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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

Benefits of a Florida-Friendly Local Government


The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program was established to protect Florida’s waters and other natural resources. Communities can also benefit financially, aesthetically, and through overall community wellbeing. Florida-Friendly Landscapes are designed to incorporate plants that will have the most success with minimal maintenance once established. State-of-the-art irrigation equipment is used, and both in-house and contracted maintenance staff are required to follow Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles.  As a result, the community can cut costs on maintenance, improve water quality, and have a healthier landscape to enjoy.

Aesthetics

The principles for designing and maintaining a Florida-Friendly landscape can be used to fit the aesthetics of any community. Through proper plant selection and placement, communities can design Florida-Friendly landscapes that have a natural feel to them, ones that have a more manicured look, or anywhere in between. Landscapes can be designed to match the look and functionality desired by a community.

Community Wellbeing

People are naturally drawn to green spaces. Utilizing Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ in a community will increase the health of the landscape. This in turn has the potential to improve community morale and increase citizens' time spent outdoors, which has been proven to have positive impacts on mental and physical health.

Cost Savings

Implementing Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ practices in your community can be financially beneficial. The first principle of the program is Right Plant, Right Place. This simple concept can go a long way. When a landscape is designed using plants that are naturally suited to local conditions (e.g., shade, rainfall, soil type), it will require less maintenance once established. This can result in reduced expenses on staff time, irrigation, and supply purchases such as fertilizer and pesticides. Additional Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ practices such as irrigating efficiently, fertilizing appropriately, and using mulch can add to the cost savings. 

  • Sumter County public library saves $2,935 a year by replacing their annual plant bed with Florida-Friendly perennials. The new design requires far less input and maintenance.
  • Ocean Gallery, a 439-unit condominium development in St. Augustine Beach, worked with their UF/IFAS Extension agent to rewrite their maintenance contract to contain Integrated Pest Management and Green Industry Best Management Practices principles. This saved $6,500 per year on pesticide and fertilizer.
  • Tamarind Village, a community in Broward County, saved $33,000 a year by following Florida-Friendly practices.
    • Right plant, right place and FFL irrigation practices saved $16,000 on water bill
    • Following UF/IFAS recommendations and switching to slow-release fertilizer saved $13,000 a year
    • Using FFL recommended Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies saved $5,000 a year on pesticides

Environmental Impacts

The use of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ can have positive environmental impacts on a community. Following the program’s 9 principles can help a community conserve water, reduce chemical inputs, and reduce nutrient pollution in stormwater. Selecting proper plants can attract wildlife and create healthy urban ecosystems.

BMAPs and Restoration Plans

The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ practices have been recognized as meaningful methods of improving water quality. Through proper landscape design and maintenance, communities can reduce water consumption and nutrient loading. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recognizes these efforts through their various restoration plans. Communities who practice Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ may have reduction credits available to apply to their Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) and other state restoration plans. To learn more about restoration plans or find the local BMAP coordinator, please visit the DEP BMAP website.


Green Infrastructure in Florida Video Series

Principles and Practices of Low Impact Development

 

Retention/Detention Basins

 

Pervious Pavement

Permeable surfaces, unlike impermeable surfaces such as asphalt or concrete, allow stormwater to infiltrate through porous surfaces into the soil and groundwater. EPA parking lots, driveways or sidewalks include pervious concrete, porous asphalt, pervious interlocking concrete pavers or grid pavers.

 

Swales and Bioretention

Swales are drainage paths or vegetated channels used to transport water. They can be used in small drainage areas with low runoff instead of underground storm sewers or concrete open channels. Swales help slow runoff, facilitate infiltration and filter pollutants as runoff flows through the system.

 

Green Roofs

 

Cisterns and Rain Barrels

 

 

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