Fla. Revises Best Practices Manual for Lawn Care

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS) have completed a revision of the Green Industries Best Management Practices (BMP) manual, "Florida-Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries."

The Green Industries manual is focused on the lawn care professional, with detailed discussions of fertilizer chemistry, irrigation systems, pesticide licensing, storage, selection, handling, and landscape design and installation. The manual provides information and guidance on turfgrass and landscape management practices to conserve and protect Florida's water resources. The practices cover both the establishment of new turf and landscapes as well as the care of existing turf and landscapes, including construction activities, irrigation, nutrient management, and pest management.

Another new manual by the Department and UF-IFAS, "Florida-Friendly Landscape Guidance Models for Ordinances, Covenants, and Restrictions," is available on the web. This manual provides local and regional government officials, developers, and homeowner associations with guidance that can be incorporated into local land development regulations or property owner association requirements. The manual is expected to be available in print by mid-March.

"These manuals are components of the statewide efforts to reduce nutrient pollution associated with urban landscapes and to conserve the state's water resources. The department, in cooperation with UF-IFAS, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay Estuary Programs, local governments, and the landscaping industry, has been working since the early 1990s on non-regulatory Best Management Practice programs for urban landscapes," said Eric Livingston, chief of the DEP Bureau of Watershed Restoration. "Partnerships and coordination are critical to increasing environmental awareness and protection in this important area and are the key to the success of this program."

The manuals are available at no-cost. To learn more, visit http://yourfloridalawn.ifas.ufl.edu/BMPtraining.html.

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