Alachua County has adopted a new code to encourage resilient landscapes that reduce the need for frequent irrigation and use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Under the new Homeowner Association (HOA) Florida Friendly LandscapingTM Design Standards, HOAs may not prohibit the implementation of Florida Friendly Landscaping, and may not require the installation of irrigation. Property owners interested in making changes to their landscapes must still follow the processes outlined in their HOA documents.
HOA representatives and homeowners that live in communities with HOAs are encouraged to attend a workshop on Thursday, May 16, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Fifield Hall (2550 Hull Road, on the UF campus). There is free parking and attendees will learn strategies that homeowners and HOAs can use when working together to install a Florida Friendly landscape.
“Reducing irrigation and chemical use in our landscapes helps to protect local water bodies, aquatic plants, and wildlife,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Interim Water Resources Manager Stacie Greco. “Conserving water in our landscapes leaves more water available in the aquifer to keep springs and rivers flowing. Reducing fertilizer use prevents nutrient loading that contributes to algal blooms.”
A Florida Friendly Landscape conserves water, protects the environment, is adaptable to local conditions, and is drought tolerant. It includes nine general principles: planting the right plant in the right place, efficient watering, appropriate fertilization, mulching, attraction of wildlife, responsible management of yard pests, recycling of yard waste, reduction of stormwater runoff, and waterfront protection.
For more information on the code or workshop, contact Hollie Greer at 352-264-6827 or firstname.lastname@example.org.