Florida-Friendly Landscape Recognition

FFL yard recognition. Photo credit: Carol Leffler
FFL yard recognition. Photo credit: Carol Leffler

Many Florida residents who want to help protect our natural environment have committed to learning about the conservation-centered program of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL).  While the nine principles of FFL are straight-forward, it is at times desirable to get feedback on one’s efforts.  Happily, a great way to get this feedback is to request a Florida-Friendly Landscape Recognition evaluation.  This service is offered by UF/IFAS Extension, and is offered in three categories (home, commercial, and new construction), whose landscapes show evidence of sustainable practices.

Landscapes are evaluated based on a checklist of FFL practices and requires two steps.




Fill out a checklist

First, visit the website to obtain the checklist. Select the appropriate category checklist. Use the checklist to evaluate your landscape and make any changes needed.  If you have questions at this point, contact your local FFL Program coordinator or Extension Agent.  In Polk County, contact Julie Schelb at 863-519-1068, or schelb@ufl.eduTo find your local Extension contact in areas outside of Polk County, visit this website.

Contact your local Extension Service

Once your landscape is ready, the second step is to contact your local FFL Program Coordinator or Agent and request a site visit.  The in-person site visit will be conducted by a team of your local Florida-Friendly Coordinator and Master Gardener Volunteers who will visit your landscape and review with you the checklist to determine if your landscape is Florida-Friendly.

FFL yard advisors
FFL yard advisors

If the landscape is deemed Florida-Friendly, recognition will be awarded on either a silver or gold level.  You will receive an attractive yard flag to display in your landscape.

What might you expect during a site visit if you have your landscape evaluated for recognition?  In the words of a recent homeowner who completed the process:

“After completing our checklist and going over some of our practices, we recently received the silver level recognition.  We found the process to be a treasure-trove of education and felt the experience was less of a “grading”, and more of a “journey”.  The site staff were professional and supportive.  Even with years of attempts to become a Florida-Friendly follower, we learned so much during our interview.  We now display our beautiful recognition flag in the front yard and have received the attention of folks who walk our street.  Some have even asked about Florida-Friendly Landscaping™, and we feel it is helpful to be spreading the word about sustainable landscaping!”

For more information, contact UF/IFAS Extension Polk County at (863) 519-1041 or visit us online. The Plant Clinic is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm to answer your gardening and landscaping questions. Give us a call or email us at polkmg@ifas.ufl.edu.

If you are not in Polk County, Contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Clinic.

The Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a volunteer-driven program that benefits UF/IFAS Extension and the citizens of Florida. The program extends the vision of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, all the while protecting and sustaining natural resources and environmental systems, enhancing the development of human resources, and improving the quality of human life through the development of knowledge in agricultural, human and natural resources and making that knowledge accessible.

This article was written by Master Gardener Volunteer Molly Griner under supervision of the Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator and Residential Horticulture Extension Agent Anne Yasalonis.

An Equal Opportunity Institution.


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Posted: February 1, 2022

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes,

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