For the 22nd consecutive year, Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors approved funding for the Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough county Florida-Friendly Landscaping (FFL) program. Tampa Bay Water will provide $443,668 to the program, whose goal is to foster a sense of environmental stewardship among citizens by increasing awareness of natural systems and resources, and how they relate to ecology, economy and quality of life.
The program’s greatest emphasis is on designing, installing and retrofitting existing landscapes and associated irrigation systems to more Florida-friendly landscapes, which leads to increases in water use efficiency. At certain times of the year, up to 50 percent of all water used in the Tampa Bay region is used outdoors, so increasing outdoor efficiency has far-reaching benefits. The FFL program provides specific focus on increasing efficiency of potable water use through its programs.
Homeowners and the building community can achieve Florida-friendly lawns by implementing the nine Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Principles. These principles are:
- Right Plant, Right Place– Enjoy healthier plants and reduce work by using plants suited to your landscape conditions.
- Water Efficiently– To reduce water bills, pest problems and maintenance needs.
- Mulch– Mulch keeps moisture in the soil, helps control weeds and reduces stormwater runoff. Mulch will also improve the soil condition.
- Recycle– Re-use your yard waste to save money and enrich your soil.
- Fertilize Appropriately– This will prevent pollution and maximize plant health.
- Attract Wildlife– Bring your yard to life by providing water, food and shelter for birds, butterflies, bees and other creatures.
- Manage Yard Pests Responsibly– Create an effective defense against pests while minimizing your impact on the environment.
- Reduce Stormwater Runoff– Filter rain through your landscape to protect waterways and replenish the aquifer.
- Protect the Waterfront– Help preserve Florida’s waterways, plants and wildlife – our quality of life.
To learn more about the Florida-Friendly Landscaping program, click here.