Path to Certification

First Certified Sustainable Community in Georgia - 2018

First the six golf courses were certified, now its the entire community

Twenty years ago, The Landings Club executive staff turned to a group of resident volunteers and asked them to explore the value of an environmental certification program being run by Audubon International. Within four years, by 2002, all six of the club’s golf courses on Skidaway Island, located 12 miles southeast of Savannah, were certified as Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries. Today the Troy, NY-based not for profit works all over the world with nearly half of Golf Digests top 100 courses involved and 27 certified, according to Marcus Grey who leads the golf course certification program.

What certification has meant for The Landings Club is a fascinating and ever-growing list of projects on its six courses, all taking advantage of out of play areas. These include the longest monitored bluebird trail in the Southeast and the largest terrapin turtle rescue program on the East Coast, a pollinator berm garden that provides a habitat for monarch research with University of Georgia and University of Minnesota, a community garden with beds for 150 farmers on the site of a former sod farm and The Landings bird cam which streams nesting raptors 24/7 in cooperation with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

All projects are spearheaded by volunteers with funding from Skidaway Audubon, an on-island conservation organization that was launched as a committee of the club to secure certification. The Landings Club course maintenance professionals provide manpower whenever needed and the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association and its Environmental Foundation have both supported and publicized many initiatives.

Skidaway Audubon took its successful work with the club and, with encouragement from the founder of Audubon International during an onsite visit ten years ago, began to expand with projects for the entire Landings community. Volunteers worked alongside the professionals at The Landings Association, the communities governing body, with an environmental manager playing a key role. Out of this collaboration came a recycling center, a native plant trail, a campaign to eliminate an invasive species, the Chinese tallow tree, and water conservation initiatives. Five years ago the decision was made to take it a step further and pursue certification in Audubon International’s Community Sustainability Program.

In February, 2018, after completing work in 15 different focus areas and building a long term plan, The Landings on Skidaway Island was designated as a Certified Sustainable Community, the first in Georgia.

Steven Freund, Executive Director of The Landings Club, lauds the effort, ”Sustainable living in a sustainable community is a reflection of the sensibilities of our residents and members and the right thing to do.”

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Among the many projects completed as part of the community-wide certification initiative was the installation of interpretive signage at a tabby-walled cemetery that dates back to the time of the American Revolution, a piece of history on club property, adjacent to a green on one of the six courses, and carefully protected through the years.

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Delegal Cemetary Signage

Additional Information

Philip Delegal, Junior: GEORGIA COLONIST & BRITISH LOYALIST 1714-1781

The research used to develop the Philip Delegal cemetery signage is referenced below with thanks to the following for their participation: Chuck Mobley, Blake Caldwell, Laura Siefert, Elizabeth DuBose, and Meredith Welch. Thanks also to The Landings Club for support in installing the signage by the tabby-walled cemetery adjacent to Palmetto #13 green. As additional research about this period in Skidaway Island’s history becomes available, it will be posted here.

Installation of interpretive signage at the Natural & Historical Sites at The Landings is an initiative of the Sustainable Skidaway project of Skidaway Audubon, to have the community certified as a Sustainable Community in a program administered by Audubon International.

Funding for the Delegal Cemetery signage came from a Landings Landlovers grant.


Reference Material

Georgia Historical Society manuscript collection 873, Caroline Price Wilson genealogy papers, 1806-1936

The British Evacuate Savannah Georgia by Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution, Compatriot Gordon B. Smith,

 Oglethorpe’s Regiment, Wikipedia

Recollections of a Georgia Loyalist, 1839, by Elizabeth Lichtenstein Johnston, edited by Arthur W. Eaton, (New York: M.F. Mansfield, 1901; reprint, Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Co., 1972);

An Archaeological Investigation of the Waters and Delegal Cemeteries on Skidaway Island, Georgia  by Laura Seifert, Digging Savannah, Armstrong State University, 2015,  (This report can be downloaded below)

A Short History of Skidaway Island, by V.E. Kelly, Second Edition, 1994 

Once Upon an Island; The Barrier Marsh Islands of Chatham County, Georgia, by Elizabeth Piechocinski, Oglethorpe Press, 2003

New Georgia Encyclopedia,

The Chronological Diary for the Year 1737, October, ‘Preferments,’ p.21, The Historical Register: Containing an Impartial Relational of All Transactions, Foreign and Domestic for the Year 1716-1738, Vol 22,

What’s in a Name? (of a Creek, Road, Marina and More) X Marks the Spot by Chuck Mobley, The Skinnie, 9/21/15 (This article can be downloaded below)

Georgia Women: Their Lives and Times, Edited by Ann Chirhart and Betty Wood, Vol 1, University of Georgia Press, 2010

Old Georgia Families: Philip Delegal,

Will of Philip Delegal Sr. ,

Land Grants to Philip Delegal jun, The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, 1758, Vol.XIX, p.745

Tabby description by Elizabeth DuBose, Executive Director of the Ossabaw Island Foundation, Feb. 8, 2017 (This report can be downloaded below)

Timeline excerpted from “Georgia as an English Colony 1732-1775,”