Extension Services Provide Educational Opportunities to Everyone
Many of you have heard of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) and the nine FFL principles. For those of you who may not have heard of this, any landscape can be Florida-Friendly if its designed and cared for according to those sustainable practices. But did you know about the organization that is behind Florida-Friendly Landscaping™? It’s the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension (Extension).
The Extension is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public. It has offices in each of Florida’s 67 counties and offers a variety of programs to local residents.
Want to know which plants are invasive to the area you live in? Ask the Extension office. Want to know how to grow roses in Florida? Ask the Extension office. Ever wonder why stink bugs stink? You guessed it – ask the Extension office.
The Extension’s website provides an abundance of information that individuals can take advantage of from A-Z (seriously…from African Violets to Zucchini)! Classes are offered along with demonstrations and consultations. The Extension is probably one of the most under-utilized resources available to residents of Florida.
For almost two decades Tampa Bay Water has funded the regional public education portion of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program. This money pays for the umbrella program that puts on workshops on Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles, micro-irrigation and rain barrel construction.
Nine Principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping
- Right Plant, Right Place
- Water Efficiently
- Fertilize Appropriately
- Attract Wildlife
- Protect the Waterfront
- Reduce Stormwater Runoff
- Manage Yard Pests Responsibly
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