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Florida Friendly Landscaping psst it's exactly the same logo

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program

Florida Friendly Landscaping psst it's exactly the same logo

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program

FFL Award Winners - 2019


  • FFL New Construction

    This award recognizes a new residential or commercial landscape that adopts environmentally sound landscape, irrigation, and management policies that include Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles.

    Winner: Senator Villas

    The landscape earned a silver level Florida-Friendly Landscaping Recognition in August 2019.

    In this landscape:

    • Plants are located in site conditions that are suited to their needs.
    • Plants that provide native or non-invasive berries and seeds for birds and other wildlife are present.
    • The landscape preserves snags, tall grasses, or other dense vegetation which provide cover and shelter for wildlife.
    • The irrigation system has a smart irrigation controller.
    • Senator Villas has a maintenance plan in place to ensure that this site continues to be Florida-Friendly.
       
       
       
  • Commercial Landscape

    Recognizes a commercial or governmental property that adopted environmentally sound landscape, irrigation, and management policies that incorporate Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles.

    Winner: Village of Palmetto Bay

    This landscape:

    • Earned Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Gold level recognition in August 2018.
    • Has drip irrigation, an ET controller and even a charging station for electric vehicles.
    • Uses pervious paving throughout the campus.
    • Host and nectar plants are present for butterflies, hummingbirds and/or other pollinators.
       
       
       
  • Outstanding FFL Community

    Recognizes communities that have adopted environmentally sound landscape, irrigation, and management policies that include Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles.

    Winner: Gainesville Cohousing

    Gainesville Cohousing is a neighborhood concept in Gainesville, FL with the goal of creating a cooperative, sustainable, and inter-generational community. Cohousing is a type of intentional community composed of private homes supplemented by shared facilities. The community is planned, owned and managed by the residents – who also share activities which may include cooking, dining, childcare, gardening, and governance of the community.

    In line with its focus on cooperative living, Gainesville Cohousing aims to create an environmentally conscious community with the help of the UF Office of Sustainability. The majority of the homes use solar power Many residents have rain barrels to save water, and the community has agreed to cut down on waste by composting and managing a community garden. The residents want to reduce their impact on the land and create a community that is environmentally sensitive and sustainable.

    Gainesville Cohousing reached out to the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Agent Taylor Clem and the Alachua County Master Gardener Volunteers to help guide their plant choices and implementation of the FFL nine principles. Gale Kempner, a Master Gardener Volunteer and resident of Gainesville Cohousing, gave a Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ presentation to the residents. The residents “got on board with FFL” and are committed to implementing Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ in the community.

       
           
  • FFL Demonstration Garden

    This award recognizes the efforts made in the creation, maintenance, and education of FFL principles in a demonstration garden.

    Winner: UF/IFAS Extension Polk County

    The Polk County Demonstration garden has many types of gardens that are used to showcase the variety of landscapes in central Florida. They include 

    1. Shade Garden
    2. Butterfly Garden (Certified Monarch Waystation and Certified Butterfly Garden)
    3. Hummingbird Garden
    4. Sun Garden
    5. Container Garden
    6. Annual Garden (seasonally changed)
    7. Color Garden
    8. Succulent Garden
    9. Fairy Garden
    10. Selfie Stop and more.

    Twenty-seven Master Gardener Volunteers dedicated 1,423 volunteer hours toward the gardens’ success during the two-year period.  An average of 45,000 people visit the Extension Service grounds annually, having access to the gardens, including many attending related educational opportunities.

       
       
  • Outstanding Residential Landscape

    This award recognizes Florida-Friendly yards that adopt environmentally sound landscape, irrigation, and management practices that include Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles.

    Winner: The Skillings Residence

    • The Skillings' home site was a sandhill forest ecosystem, and so plants typical to this ecosystem were included when possible, not only to ensure plant hardiness, but to achieve some measure of restoration.
    • Drip irrigation was installed for the entire yard. It’s an automated six-zone system with rain shut-off device.
    • Zone areas were grouped as possible according to drainage and light exposure. The owners subsequently modified run times per zone based on our assessment of soil moisture to avoid over or under watering any areas.

    An eco-friendly landscape is rewarding to the owners on many levels:

    • They enjoy the natural beauty of the yard and wildlife that they can see every day
    • They love that the habitat has a positive impact on the environment
    • They certainly enjoy providing an example of sustainable landscaping for other residents in their community
  • FFL Mature Landscape

    This award recognizes a landscape photo(s) that showcases an example of a mature FFL landscape.

    Winner: The Hazelton Residence

    The judges considered the landscape photo based on modeling the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles and design.

    The Hazelton’s say of their landscape, “There were some exotic invasives on the property so those were removed first. Planting started at the sea wall with native & Florida friendly species that did not require fertilizer or irrigation after being established. There was a live oak & a triple Christmas palm on the property so those were integrated into the plan. Shade plants were installed around the oak which offered the only shaded area. The rest of the yard required plants able to tolerate full sun. As the landscape has matured, more shade areas have developed and the plantings have been amended accordingly.”

       
  • FFL Before and After Photo

    This award recognizes a series of photos that showcases an example of a landscape before and after implementing a Florida-Friendly landscape.

    Winner: Maggie Cook

    The Cook’s Florida yard is a good example of using the 9 Florida-Friendly Principles:

    • They only use 50% slow release Nitrogen fertilizers and those specifically blended for their county in conjunction with the University of Florida programs
    • The home is on a slope next to the waterfront so the Cooks makes sure to keep all grass clippings, pesticides and fertilizers (including run-off) at least 10’ from the water.  They don’t use any products on their hillside or beach, and they keep them more than 50’ from the water.
    BEFORE AFTER
  • FFL Faculty of the Year

    This award recognizes the individual faculty member who has made exceptional efforts in supporting the FFL program through research, projects, and/or other activities.

    Winner: Dr. Gail Hansen

    The Judges considered the projects, roles, leadership activities, and educational impacts that Dr. Hansen has made to further the mission of the FFL program.

  • FFL Educator of the Year

    Winner: Amanda Marek

    • Amanda brings leadership and inspires enthusiasm in the FFL program.
    • She has created 4 new demonstration gardens in Marion county, increased FFL volunteer hours from 582 in 2017 to 839 in 2018, and reached 600 people through workshops and 250 in garden tours.
    • From David Holmes, her supervisor – “I believe Amanda Marek is a worthy candidate for the FFL Educator of the Year Award because her program is making a difference in Marion County.  Residents have an opportunity to learn and then apply Florida-Friendly principles.  Volunteers are engaged and excited about helping residents incorporate these recommendations into their landscape efforts.
  • FFL Outstanding Collaboration (Agent & MG)

    This award recognizes the Agent and Master Gardener (or team) that have made an outstanding effort in collaborating on projects and activities while working together in their respective roles.  

    Winners: Tina McIntyre & Sarafaith Pekor

    Total effort is judged collectively on the successful collaboration over a number of projects and the degree of involvement.  

    This award was judged on the initiative of the Master Gardener(s) to help the Agent and the Agent’s ability to provide direction to the Master Gardener(s).

    The Seminole County Master Gardener Program hosted a 60 hour summer work experience program in 2019 for a group of young adults from Lighthouse Central Florida who are blind and living with additional disabilities such as autism, Down’s Syndrome and other learning impairments. The program is designed and administered by a Seminole County Master Gardener, Sarafaith Pekor.

    The students were extremely attentive and inspired by the FFL information and presentations. The FFL Agent, Tina McIntyre brought the  demonstration garden to life by using non-visually dominant teaching techniques, she uses an animated auditory verbal approach to describing the garden and teaching FFL principles in a hands-on approach. She led the exploration of the garden by emphasizing the touch and feel connection and comprehension.

         
  • FFL Volunteer Educator of the Year

    This award recognizes the volunteer educator who has made exceptional efforts in supporting the FFL program through research, collaboration, projects, and/or other activities.

    Winner: Dale Galiano

    The judges considered the projects, roles, leadership activities, and educational impact that the educator has made to further the mission of the FFL program

    • Dale has been an active master gardener volunteer for UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Extension since 1997.
    • She has participated in the Landscape Retrofit Program and FFL yard recognitions
    • She is a member of the Speaker’s Bureau and has done 5 presentations in the past year

    Dale has been instrumental in extending the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program to St. Lucie County residents.  She has effectively educated and supported residents on Best Management Practices in landscape care, in order to ensure improved water quality, increased water conservation and more sustainable landscapes.

  • GI-BMP Industry Instructor of the Year

    This award recognizes a GI-BMP Industry instructor who has demonstrated great effort and dedication in delivering GI-BMP educational programs. 

    Winner: Martha Avila

    Martha has delivered many quality trainings and always seems to go the extra mile to make sure the information is covered completely and consistently while also ensuring the audience can understand the important concepts being delivered.

    • Martha Avila became a GI-BMP trainer in 2009 and she has carried her passion for the GI-BMP’s throughout her DEP career.
    • Her passion and dedication are engaging and provide guidance to all participants. 
    • She has an uncommon ability to communicate clearly and concisely, which amplifies the interesting and relevant modules she develops.

    She forms strong partnerships that assist regulated communities, municipalities, stakeholders (local businesses) as well as the general public in the nine counties within the South District region.

  • GI-BMP Extension Instructor of the Year

    This award recognizes an Extension GI-BMP Instructor who has demonstrated great effort and dedication in delivering GI-BMP educational programs. 

    This individual will have delivered many quality trainings and always seemed to go the extra mile to make sure the information is covered completely and consistently while also ensuring the audience can understand the important concepts being delivered.

    Winner: Grantly Ricketts

    • Grantly Ricketts is the Commercial Horticulture Agent and a certified GIBMP instructor in Osceola County for the past four years.   He offers 4 GI-BMP classes per year.
    • Grantly is quick to observe and understand his student’s needs. He works diligently to provide extra explanation, even one-on-one, if needed during class breaks and lunchtime to enable his students to fully understand the material and achieve their licensure.
    • He always ensures his students are aware of his availability and the services he can provide to them as professionals.
  • GI-BMP Bilingual Instructor of the Year

    This award recognizes a bilingual GI -BMP Instructor who has demonstrated great effort and dedication in delivering GI-BMP educational programs. 

    This individual will have delivered many quality trainings and always seemed to go the extra mile to make sure the information is covered completely and consistently while also ensuring the audience can understand the important concepts being delivered.

    Winner: Epi Carvajal

    • Epi has been teaching the GI-BMP class since 2010.
    • He has taught 20 classes in 6 Counties and has a very high pass rate in both English and Spanish classes.

    Not only does he provide this service, training many Brightview employees across his region, but he is also happy to help with Extension classes, and those of his competitors, when called upon.

  • GI-BMP Master Gardener Instructor of the Year

    This award recognizes a Master Gardener GI-BMP volunteer instructor who has demonstrated great effort and dedication in delivering GI-BMP educational programs. 

    This individual will have delivered many quality trainings and always seemed to go the extra mile to make sure the information is covered completely and consistently while also ensuring the audience can understand the important concepts being delivered.

    Winner: David Craun

    • David has taught 8 classes.

    He focuses on the theme of water quality and water quantity, and the history of water issues in Florida, uses interpretation presentation techniques to encourage attendees to “think about” BMPs that they can use daily, and points out the economic benefits to attendees and their clients by using BMPs.

  • FFL Most Landscape Evaluations

    This award recognizes the county with the most active FFL recognition program.  The award is judged on the number of total landscape evaluations not the number of FFL landscape recognitions. This is because the educational value of an individual site visit is one of the most effective ways to encourage people to make meaningful changes to their landscape.

    Winner: Duval County

    The Duval county FFL program has 29 Master Gardener Volunteers on the Yard Advisor Team, called “Yarders”. They expect that the numbers will grow with the new trainees coming on board in 2020.

    This team of Yarders preformed 100 individual site visits in this award cycle!

  • FFL Industry Partner of the Year

    Winner: Ben Bolusky, FNGLA

    • As the nation's largest state nursery and landscape association, FNGLA represents Florida's environmental horticulture industry.
    • FNGLA dates back to 1952 and today is a vibrant network of professionals who work in unison to shape the future of Florida's nursery and landscape industry. Through the association's activities, FNGLA strives to advance member's business interests and enhance their success.
    • Ben serves as Executive Vice President and oversees Legislative & Regulatory Affairs. Ben is also FNGLA's Spokesperson and the liaison to FNGLA's Divisions.
  • Outstanding FFL Partner

    Winner: Mike Scheinkman, Florida Department of Environmental Protection