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Water: Nonpoint Source Success Stories

Information and Education Programs - Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program: More Than 1.2 Million People Reached

Christine Kelly-Begazo
State Coordinator
FY&N Program

FY&N Program Statewide Office


Putting the right plant in the right spot, as demonstrated in this award-winning yard, reduces the need for water and toxic pest control measures.

The Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FY&N) Program was developed to address the serious problems of pollution and disappearing habitats by enlisting homeowners in the battle to save the natural environment. The program provides educational and outreach activities directed at the community to help residents reduce pollution and enhance their environment by improving home and landscape management. The program is being implemented statewide, using the University of Florida County Extension Service and other local, regional, state, federal, and nongovernmental agencies as partners.

FY&N encourages "Florida Friendly" yards and landscapes by promoting basic landscaping principles to homeowners: water efficiently; mulch; recycle; select the least toxic pest control measures; put the right plant in the right spot; fertilize only when necessary; provide food, water, and shelter for wildlife; protect surface water bodies; and minimize storm water runoff. Other stakeholders targeted by this program include the landscape, turf, and nursery industry; property developers and builders; water resource managers; and youth.


Water efficiency was achieved in this award-winning lawn by replacing a traditional grass lawn with native plants and mulch.

An FY&N project in a neighborhood near the Indian River Lagoon was the basis for initiating the statewide FY&N Program. Residents in neighborhoods near the lagoon were provided educational information through pamphlets, presentations, workshops, and on-site workdays on how household activities might affect the water quality of the lagoon. Each household received information on methods for reducing nonpoint source pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides, solid waste, freshwater flow, and on-site water retention. The program focused on alternative pesticide/fertilizer use and frequency of application, and on landscape maintenance and design. Demonstration landscapes were placed at highly visible locations throughout the six-county area to promote the program's concepts.

The project resulted in the training of 128 volunteer Florida Yard Advisors through the Master Gardener program; the advisors provide technical assistance to area property owners. More than 10,000 residents were reached directly at 830 workshops. It is estimated that more than 1.2 million people were informed about the program through radio and television broadcasts, newspaper articles, and exhibits. Thirteen demonstration landscapes were installed throughout the region as examples of FY&N practices. More than 600 homeowners participated in the program, and 404 completed pre/post surveys that helped measure the project's effectiveness. For adopting a sufficient number of recommended practices, 330 properties were certified as Florida Yards. Efficient watering and irrigation practices were adopted by 45 percent of the program participants, and 32 percent adopted Florida Friendly landscape management practices.

The FY&N program is active in 21 different counties, and expansion plans have been developed to include all the other counties in Florida. To find out more about the FY&N program, visit the FY&N web site [BROKEN]. Exit EPA Disclaimer

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