Amery Hospital & Clinic Recognized for Environmental Excellence


November 13,2017

AMERY, WI – Amery Hospital & Clinic has achieved designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP), an Audubon International program. Luke Wittkop, Groundskeeper, has led the effort to obtain sanctuary designation on the property and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International. Amery Hospital & Clinic is the first property in Wisconsin and the 34th property 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. Tim Ritten, the Director of the Polk County Land & Water Resources Department, was given a tour of the property and sent his observations to Audubon International. “I found the hospital to be a strong leader in water and energy conservation, recycling, and runoff control, while also promoting birds, pollinators, educational and community involvement activities,” reported Ritten.

"Amery Hospital & Clinic 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 Jessica Latus, Director of Sustainable Community Programs. “By taking action to implement indoor and outdoor conservation projects, the management and staff at Amery Hospital & Clinic have demonstrated their commitment to the sustainable management of their natural resources.”

“We want to be a resource for the community, for exceptional health care and for general well-being,” said Luke Wittkop, Lead Groundskeeper and Maintenance Technician at Amery Hospital & Clinic. “This certification reflects our commitment to continue maintaining our campus as a sanctuary for wildlife, but for our community members too.”

Luke Wittkop has been part of the team working to obtain this certification. They’ve maintained the native plantings that cover the campus, and advocated for continued water and resource conservation. In fact, they’ve been able to cut irrigation water use by 86 percent.

"To reach certification, a property must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas," explained Latus. 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.

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, or visit their website at

Pictured right: Luke Wittkop, Lead Groundskeeper and Maintenance Technician of Amery Hospital & Clinic with Audubon International certification verifying achievements in environmental sustainability.

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