5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Lloyd Singleton
Session Name Poster Session - Policy & Behavior Change
Poster Number 32
Author(s) Lloyd Singleton,  UF/IFAS Extension (Presenting Author)
  Sharing Water Wisdom in The Villages
  I am applying for an Extension Scholarship. Situation: In Florida, over 50% of residential water used is to irrigate landscapes. The Villages has over 120,000 people in one retirement community. The developer has addressed water use concerns by implementing a storm water reuse system and encouraging Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ practices throughout much of the development. Some residents have made additional efforts for water savings and conservation, including the use of native plant landscapes. These efforts make a good model for Florida residential developments, and are worthy of sharing. Program and Methods: UF/IFAS Central District “Green Team”, comprised of Extension Agents with Horticulture responsibilities gathered for an educational event that would showcase the successful implementation of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles and storm water reuse. The agenda was: 12:00 noon - lunch 1:00 - 1:45 Walking tour of Brownwood Paddock Square with Landscape Architect Michael Pape. 2:00 - 2:45 WaterWise irrigation innovations presentation by Trey Arnett of Arnett Environmental 3:00 - 3:45 Tour Turnipseed's amazing FFL/Florida Water Star landscape. The event was advertised with an email invitation to the 38 Extension faculty and 16 Master Gardener trainees with Eventbrite registration at no-cost. 40 registered. Summary and Results: 33 did attend. The casual lunch at a restaurant situated in Brownwood Paddock Square offered a great networking time for the participants. Immediately after, Michael Pape, Landscape Architect for Brownwood led a walking tour of the award winning landscape, featuring the principle of Right Plant, Right Place throughout. Two buses, provided free of charge by The Villages, were loaded to transport the group to the nearby Recreation Center that offered a room for presentation free of charge. Trey Arnett, of Arnett Management provided actual water use data and an overview of the storm water system. The third stop for the event was at the Turnipseed residence. Although native plants are often thought of as wild and unkempt, this residential landscape meets and exceeds the high aesthetic standards of The Villages. After admiring the landscape, the participants outfitted with clipboard, pencil, and plant list were tasked with identifying plants by the number on the tag. With a 25 minute time limit, the numbers were removed from the plant ID tags and self-grading results brought the winner with 31 correct answers. A follow up survey will be sent to all the participants to determine knowledge gain and behavior change. It is hoped that many will use this event as a model to reward the good practice of some of Florida’s developers in supporting water conservation and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™. The survey results will be complete by mid-November.