Xili Golf converts wasteland into organic farm

Children learn about biodiversity at Xili Golf Club

Xili Golf and Country Club, China, has transformed an area of wasteland into a multi-acre organic farm and biodiversity education hub.

The newly developed farm in Shenzhen, China's third most populous city, is being used to teach children about sustainable food production and biodiversity on guided educational tours.

It is part of a long-term commitment to reduce the environmental impact of Xili’s 36-hole golf facility, country club, hotel and residential community in Nan Shan, southeastern China.

Mark O’Connell, General Manager at Xili Golf and Country Club, said: “Golf is still a relatively new sport in China but at Xili we pay great attention to environmental practices.

"We are committed to reducing environmental impact in our operation and protecting water resources and biodiversity for future generations.”

Superintendent Howie Zhang oversees Xili farm which supports livestock, a beehive colony and vegetable crops. The land was formerly used to store debris but now doubles as a working farm and education hub. 

Organic Farm at Xili Golf and Country Club, Shenzhen, China

Employees receive sustainability training at the farm and the children of members are invited on guided tours to harvest produce, pet animals and learn about environmental protection.

Xili farm also sustains a large rabbit community and members feed the animals to promote ‘good health and good luck’.

Xili Golf member feeds a rabbit on a golf green

The club is a member of The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf, a joint initiative between the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Audubon International, which promotes ecologically sound land management and conservation of natural resources.

Xili was certified in 2023 after successfully eradicating 95 per cent of plastic waste from its food and beverage operation and conducting surveys of birds, wildlife, plants and flora on its property.  

Zhang and his maintenance team also use non-polluting chemicals across the golf courses and food waste from restaurants is turned into compost for planting.