Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Running out of water: A Global Crisis

The green movement has taken over the nation and it’s a concept our program has been educating homeowners about since the year 2000. In Miami-Dade we have a growing population currently estimated at 2.3 million people, yet our freshwater supply is the same. The Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program (FYN) was created to help protect our water quantity and quality and other natural resources by creating Florida-Friendly Landscapes.

What is a Florida-Friendly Landscape? A Florida-Friendly Landscape can take any shape as long as it adheres to nine principles. The basic concept is sustainability in order to save you time, money and effort in your landscape. The Right Plant, Right Place principle can help you eliminate 90% of your landscape problems. Using “Low-maintenance Landscape Plants for South Florida” will help you determine which plants require the least amount of water and are suitable for our local area.

As part of our program, we honor model landscapes by officially designating them as Florida-friendly. If you are interested in putting your landscape to the test just answer the questions in our FYN Handbook. Yards are then evaluated based on a checklist to ensure that they qualify as Florida-Friendly. New construction, whether home or commercial buildings, are evaluated with a separate tool that focuses on design and installation practices. In addition, our program can also help you earn credits toward the The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC).

Our Urban Conservation Unit and our Rain Barrel programs are our newest additions to the program striving to tackle the Watering Efficiently principle. The average person in Miami-Dade County uses 145 gallons of water per day. Almost half of that total is used outdoors. Stay tuned for our next blog posting to learn more about other FYN principles and how these programs can help you save water and join our efforts in promoting a more sustainable Miami-Dade County.

Laura Vasquez
305-248-3311 ext.239

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