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South Tampa Couple to Receive the 2011 Water Wise Award

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A south Tampa couple is being recognized by Tampa City Council as the City’s Water Wise landscape winner for 2011.

Steve and Laura Barber nominated their yard in hopes that their water saving landscape design, drought tolerant plants, and Florida friendly practices would catch the eye of the judging team, and it certainly did. They successfully demonstrated that their beautiful landscape can be maintained with natural rainfall and supplemental rain barrel water.

Tampa City Council will present the Barbers with a commendation, and the Tampa Water Department will present the handcrafted stepping stone award in recognition of their accomplishments at Thursday’s Tampa City Council meeting. A link to pictures of the winning landscape and more information about the Community Water Wise Awards are available at

The Barbers used Florida-Friendly Landscaping practices for their 1920s New Suburb Beautiful home to create great curb appeal. These include the planting of drought-tolerant trees and plants, self-mulching areas located under trees, plants appropriate for the site conditions and grouped by maintenance and water requirements, irrigation via low volume, multiple rain barrels for rainwater harvesting, organic mulch applied 2-3 inches in depth, and alternative organic mulch was used.

Homeowners and businesses across the Tampa Bay area are discovering that a few simple changes can help lower utility bills, improve the health and beauty of their landscape and help to preserve Florida’s natural environment. The Community Water Wise Awards, sponsored by Tampa Bay Water and local county Extension Offices’ Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Programs, were created to recognize those who have committed to conserving our water resources and protecting the environment by using attractive Florida-friendly landscaping practices.