Click on any of the different types of the landscapes on campus to learn more about each:
Irrigation of lawns and landscaping in Florida represents the single largest use of water from our municipal water supplies. This water use has seriously impacted the aquifer, which is the source of our drinking water and water that supports Florida’s springs and other ecosystems, and threatens future water supply. At the University of Central Florida reclaimed water is used on over 90% of the areas that are irrigated, which reduced our dependence for potable water. The campus has a MAXICON irrigation control system, which regulates how much water is needed for irrigation through a computer system, and we are working to map and adjust our irrigation system to reduce our water consumption. We also ahve planted some campus landscapes, such as the landscape around Parking Garage H, with native species that require less irrigation water once established.
Turfgrasses can provide a good filter for stormwater runoff in our urban environments if it is maintained using Florida-friendly landscaping practices. To conserve water, UCF adjusts irrigation schedules seasonally and based on current rainfall. We are increasing the palate of grasses used to include species that require less water or are more drought tolerant. Landscapes also support biodiveristy and our we strive to plant variety of Florida-friendly plants, including flowering and fruiting plants that attract butterflies, birds, beneficial insects and other wildlife.
Reduction of Fertilizer
The UCF Landscape team applies fertilizer when and where it is needed. This practice has helped in reducing the amount of nutrients we pump into our soils. Excessive or improperly applied fertilizer can cuase nutrients can cause nutrients to leach or runoff from fertilized areas, where they can contribute to nutrient pollution in Florida’s springs, rivers, streams, lakes and estuaries. UCF Landscape and Natural Resources has helped UCF reduce their fertilizer consumption by 50% by abiding by Florida-Friendly standards to help reduce the overall impact on the water system. Other methods of sustainable fertilizing include applying composted organic material, packaged fertilizer or applying micronutrients such as iron to address specific nutrient deficiencies.
Nine Principles of Florida-FriendlyTM Landscaping
1) Right Plant, Right Place: Plants selected to suit a specific site will require minimal amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides.
2) Water Efficiently: Irrigate only when your lawn needs water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy yard and conservation of limited resources.
3) Fertilize Appropriately: Less is often best. Over-use of fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard and the environment.
4) Mulch: Maintain two to three inches of mulch to help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and suppress weeds.
5) Attract Wildlife: Plants in your yard that provide food, water and shelter can conserve Florida’s diverse wildlife.
6) Manage Yard Pests Responsibly: Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.
7) Recycle: Grass clippings, leaves and yard trimmings composted and recycled on site provide nutrients to the soil and reduce waste disposal.
8) Reduce Stormwater Runoff: Water running off your yard can carry pollutants, such as fertilizer, pesticides, soil and debris that can harm water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help prevent pollution.
9) Protect the Waterfront: Waterfront property, whether on a river, stream, pond, bay or beach, is very fragile and should be carefully protected to maintain freshwater and marine ecosystems.
For more information on Florida-Friendly Landscaping please visit http://www.floridayards.org/