Alachua County is joining numerous governments across Florida, declaring April as Water Conservation Month. The County’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) kicked off water conservation month last year by launching the Turf SWAP Rebate Program to help property owners reduce outdoor water use by removing all or part of their in-ground irrigation system. The program has been a success and is open through January of 2019 or until grant funds run out.
“We depend on the aquifer for our drinking water, as do our springs, rivers, and lakes,” said Alachua County Water Conservation Coordinator Stacie Greco. “We all need to do our part to use less water every day. The best way to leave more water for our springs and future generations is to replace thirsty landscapes with ones that can improve the look of your yard while surviving on rainfall alone once they are established.”
Residents are encouraged to learn more about the Turf Swap program on EPD’s website. Residents may qualify for a rebate (up to $2,000) to replace irrigated turf with Florida Friendly Landscaping.
Florida Friendly drought-tolerant plants can be purchased at the Spring Plant Sale at Morningside Nature Center (3540 E. University Ave, Gainesville) on April 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and at the Master Gardener Plant Sale on May 19 at the Alachua County Extension Office (2800 N.E. 39th Ave, Gainesville) from 8 a.m. to noon.
To learn more about conserving water, visit the Alachua County Water Resources website or contact Stacie Greco at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-264-6829.