Tampa Bay Water’s board extended its commitment to reducing non-point source pollution and efficient water use by continuing funding for the Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough county Florida-Friendly Landscaping (FFL) program. At its August meeting, the board approved $488,224 in total funding to support FFL in its efforts to promote wise irrigation practices and proper Florida landscape designs. Improving outdoor efficiency can yield far-reaching results.
The program emphasizes designing, installing and retrofitting existing landscapes and associated irrigation systems to more Florida-friendly landscapes, which leads to increases in water use efficiency and reduces pollution into surface and groundwater systems. 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.