Growing Greener with Florida-Friendly Landscaping
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Contact: Brandon Moore

Growing Greener with Florida-Friendly Landscaping

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Beautiful surroundings don’t have to come at a cost to our natural resources, or your wallet. By using the Florida-Friendly Landscaping (FFL) program, residents and businesses can learn how to grow and maintain thriving environments that save time, water and money.

For more than 20 years, Tampa Bay Water has supported the FFL program in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. The program engages homeowners, the business community, home builders, and property maintenance groups with a coordinated, hands-on environmental education program that promotes responsible landscaping to conserve drinking water and improve water quality by reducing pollution runoff.

The goal of the FFL program is to foster a sense of environmental stewardship by increasing awareness and understanding of natural systems, and how they relate to ecology, the economy and our quality of life. Tampa Bay Water works in conjunction with its member governments and the local University of Florida Extension offices to fulfill this objective.

Highlights from FFL activities in 2016-2017 include an estimated water savings of more than 106 million gallons, 271 irrigation and 90 landscape evaluations, and approximately $1.2 million worth of time and expertise donated by the Extension offices’ Master Gardeners.

Tampa Bay Water continues to fund the FFL program to help reduce the region’s dependence on groundwater and to protect its surface water sources, including river water and desalinated seawater. For 2017-2018, the funding approved for each of the county programs includes $161,393 for Hillsborough County, $148,307 for Pasco County, and $147,154 for Pinellas County. These funds will be used to grow participation in the FFL program among community members with existing landscaping and also focus on working with builders and developers to design Florida-friendly landscapes in new communities.

By learning how to select the right plants for the right place, efficiently irrigate, effectively mulch and fertilize, manage wildlife and pests, compost, reduce runoff and protect the waterfront, we can all do our part to ensure we are growing sustainably across our part of Florida. To learn more about the FFL program and get connected with the Extension office in your county, visit

About Tampa Bay Water

Tampa Bay Water is Florida’s largest wholesale water supplier and provides reliable, high-quality drinking water to more than 2.4 million people in the Tampa Bay area through its members. Tampa Bay Water’s member governments include the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa, and the counties of Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas. To learn more visit