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Grants At Work: Educating New Homeowners to Save Our Springs

Florida ranked as the second most popular destination for people making a move in 2023. The influx of new residents may worry those who seek to protect wild Florida, including our hundreds of freshwater springs. But thanks to an $11,000 grant from our Foundation, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is working to minimize the damage new development can cause by educating them about sustainable landscapes and their effect on freshwater springs.

Beloved by both locals and visitors, Florida’s springs provide abundant opportunities for recreation and connection to the natural environment. Sadly, they are facing both water pollution and decreased water flow. Chemicals used in residential fertilizers pollute Florida’s freshwater systems. Irrigating with groundwater contributes to depleting the water in aquifers, which in turn reduces the pressure pushing the water out of the aquifer, decreasing the water flow and volume into springs.

As the allure of owning a new home in Florida beckons, understanding the significance of sustainable lawn care becomes paramount. To educate our newest residents, TNC developed an instruction manual for single-family homeowners. The guide covers topics like holistic pest management, ways to minimize water use, and which native plants work best for lawn use. The 62-page booklet developed will be shared with local governments, developers, builders, and realtors to distribute to new homeowners.  An online version of the guide is available for viewing and download here.

Funds for this grant were made possible by Florida residents who purchased our Protect Florida Springs license plate. Purchase your own specialty plate and support Florida springs’ research and protection by clicking here.

 

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