Is Your Landscape the Talk of the Block?
Is your landscaping the envy of the neighborhood – not just because of its beauty, but also because it is water-efficient? Then you might have what it takes to win in the Tampa Bay Community Water Wise Awards!
For the past two decades, the Tampa Bay Community Water Wise Awards program has recognized homeowners and businesses committed to conserving water and protecting the environment by using water-efficient landscaping practices.
To enter, or for more information, visit awards.tampabaywaterwise.org/.
So, what does it mean to have a Water Wise landscape?
Watch the five part video series that highlights previous winners of the Tampa Bay Community Water Wise Awards and provides tips on how you can make your landscaping more water-efficient and Florida-friendly.
The first in the series shows us the importance of preventing stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff is the rain that does not soak into the ground where it falls. Instead, it runs into storm sewers that ultimately lead to Tampa Bay’s waterways, taking along all the pesticides, chemicals, grass clippings and other harmful substances it picks up on the way.
Florida-friendly landscaping can significantly reduce the amount of stormwater runoff. In this video, previous winners show us how they have reduced stormwater runoff in their own yards.
Here are a few tips:
- Minimize hard surfaces on your property. For example, instead of paving a garden path, use crushed shells or mulch.
- Use rain barrels. Instead of directing downspouts onto driveways, where the water will run off into storm drains, direct them into rain barrels. Then, use the captured water on dry days to water plants. If you don’t want to use rain barrels, then direct your downspouts to your garden or lawn.
- Replace parts of your lawn with Florida-friendly plants. Lawns aren’t as effective at absorbing and retaining water, especially during heavy rains.
- Using correctly placed Florida-friendly plants helps slow down water so it can saturate the soil and be used by those plants efficiently. Also, Florida-friendly landscapes generally require less maintenance than turf grass.
- Make sure soil is covered with mulch. During heavy rains exposed soil is subject to erosion.
For more information on how you can make your landscape Water Wise, or to learn more about the contest, visit awards.tampabaywaterwise.org.