Good News For Wildlife Habitats
There is good news for wildlife habitat owners and others who want to plant and maintain their yards in a manner beneficial to wild life, even though it might not comply with homeowners association or municipal rules…Florida law now supports your efforts.
Tags: Wildlife Habitat, Gardening
On June 30, 2009, Governor Charlie Crist signed Senate Bill 2080, also called the Water Rights Bill.
One of the provisions in the bill states that any landscape that fits the 9 principles of Florida-friendly planting, use the right plant in the right place, water efficiently, fertilize appropriately, mulch, attract wildlife, manage yard pests responsibly, recycle, reduce storm water runoff and protect the waterfront, supersedes and takes precedence over all other municipal, county and homeowner association rules, ordinances or laws.
The reasoning behind the introduction and passage of this bill lies in the fact that lawn and landscape irrigation uses a tremendous amount of water in Florida, seriously impacting the Floridan aquifer which provides the state’s drinking water and feeds its springs and other ecosystems. The state would like residents to be encouraged and supported to have the kind of yard that utilizes those 9 landscaping principles. Those principles are encapsulated in National Wildlife Federation’s wildlife habitat certification program which is actively supported and promoted by Florida Wildlife Federation, with Florida-specific information on our website, www.fwfonline.org, and also available by writing or telephoning us.
Lawn grasses are thirsty; pesticides in our yards are damaging to our children’s and pets’ health, and eventually wind up in our waterways. Florida Wildlife Federation is not recommending wholesale ripping out of Florida lawns, but suggests that ways can be found to reduce the amount of turf grass you grow, and probably not upset your homeowners association unduly, or spoil the general landscape theme of your neighborhood, and later in the year some advice and recommendations will be forthcoming from county horticulture agents, who will be scheduling information meetings with homeowner association representatives.
Senate Bill 2080 gives legal support for practices that conservationists have been recommending for a long time. Florida’s wildlife will benefit. Please see Section 373.185, Florida Statutes, and call your local Water Management District for more information.