Tierra Verde Golf Club at the Arlington Reserve City of Arlington, Texas


In 1997, the City of Arlington decided to build their third golf course. However, they decided to do something truly unique and special when they decided to design and manage the course per Audubon International guidelines. From the beginning of the project, the objective was to create a golf course that fit seamlessly with the natural landscape, and would be managed and maintained with very limited use of chemicals and an abundance of organic. The project consisted of an 18-hole, par 72 Championship golf course, 3 regulation length practice holes playing to a par of 11, a driving range and short game practice area.

The available land mass was 220 acres. The land was walked and mapped on multiple occasions. Our main objective was to disturb as little of the natural landscape as possible. The design resulted in a total clearing of only 92 acres, which is a very small amount for 21 holes of golf. Of that 92 acres, only 19 acres was treed; the rest was grasslands and shrubs.


With regards to bulk earthworks, only 129,000 cubic yards was moved. Of that 129,000 cubic yards, 34,000 cubic yards was required to dig the irrigation lake. As with the minimalistic approach to clearing, an earthworks total of 129,000 cubic yards for 21-holes of golf is a very small amount.

Numerous birdhouses and duck boxes were installed. Native grasses were replanted in disturbed areas. Approximately fifty hardwood trees were planted. All golf course drainage water was routed through bio-filtration areas before it was reintroduced to natural waterways.


Upon completion of the golf course, Tierra Verde received many awards and recognitions. Most notably, Tierra Verde was granted the prestigious Certified Signature Sanctuary status by Audubon International. Additional awards include:

  • First Municipal Golf Course in United States to become a Certified Signature Sanctuary
  • Twenty-first Golf Course in the World to become Certified Signature Sanctuary
  • First Golf Course in State of Texas to become a Certified Signature Sanctuary
  • Recipient of the 2004 Golf Digest Environmental Leaders in Golf Award
  • Recipient of the 2008 Texas Parks and Wildlife Special Recognition Lone Star Land Steward Award for commitment to wildlife habitat conservation through innovative conservation development.
  • Perennial qualifying course for the Byron Nelson Professional Golf Tournament.


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