For Immediate Release
CLEARWATER, Fla. (April 7, 2021) – Awards season is open for residents and businesses with attractive, water-efficient landscapes. Applications are accepted online at awards.tampabaywaterwise.org through June 30. Winners receive a custom mosaic garden stone, recognition by local elected officials and neighborhood bragging rights.
Getting a coveted award stone requires balancing Florida-friendly landscape elements with attractive design, minimal maintenance, and efficient irrigation techniques that result in reduced water use. Landscapes must be established for at least 12 months to be eligible for an award.
Tampa Bay Water, in partnership with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) County Extension Offices and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program, is looking to recognize residents, local businesses and community organizations that are committed to conserving water resources and protecting the environment. All entries are reviewed by representatives of the University of Florida IFAS County Extension, followed by on-site evaluations.
“We work with the community through the Tampa Bay Community Water Wise Awards program to encourage efficient use of our water resources and to protect our drinking water sources from pollution,” said Amelia Brown, demand management program manager for Tampa Bay Water.
Water-wise landscapes benefit residents and businesses, and the environment, in the following ways:
- Reduced Water Use: Choosing Florida-friendly plants suited to Florida’s natural environment require less water. Native and Florida-friendly plants thrive in the local environment and are typically drought tolerant.
- Minimal Maintenance: Water-wise landscapes typically have less turf grass and use plants that require less upkeep. Plant the right plants in the right places and, once established, the landscape requires little maintenance.
- Protecting the Environment: Selecting pest-resistant plants, fertilizing appropriately and reducing stormwater runoff are all elements of water-wise landscapes that also protect the environment and drinking water sources.
About Tampa Bay Water
Tampa Bay Water is the largest wholesale water supplier in Florida, providing high-quality drinking water to its members, who in turn, supply water to more than 2.5 million residents of the Tampa Bay area. Tampa Bay Water 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 tampabaywater.org.
About the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. To learn more, visit ffl.ifas.ufl.edu.