SDG 14 - Life Below Water Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR) Class A Water Native Freshwater Fish Course Enhancement Works – Irrigation Improvements Plastic Tee Collection SDG 15: Life on Land Sustainable Agriculture An Australian first: four golf courses receiving a major government grant Bird Surveys Habitat Planting Host site for Adelaide’s first coastal invertebrate study Urban Microbat Survey Rewildling the Yellowish Sedge Skipper Preserving threatened plant species and protecting indigenous vegetation Course enhancement works – declared weed tree replacement and naturalised rough Reduction in plastic use and food miles SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals Biodiversity, Environmental Awards and Publicity by Numbers


Over the past six years, Course Superintendent, Tim Warren, and Biodiversity Manager, Monina Gilbey have been working with the Course Maintenance Team to create a more sustainable and biodiverse course.

They have undertaken a wide range of projects which aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Club has been recognised internationally, nationally and within their state as leaders in biodiversity and environmental sustainability projects. They have won national and state awards for their work, and have been invited to speak at local, national and international conferences.

Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR)

Our ASR system reduces our reliance on mains water and prevents the nearby airport from flooding if the local creek overflows. It slows the flow of water and reduces pollutants flowing out to the sea. The water ponds create habitat for frogs, turtles, yabbies, native fish and birds.

Class A Water

We have negotiated a 50ML contract which will ensure that we have two months’ of water supply – which creates a back up should the bores of our current Aquifer Storage Recovery system fail or if we have a drier year.

Native Freshwater Fish

We have worked with the Nature Glenelg Trust to assess our water courses and introduce various native fish. During the assessment process, we found one native fish species in one of our water courses.

Course Enhancement Works – Irrigation Improvements

We are replacing our ageing irrigation infrastructure therefore avoiding overwatering and watering of rough – which reduces weeds and chemical inputs and runoff.

Plastic Tee Collection

Tees are often broken and are found all over the course. The Camden Men’s shed have made broken tee boxes. Some members are also collecting broken tees as they play and have collected over 3.5kg of plastic. Reducing plastic tees on our course prevents plastic going into stormwater drains or ending up in our water courses.

Sustainable Agriculture

We held a world first golf course foraged indigenous foods degustation dinner curated by Club member and native foods chef, Andrew Fielke. Plants from our course were harvested for the five-course ‘Grazing the Course’ degustation dinner. The dinner was voted best international community highlight of 2020 by the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf.

An Australian first: four golf courses receiving a major government grant

In 2021, we coordinated a project for the four group one (top tier) golf courses in Adelaide to successfully apply for over $100,000 (GST included) for a Green Adelaide Grassroots Grant.

The project: “Establishing a plant preservation partnership and creating habitat connectivity on Adelaide’s sand dune golf courses” aims to create habitat corridors within and between the four group one golf courses and swap conservation-rated plant material to create a plant ark. Project partners include a local Kaurna elder, Trees for Life and the Camden Men’s Shed.

Bird Surveys

Quarterly surveys over 32 years have identified ninety five species of birds living at the course – some of which are not regularly seen on the Adelaide Plains, such as Superb Fairy Wrens. Occasionally, migratory birds such as Red-necked stints, who migrate from Siberia to the Coorong (a round trip of 30,000km) can be found at one of their many water courses.

Habitat Planting

We are increasing plantings of Adriana quadripartita, Cullen australasicum and Gahnia filum to create much-needed habitat for the Bitterbush Blue Butterfly, the Chequered Swallowtail and the Yellowish Sedge Skipper – a butterfly being rewilded by Green Adelaide.

Host site for Adelaide’s first coastal invertebrate study

Alex Stolarski from EntoSearch received a Green Adelaide Grassroots Grant to conduct a survey on coastal invertebrates. The study, which ran for seven months found 344 different insect species – 74 species were found only at our course – and not observed at the other sites during the survey.

Urban Microbat Survey

We were a survey site for four surveys. The survey findings have not yet been finalised, but preliminary data from the summer and spring survey recorded thousands of calls and five microbats at Glenelg Golf Club, one of which – the Little Forest Bat – is not often found on the Adelaide Plains.

Rewildling the Yellowish Sedge Skipper

We have been working with Green Adelaide to rewild this butterfly which is extinct in the Adelaide metropolitan area. Green Adelaide have been working for 20 years to reintroduce this butterfly. We are planting more of the habitat plant Gahnia filum (Chaffy Saw Sedge) for future releases at our club.

Preserving threatened plant species and protecting indigenous vegetation

Our course contains conservation-rated indigenous plants. We are protecting existing – and newly-found plants – as well as planting new stock. In our clubhouse garden, we have planted various indigenous bulbs, flowering plants and grasses to create habitat for insect pollinators.

Course enhancement works – declared weed tree replacement and naturalised rough

Tree removal – some of which are declared weeds – are being replaced on an almost five to one basis and will lead to tree canopy expansion. Shrub planting will augment the urban refuge for a variety of fauna, provide shade as the temperatures increase and reduce the heat load of our local area. Naturalised rough will provide more areas of indigenous vegetation, connecting vegetation pockets and creating more wildlife corridors.

Reduction in plastic use and food miles

We have reduced the use of plastic clamshells in our bistro. Our kitchen garden allows us to only harvest what we need and reduces vegetable plastic wrap as well as food miles and carbon emissions.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals

We have formed relationships with many different organisations. We have worked with:
  • the City of West Torrens to undertake work on our verge and increase the efficacy of our habitat connectivity project
  • Green Adelaide and research organisations to conduct biodiversity surveys
  • The Nature Glenelg Trust to introduce native freshwater fish
  • Other group one golf courses to swap plant material, create habitat connectivity and control foxes
  • Trees for Life as a plant growing partner
  • A local seed collector and Trees for Life to collect and preserve indigenous plant species
  • Camden Park Men’s Shed to make bird boxes and broken tee boxes
  • A Managed Aquifer Recharge network including state government and local government staff
  • AFRIYEA Golf Academy in Uganda – Monina is in regular contact with staff about their latest projects and is part of an international to support group. One of our juniors was the first child in Australia to be interviewed for their Kids’ Golf Podcast

Biodiversity, Environmental Awards and Publicity by Numbers