• Magnolia Banner

Earth Day 2024: Walt Disney World® Golf Continues Our Commitment To Supporting And Improving Our Local Environment

You are likely aware that, for many years, the Walt Disney World® Golf Courses have been certified by Audubon International as Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuaries. We take great pride in this accomplishment, as part of our commitment to and stewardship of environmental sensitivity at our facilities.

In recognition of Earth Day 2024, which is on Monday April 22nd, we wanted to take a moment to let you know how we continue, and expand on that commitment.

Many years ago, we installed purple martin nesting facilities at Disney's Magnolia Golf Course, near the 10th tee box and near the 14th green. We also have nesting facilities located to the rear of #9 green alongside the canal at Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.

If you have been to the course in the recent past, you may have noticed and been curious about these structures.

earthday 2024 2

Purple martins are the largest members of the swallow family and are considered a priority species for conservation in Florida by the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture. They annually migrate several thousand miles from Brazil in South America, over land and sea via Central America and Mexico, and arrive here in Central Florida in January and February.

In an effort to support their migration and mating habits, human-built bird houses, such as those that we have installed at Walt Disney World® Golf, are commonly used. There are also clusters of purple martin nesting structures elsewhere around the Walt Disney World® Resort.

earthday 2024 3

The birds began to nest upon arrival and conservation experts from Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment come onsite to engage in weekly scheduled checks of the nests, to monitor the progress of the residents, and to count their eggs. The nests are on cabled mechanisms that allow them to be lowered and raised, and there are side caps on the nests that allow access for visual observation. Some of the purple martins may also be tagged with GPS tracking devices or other identification tags from prior interaction, and all of these data points are recorded.

The Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment team will also photograph and document the activity of the purple martins around the nesting structures.

Once winter turns to spring, the nesting and breeding cycle has been completed, and the newly hatched purple martins are mature enough to leave the nest and fly long distance. They will begin their migration back to South America in June or July, as our summer begins. Purple martins tend to return each year to familiar places once they establish a breeding location, so we anticipate a regular presence of them well into the future.

This is an exciting part of what we do at Walt Disney World® Golf, and we hope that you have the opportunity to observe the activity of the purple martins at Disney's Magnolia or Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Courses when you join us!

earthday 2024 4

We look forward to welcoming you to the "Happiest Place on TURF!"