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Vassar Earns Designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Vassar College has achieved designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP), an Audubon International program.  Kevin Mercer, Grounds Manager, and Alistair Hall, Sustainability Coordinator, led the effort to obtain sanctuary designation on the property and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International.  Vassar College is the fifth property in New York and one of 67 properties in the world to be certified in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.

The final step for certification requires a visit by a local community representative. Nancy Cozean from the College Hill Park Revitalization Committee, was given a tour of the property and sent her observations to Audubon International.

"Vassar College has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program.  They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on their property," said Tara Pepperman, Director of Cooperative Sanctuary Programs.  “By taking action to implement indoor and outdoor conservation projects, the management and staff at Vassar College have demonstrated their commitment to the sustainable management of their natural resources.”

Certification through programs like ACSP, help recognize and reaffirm the important legacy that the Vassar landscape holds for many campus and community members. Supporting the campus Arboretum is a top priority for College sustainability efforts.  

"To reach certification, a property must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas," explained Pepperman.  These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Water Quality and Conservation, Resource Management, and Outreach and Education.  Properties go through a recertification process every three years.


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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program provides information and guidance to help businesses and organizations preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, and protect natural resources. Businesses, schools, parks, and other properties from the United States, Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, and Southeast Asia have also achieved certification in the program.

In addition to businesses, Audubon International also includes programs for golf courses, schools, hotels, communities, and new developments with the purpose of delivering high-quality environmental education and facilitating the sustainable management of natural resources.  For more information, contact Audubon International, 120 Defreest Drive, Troy, NY 12180, (518) 767-9051, acsp@auduboninternational.org or visit their website at www.auduboninternational.org.