The Community Water Wise Awards, sponsored by Tampa Bay Water, winner for unincorporated Hillsborough County is the landscape of Beth Alence. For the City of Tampa, the winner is Allen Feldman.

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 2021 Community Water Wise Award Contest. For unincorporated Hillsborough County, the winner is the landscape of Beth Alence. The City of Tampa winner is Allen Feldman.

There are several 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 were appropriate for their site conditions. Plants with similar water and maintenance needs are grouped together, organic and alternative mulch was used. Each landscape had gutter downspouts and roof runoff directed onto mulched/planted areas, harvested rainwater, minimal to no turfgrass.

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

As you can see from the photos, these landscapes are water-wise and fascinating. With 15 entries submitted this year, it was difficult selecting the 2021 Community Water Wise Award Winners. We hope each of you will consider entering the contest, which you can do any time at The deadline for entries is June 30 each year, so you can complete an application now, submit it and get a head start on the 2022 contest.

View our calendar of events and Florida-Friendly Landscaping Facebook page on the internet at Hillsborough County Extension. For assistance with horticultural questions, call 744-5519 or visit us at UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County, at 5339 County Rd. 579 in Seffner. We hope to see you at an upcoming workshop soon. Remember to reuse, reduce, recycle and repeat.

Barber is the Florida-Friendly Landscaping agent with UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County. Contact her at

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