Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards Program – 2020!

Attention gardeners! Landscape designers! Green-industry pros!
Tampa Bay Community Water Wise Awards logo with water droplet

The annual Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards Program is on the lookout for landscapes that showcase the best in “water-wise” design and maintenance. The annual contest is open to landscapes from across the tri-county Tampa Bay region* (includes Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough). LINK: https://awards.tampabaywaterwise.org/

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


  • Plant selection“Right plant, right place” – By matching plants to their preferred site conditions, you’ve reduced the need for excessive watering, fertilizer, pruning, & pest management.


  • Efficient irrigation – Whether you use “smart” irrigation technology, targeted hand-watering, or mostly rely on “Mother Nature,” your water-wise landscape only uses water where it’s needed, when it’s needed.


  • Attractive design – The landscape you’ve created has great “curb appeal” and/or fits your community aesthetics (while still being a water-efficient all-star!)


  • Minimizes runoff – You know that runoff and leaching can carry nutrients and soil into nearby bodies of water, so you minimize runoff from your landscape.


  • Captures / uses rainwater in the landscape – Don’t let that rain get away!


  • Avoids invasive plants – Invasive plants cause major environmental and economic damage, and can be especially problematic around wetlands and water bodies. You just say “NO” to invasives!

In other words… if you’re helping to prove that a vibrant, attractive landscape DOESN’T require a lot of sprinklers, fertilizer, and pesticides – show us what you’ve got! YOU could be the next winner!

(Note: Your landscape doesn’t need to have all the elements listed above! Those are just a few examples of ways that landscapes can be water-wise. Every landscape is as unique as the gardener who creates it!)

Learn some of the benefits of being “water-wise” HERE.


Entering is free, and only takes a few minutes. Potential applicants should visit https://awards.tampabaywaterwise.org/Enter-Your-Landscape to fill out the brief online entry form. Applications for the current year’s competition will only be accepted until midnight, AUGUST 31, 2020!

Think you could have a winner? Apply today!

Or perhaps someone else in your neighborhood deserve some major bragging rights? Give them a reason to smile & let them know their hard work has been noticed! Share the link & encourage them to enter!

(At the top of this blog post are a couple of social “share” buttons, so you can easily share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or email! Feel free to share on your local neighborhood Nextdoor app too!)

What happens if you win?

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

PLUS, it’s a great opportunity to showcase the unique ways you’re helping to create a more vibrant, Florida-Friendly community. And most of all, 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!


About Tampa Bay Water: Tampa Bay Water supplies wholesale drinking water to more than 2.5 million people throughout the Tampa Bay Region. Learn more at https://www.tampabaywater.org/


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.”


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

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 help create attractive landscapes that DON’T require a lot of water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Through an innovative collaboration with Pasco County Utilities, the Pasco County FFL Program also provides on-site troubleshooting assistance to individuals and communities identified as high water users. His motto is – Less guesswork, better landscapes.” Frank can be reached at fgaldo@ufl.edu


Thirsty for more FFL knowledge? Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter!

Have an idea for a future post? Let me know at fgaldo@ufl.edu

by Frank Galdo

UF/IFAS Extension Is An Equal Opportunity Institution.


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Posted: May 26, 2020

Category: Conservation, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes, Natural Resources, Water
Tags: #SaveWaterFL, Aesthetics, Curb Appeal, Drought Tolerant Plants, Florida Friendly Landscaping, Irrigation, Landscape, Landscaping, Reslilient Landscaping, Right Place, Right Plant, Smart Irrigation, Water Conservation, Water-wise

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