Many of the landscape professionals I’ve spoken with have shared that they value licensing and certifications. Expanding their professional qualifications allows them to stand out as a leader in their field, earn the respect of their peers and clients, and learn ways to protect the environment. When it comes to environmental protections in the landscape, the nine principles of Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM (FFL) offer research-based guidance. And many homeowners are seeking landscapers who follow FFL principles. These include minimizing use of pesticides; preserving habitat for birds and other wildlife; and protecting our rivers, lakes, and lagoons. Both the Green Industries Best Management Practices certification program and the Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Certified Professional (FFLCP) program highlight FFL practices that protect our water and wildlife. In this article, I’ll share information about the FFLCP program, which is a new offering in our Treasure Coast region.
What is the Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Certified Professional program?
As you might guess from the name, the FFLCP designation is for landscape professionals who have demonstrated knowledge of FFL principles and current UF/IFAS recommendations. The FFL program offers FFLCP training in partnership with UF/IFAS Extension offices throughout the state. FFLCP’s are able to recognize and address common landscape issues. They know how to apply sustainable landscape management practices that preserve and protect Florida’s water and natural resources.
As a FFLCP, you will have access to resources including:
- Technical information you can use in creating Florida-Friendly landscapes
- A certificate of qualification with the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Certified Professional logo
- Opportunity to be listed in the FFL statewide directory of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Certified Professionals
- The FFLCP logo, which you can use to promote your expertise in sustainable landscape design and maintenance
Here in Martin County, we also offer brochures and bumper stickers licensed/certified landscape professionals can use to promote their qualifications. Contact me (Yvette Goodiel, email@example.com, 772-419-6962) to learn more.
What are the steps to certification?
To become a Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Certified Professional, you must complete three steps. First, FFLCP candidates must complete online courses, which are available on-demand. Once you have completed the online courses, you will need to take the field module and exam. These are offered in-person at locations throughout the state. The FFLCP field module takes 3 to 4 hours to complete, including classroom and field training and the exam. The classroom training reviews FFL principles. Then, during the field training, the class visits a local landscape. There we review site conditions, identify what is/is not FFL, identify invasive plants and weeds, and discuss recommended management practices. The field module will be offered in the Treasure Coast on September 21, 2023. To find another class location, reach out to your local Extension office or submit a class request online. Once you have taken the online and field modules and passed the exam, the last step is to sign the FFLCP code of ethics.
Register for the Treasure Coast February Field Module here: https://tinyurl.com/FFLCPSept23MC. Registration for the October Field Module will open later this year. Sign up to receive my emails if you would like to be notified of this and other class offerings.
To learn more about the FFLCP certification or to register for the prerequisite online courses, visit https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/ffl-and-you/ffl-professional-certification/.