Broward County encourages residents to greatly enhance water conservation and decrease runoff. Many of the County’s residents are unfamiliar with the unique growing and environmental conditions of South Florida. Faced with diverse and often unfamiliar environmental conditions, well-meaning individuals often waste water, fertilizers, pesticides, and energy through inappropriate landscape designs and improper landscape practices. The Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Program is designed to assist homeowners to landscape the Florida-Friendly way, using low maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. The Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides a way to significantly augment the resources of the county Urban Horticulture Extension Agent. Urban and Commercial Horticulture synergize to respond to pest alerts, water restrictions, and other environmental crises affecting our water, plant, and soil resources.
Urban Horticultural Extension Has...
- Created 34 Mobile Extension Offices run by Local Master Gardener Coordinators, located in 30 of Broward’s 31 cities. Total residents assisted annually exceeds 72,000.
- Served more than 23,000 residents annually through the phone and email Public Answer Hotlines.
- Achieved greater public implementation of Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM that includes Florida Yards and Neighborhoods’ sustainable landscaping and integrated horticultural and structural pest best management practices, through more than 600 Extension-prepared programs delivered to the public by staff and our Master Gardeners, impacting nearly 49,000 residents each year. We also assist residents with tools provided to them by FYN’s special self-tutorial Web pages.
- Obtained significant practice changes for more than 98 percent of participants, and three Homeowner Associations used more than 15 percent less water than the previous year.
- Trained municipal public works and parks personnel from 25 cities in Florida-Friendly best management practices.
- Received nearly 25,000 volunteer hours from more than 130 Master Gardeners = 12 Full-Time Equivalents (staff members).
- Provided Master Gardener Volunteers to assist Parks and Recreation with special Florida-Friendly Landscapes, instructors to 4-H Junior Master Gardener clubs, and advisors to County and municipal tree giveaways, homeowner and condo associations, canopy dynamics and management, green roofs, and specialized lecturers to Broward County Public Schools.
- Served as the identification authority for pests, poisonous plant identification, and landscape disease diagnosis.
- Trained Master Gardeners each year in the spring through 15-week lecture, lab, and field courses comprising more than 100 hours as a direct response to needs of Broward NatureScape to provide more FYN and NatureScape Master Gardener Yard Inspectors. Produced numerous Planting Guides for us in plant giveaways to empower landscapers and homeowners to select, install, and maintain the most drought-, hurricane-, and cost-efficient plants.
- Certified staff by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as Green Industries Best Management Practices Instructors, and collaborated with the Commercial Horticulture Program in that effort.
UF-IFAS/Broward County Urban Horticulture formulates implementation policy for the UF-IFAS Florida Yards and Neighborhoods residential and commercial developments in Broward County. As new research is produced at the UF-IFAS Research and Education Centers across the state, Extension Agents work to produce Best Management Practices for sustainable, Florida-Friendly Landscapes and horticultural and structural integrated pest management, and to publish and distribute UF-IFAS EDIS (Electronic Data Information Source) publications, locally produced fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations, and other literature backed by research results.
Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM is a service-marked name of the University of Florida- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.