Is Your Landscape Water-Wise?

Is your landscape water-wise?

Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards Program

The Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards Program is seeking to recognize landscapes from across the tri-county Tampa Bay* region that showcase the best in “water-wise” design and maintenance. *(includes Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough)

(UPDATE: Time is running out to enter the 2019 contest! Apply online by June 30!)

What are some features that could help make a landscape the next “water-wise” winner?


  • Plant selection – “Right plant, right place”
  • Efficient irrigation / “smart” irrigation / targeted watering only as needed
  • Attractive design / has “curb appeal” / fits community aesthetics
  • Appropriate use of mulch, plants, hardscapes, paths, and/or groundcovers
  • Minimizes runoff
  • Catches / uses rainwater
  • Avoids invasive plants

In other words… if your landscape helps prove that a vibrant, attractive landscape DOESN’T require a lot of sprinklers, fertilizer, and pesticides – it could be the next winner!

Learn some of the benefits of being “water-wise” by clicking this link –

HOW TO ENTER:Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards Logo

Entering is free, and only takes a few minutes. Potential applicants should visit to fill out the brief online entry form. Applications for the current year’s competition will only be accepted until June 30!!!


After reviewing the entries, finalists will be contacted for a site evaluation. During the walk-through, you’ll receive feedback and helpful tips from a real live local Florida-Friendly Landscaping expert!

Think you could have a winner? Apply today!

Or perhaps someone else in your neighborhood deserve some major bragging rights? Encourage them to enter today!

(I’ve even included even a couple of ‘buttons’ at the top of the post so you can easily share this post via Facebook, Twitter, or email! Or feel free to share the link on your neighborhood Nextdoor app too!)

What happens if you win?

Winners receive a custom-made mosaic landscape stepping stone, recognition by local elected officials, and neighborhood bragging rights too!

It’s a great opportunity to showcase the unique ways you’re helping to create a more vibrant community. Plus, it helps show that conserving water and protecting the environment can look REALLY good!


Tiny blooms wrap around the stem of beautyberry. Firebush flower and bee Monarda punctata - spotted bee balm Large glossy leaves of marlberry Feathery tufts adorn Muhly grass in fall Tiny blooms and dense foliage of Walter's viburnum Low-growing cluster of palm fronds around the base of a live oak Native bee visiting a blanketflower

NOTE: If you think “water-wise landscaping” is just a bunch of gravel and cacti… think again! Check out some of these previous posts to learn why “right plant, right place” is the Florida-Friendly Landscaping motto!


FINAL NOTE: This fall, the FFL program will also be recognizing the best-of-the-best statewide! To learn more about the categories, photo contest, and more, check out:


About the Author: As the Florida Friendly Landscaping (FFL) Program Coordinator in Pasco County, Frank works with the residents, homebuilders, and businesses of Pasco to achieve attractive, resilient yards and communities while reducing over-reliance on irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides. Through an innovative collaboration with Pasco County Utilities, Frank provides on-site assistance to individuals and communities identified as high water users. He can be reached at (813)929.2716.

Thirsty for more FFL knowledge? Check out some of my previous posts!

Seeking solutions for a difficult landscape situation? Ask UF/IFAS Extension – We’ve got information for you!

Have an idea for a future post? Let me know at


About UF/IFAS Extension: UF/IFAS Extension serves as a source of non-biased, research-based information for the residents, businesses, and communities of Florida, providing educational materials and programs for adults and youth. We proudly “provide solutions for your life.”

Come learn at one of our workshops! Check out our Eventbrite page for a list of upcoming events:

(Not in Pasco County? Not a problem! Click here to find your local UF/IFAS Extension office!)

by Frank Galdo

UF/IFAS Extension Is An Equal Opportunity Institution.



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Posted: May 10, 2019

Category: Conservation, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes, Natural Resources, Water, Wildlife
Tags: #SaveWaterFL, Drought Tolerant Plants, Florida Friendly Landscaping, Irrigation, Landscape, Landscaping, Rain Barrels, Right Place, Right Plant, Saving Water, Smart Irrigation, Water Conservation, Water-wise

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