwater and surface water practices to protect water quality. The Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain documented an array of groundwater-friendly practices to earn this exclusive designation. The golf course is actively protecting local water supplies by optimizing fertilizer applications, applying natural organic products when possible and creating vegetative buffer areas around wetlands and shorelines.
“This honor demonstrates the golf course team’s environmental management strategy that continues to produce significant improvements in water conservation,” added Martineau. “Their innovation and conservation leadership have allowed Cumberland Mountain Sate Park to stand out locally, regionally and nationally as a true ‘green’ course.” 
In an effort to protect surrounding waterways and groundwater supplies, the Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain has utilized native plants and buffer zones.  Overall, these decisions have reduced fertilizer and chemical inputs into the environment and also decreased the amount of water required to irrigate these areas.
“Being recognized as both a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and a Groundwater Guardian Green Site has been very rewarding,” Brock said. “Golfers, guests and staff have a greater appreciation for the natural beauty of the golf course and better understand how our actions – both direct and indirect – will positively impact wildlife, waterways and other aspects of the environment.”
The Groundwater Guardian Green Sites program is administered by The Groundwater Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Lincoln, Neb., with a mission to educate and motivate the public to care about and for groundwater. To learn more, please visit
Cumberland Mountain State Park is situated on the Cumberland Plateau – a segment of the great upland, which extends from western New York to central Alabama. The Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain is an 18-hole, championship golf course situated in the heart of Tennessee's scenic Cumberland Plateau. Named one of Golf Digest’s 2001Top Ten Courses in Tennessee, the Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain is one of the most popular sites among the state’s Jack Nicklaus-designed courses. The course layout features a design that capitalizes on elevation changes and natural features, such as flowing brooks and mature pines. Incorporating the region’s layered flagstone, Hole #7 is a 393-yard, par 4 and considered the course’s signature hole. Additional information about the Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain and the entire Tennessee Golf Trail can be found at
Tennessee's 53 state parks offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families or business and professional groups. State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses. For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call toll free 1-888-867-2757. For additional information about Cumberland Mountain State Park, please call (931) 484-6138 or visit our Web site at

Press Releases | Environment & Conservation