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Community Water Wise award winners

Published on: January 20, 2021

The 2020 Community Water Wise award winner for the city of Tampa is Annie Ellis.

2020 Community Water Wise award winners

By Lynn Barber

The Community Water Wise Awards, sponsored by Tampa Bay Water, a regional municipal water provider, recognize individuals and businesses committed to conserving our water resources and protecting the environment by using Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) principles. There are nine FFL principles, which include right plant right place, water efficiently, fertilize appropriately, mulch, attract wildlife, manage yard pests responsibly, recycle, reduce stormwater runoff and protect the waterfront. Many of these principles are used as part of the landscape evaluation process for this award program.

I’m pleased to announce the winners for the 2020 Community Water Wise Award Contest. For unincorporated Hillsborough County, the winner is the landscape of Shirley McFarlane. The City of Tampa winner is Annie Ellis.

There are several elements of these landscapes that are positive examples of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ water wise practices. These include the planting of drought-tolerant trees and plants, self-mulching areas under trees and plants selected that are appropriate for their site conditions. Plants with similar water and maintenance needs are grouped together, organic and alternative mulch are used, as well as pervious materials for paths, walkways and other areas. Each landscape had gutter downspouts and roof runoff directed onto mulched/planted areas, harvested rainwater and had minimal to no turfgrass. Both thrive mainly on rainfall and were aesthetically pleasing, beautiful and inviting.

We are excited about Shirley and Annie’s commitment to water and environmental conservation, the use of native and non-native adaptive plants and their landscape designs — which are completely different and amazing.

As you can see from the photos, these landscapes are water wise and fascinating. With seventeen entries submitted this year, it was difficult selecting the 2020 Community Water Wise award winners. We hope each of you reading this article will consider entering the contest, which you can do any time at tampabaywaterwise.org. The deadline for entries is generally June 30 each year, so you can complete an application now, submit it and get a head start on the 2021 contest!

For assistance with horticultural questions, call us at 813-744-5519. Hillsborough County gardening information is available at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/hillsborough/. View our calendar of events for upcoming educational opportunities and see our Facebook page at facebook.com/HCFFL/. Remember to reduce, reuse, recycle and repeat.

The 2020 Community Water Wise award winner for unincorporated Hillsborough County is the landscape of Shirley McFarlane.

The 2020 Community Water Wise award winner for unincorporated Hillsborough County is the landscape of Shirley McFarlane.

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