The conservation and protection of Florida’s natural resources starts at home.
You don't have to be an expert gardener or landscaper to create a Florida-Friendly yard. All it takes is a willingness to learn and a desire to build a beautiful yard that helps protect Florida's environment. Your landscaping choices can affect the health of ground and surface waters, and by extension the natural environment.
The Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology has several Extension programs to help you, all backed by research from the University of Florida.
Gardening Solutions brings the vast resources of the University of Florida directly to every community across the state. This new website offers Florida homeowners and gardeners the best information about Florida-Friendly plants, sustainable landscape practices, and ways to beautify your yard and garden. A program of the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), Gardening Solutions extends the reach of university research and information.
Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FYN) is a public education and outreach program for homeowners. As part of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) Program, it is offered statewide through most UF/IFAS Extension offices. The FYN program educates homeowners about how to design, install, and maintain healthy landscapes that use a minimum of water, fertilizer, and pesticides. The result? Low-cost, low-maintenance, attractive landscapes that add value to your community and reduce the chance of polluting the water supply.
The FYN program offers many services at either no charge or for a minimal fee:
- Workshops and classes
- Plant and landscape advice based on current University of Florida research
- Official yard recognition program
- Certification program for new communities and developments
- Online resources, including numerous publications, a tutorial for custom landscape design, and a plant database
The Florida Master Gardener Program is a volunteer-driven program that benefits UF/IFAS Extension and the citizens of Florida. The program relies on dedicated volunteers who have an interest in gardening and in giving back to their communities.
Florida Master Gardeners provide $6.54 million in volunteer time to Florida’s economy.
Certified Master Gardeners work through their county Extension office to educate Floridians and provide research-based information about gardening. Master Gardeners can fulfill their volunteer hours in a variety of ways, including:
- answering horticultural questions over the phone, in person or through a regular newspaper column
- participating in community and school garden projects
- giving educational presentations to the public
- supporting youth activities
- performing soil sample evaluations
- certifying Florida-friendly yards through the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program