It’s that time of year to start pondering New Year’s resolutions. One fantastic thing you can do for Florida’s environment is to convert your yard to Florida Friendly Landscaping.
This cuts down on water use, which protects Florida’s rivers and aquifer; reduces fertilizer use, which protects our coastal waters; and provides habitat for wildlife.
If you live in an apartment complex or are a member of a homeowners association that just won’t budge, install a rain barrel, a compost bin, and plant native species of flowers, trees, and shrubs in those areas over which you do have control, and talk to your neighbors and the management about making changes to the property that could result in less grass, mowing, fertilizer, and water use, and ultimately, lower maintenance fees.
The University of Florida’s Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences can help provide tips and resources. The website www.floridayards.org/ also contains great information.
If we all resolve to do a little more, we’ll make a big difference for this beautiful state we call home.
Katie Tripp is director of Science and Conservation at the Save the Manatee Club.