2023 – Central District All Faculty Symposium – Horticulture, Florida Yards and Neighborhoods, Florida Friendly Landscaping™

C. Gardner, UF/IFAS Extension, Orange County, Orlando, FL.

Situation: The population of Orange County is over 1.4 million people, with a size of over 1,000 square miles. Therefore, proximity to the local UF/IFAS facilities can be challenging to a multitude of residents seeking to attend offered programs that can take place as far as 28 miles away from their residence. Therein lies the problem of reaching the vast population of Orange County that may struggle with the commute to the UF/IFAS Facility for in-person programs. Methods: Beginning in the summer of 2022, a series of classes were conducted both in-person and using Zoom, a digital platform for interactive webinars. All classes contained the same materials, began at the same times, on the same day of the week, and offered the same ticket prices. The classes spanned several growing seasons and covered various topics related to residential vegetable production. Results: After examining the attendance of 14 programs (n=220), the results showed that there was a 105.5% increase in attendance to online webinar classes (148 participants) compared to in-person classes (72 participants). This reflects a significantly higher level of participation and outreach to residents within the county when utilizing a digital platform such as Zoom. Both class settings, digital and in-person, also reflected similar evaluation participation and results. Conclusion: Orange County contains a highly urbanized and diverse environment, the county is not only diverse in race, ethnicity, and culture, but it also contains a diversity of access to transportation. The effectiveness and outreach of future programs can be increased by utilizing digital teaching platforms to reach residents who may not be able to commute to the UF/IFAS Orange County facility for programs. Furthermore, the programs did not reflect a decrease of evaluation participation in digital classes, ensuring that it is still viable method for impact data collection.


Posted: April 15, 2023

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Horticulture, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: 2023, 2023 Central District All Faculty Symposium, C. Gardner, Calvin Gardner, Central District Symposium, Extension, FFL, Florida Yards And Neighborhoods, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, FYN, Horticulture, IFAS, IFAS Extension, Orange County, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, Urban Environment

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