Rio Rico Country Club commits to wildlife enhancement and conservation

Esplendor at Rio Rico’s award-winning golf course joins with the community to make land environmentally friendly

Pictures of “new residents” in nesting boxes around the Rio Rico Country Club golf course. PHOTO CREDIT: Jack Talmage, Director of Golf at Esplendor at Rio Rico

The Rio Rico Country Club is showcasing its commitment to the environment by pursuing a designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary golf course. By participating in this world-wide effort coordinated by Audubon International, Rio Rico Country Club will undergo an intensive certification process that focuses on wildlife and habitat management, education and outreach, chemical safety, and water conservation. The certification verifies the golf courses’ environmental protection of the Santa Cruz River Valley. The golf course is located at the Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico.

 “I always say that we are stewards of the land,” says Jack Talmage, Director of Golf at Esplendor at Rio Rico. This five stage process includes altering methods of maintenance on the course such as fertilizer and pesticide applications, creating no mow zones, establishing barriers on shore lines, and creating and protecting wildlife habitats. “It’s our responsibility to the wildlife and the land to make sure we are doing the right thing while providing a quality golf experience for our members and guests.”

Rio Rico Country Club began its outreach portion of the certification process by involving local students. With materials donated by a local Home Depot store, Sahuarita High School’s wood shop class built nesting boxes for the course and the Country Club team installed them on mounted poles and put them in places for golfers and bird watchers to enjoy.

Guests can enjoy the scenes of nature at Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico by booking the Arizona Hummingbirds and Herons Bird Watching package. Avid watchers can enjoy deluxe accommodations at the courtyard room and receive a hummingbird feeder to take home and use. Starting at $169 per night, programs and guest books for birders are included in the package. The Arizona Bird Watching Package can be booked by calling 800.288.4726 or visiting