Using Perceived Landscape Benefits to Subgroup Extension Clients to Promote Urban Landscape Water Conservation

A watering tin and gardening gloves at a home garden.

Because a large percentage of water used in urban areas can be applied through irrigation, home landscape management practices are an important factor of water conservation. The information in this 5-page document is the result of a cluster analysis used to identify meaningful subgroups among home irrigation users to encourage water conservation behaviors. Written by Amanda D. Ali, Laura A. Sanagorski Warner, and Anil Kumar Chaudhary and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, May 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc291

Rain Barrel Owners: Meeting the Programming Needs of This Unique Extension Audience

Rain barrels make it easy for households to practice water conservation. Extension programs for rain barrel construction, decoration, and giveaways can raise awareness for (and encourage use of) this technology. This 9-page document will provide insight into the behavior and attitudes of rain barrel owners so that Extension professionals may gain a better understanding of this unique audience. Written by Emily Ott, Paul Monaghan, Wendy Wilber, Lynn Barber, and Karissa Raymond and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, March 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc297

Stakeholder-Identified Community Garden Program Outcomes

Community Garden

Extension clientele often contact agents for expertise on starting or maintaining a community garden; however, agents’ ability to collect meaningful data from these activities can be a challenge. This 3-page publication discusses a statewide study that was conducted by the author to identify community garden outcomes. Written by Susan Webb and John Diaz and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, January 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc295

Improving, Restoring, and Managing Natural Resources on Rural Properties in Florida: Sources of Financial Assistance

small farm in North Florida, sky, clouds, barn, cows,  beef cattle, trees, grass, pasture. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

Interested in conserving natural resources, such as wildlife habitat, or protecting the agricultural heritage of your land? Both federal and state governments have technical and financial assistance programs to help rural landowners achieve natural resource goals. These challenges are addressed through land rentals, technical assistance, cost-shares, and incentive payments and include both time-limited and permanent land-use options.

This 8-page fact sheet written by Chris Demers, Martin B. Main and Mark E. Hostetler and published by the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation informs landowners about government programs available to help conserve natural resources.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr156

Basics of Quantifying N Sources and Fates on the University of Florida Campus

John Cisar, a professor of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida's Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, is studying how turfgrass and other landscape plants can help prevent nitrogen from leaching through the soil into groundwater, Wednesday - Aug. 13, 2003. He said three years of research have shown that turfgrass is most effective in reducing nitrogen leaching and should be used in Florida landscapes. Other plants require more time to become established and slow nitrogen leaching through the soil.Landscapes, recreational areas, and sports fields are important parts of the University of Florida campus that receive nitrogen (N) fertilization to maintain the health and quality of their plants. However, nitrogen can be lost from the landscape through runoff in storm water or leaching into groundwater, both fates leading to pollution of the receiving water bodies. Human activities can also cause losses of nitrogen. Therefore, educating people about nitrogen cycling in the urban environment is critical for the development of solutions to the environmental problems caused by nitrogen loss. This 5-page fact sheet discusses nitrogen mass budgets, land uses in a major university, and nitrogen sources and fates associated with different land uses on campus. Written by Jiexuan Luo and George Hochmuth, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss641

Implementing the Four Rs (4Rs) in Nutrient Stewardship for Tomato Production

Freshly picked tomatoes.Fertilization plays a critical role in tomato production across the state of Florida. However, appropriate fertilization management depends on four major components (4Rs): right source, right rate, right placement, and right timing. Farming practices that follow the 4Rs can provide nutrients for optimal tomato productivity while minimizing the risk of nutrient losses and adverse environmental effects, both of which are important to the development of agricultural sustainability. This 6-page fact sheet discusses the 4Rs as well as conventional dry source fertilizers, controlled-release or slow-release source fertilizers, and liquid source fertilizers. Written by Qingren Wang, Guodong Liu, Kelly Morgan, and Yuncong Li, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, October 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1269

What Else Can Surface Water Buffer Systems Do?: Exploring Multiple Ecosystem Services

A night sky image with star trails over greenhouses at the Plant Science Research and Education Center in Citra, Florida. Stars, lake, pond, water, oak tree, reflection. Image used in the 2012 Annual Research Report.As society confronts the consequences of global warming, deteriorating water quality, and impoverished biodiversity, there is a growing urgency to develop and expand water buffers' multifunctional ecosystem services. However, limited information is available on other potential co-benefits associated with the use of buffers, particularly VFSs. This 5-page fact sheet provides information on buffers' multiple ecosystem benefits, such as niche products production, carbon sequestration, and flood risk mitigation, as well as recommendations on future research needs necessary to enhance multiple ecosystem services and benefits of buffers. Written by Lei Wu, Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, and Yuncong Li, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, November 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss647

Frequently Asked Questions about Soil Moisture Sensor Irrigation Controllers (SMS)

Soil Moisture Sensor
A soil moisture sensor (SMS) is a device that detects how much moisture is in the soil and prevents an irrigation system from running when it is not needed. This 4-page fact sheet written by Paul Monaghan, Ondine Wells, Michael Dukes, Maria Morera, and Laura Warner and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications explains how the technology functions as well as how to install, program, operate, and maintain an SMS for a money- and water-wise sustainable home landscape that’s lush and beautiful.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc238

Frequently Asked Questions about Evapotranspiration (ET) Irrigation Controllers

Evapotranspiration-controller-michael-Gutierrez

Evapotranspiration is the amount of water that is released into the atmosphere through evaporation and plant transpiration. An evapotranspiration irrigation controller is a device that uses data about the landscape, the type of irrigation system, and local weather conditions to determine when and how much to irrigate. This 5-page fact sheet written by Paul Monaghan, Ondine Wells, Michael Dukes, Maria Morera, and Laura Warner and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications explains how the technology functions as well as how to install, program, operate, and maintain an ET controller for a money- and water-wise sustainable home landscape that’s lush and beautiful.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc237

Contaminantes en el Medio Ambiente Urbano: Los Perfluoroalquilos

Figure 2. Ejemplo de fuentes comunes de perfluoro alkilos para el medio ambiente. En dirección de las agujas del reloj: (1) Sartén antiadherente (Teflón) (2) Tela impermeable, (3) espuma extintora de fuego, (4) envoltorios de comida rápida.Los perfluoroalquilos–los perfluorocarbonos (PFC) o, en inglés, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)–son los productos químicos artificiales más comunes y persistentes en el planeta. Algunos de los productos más comunes que contienen perfluoroalquilos son sartenes de teflón, utensilios de cocina antiadherente, chaquetas impermeables (como Gore-Tex), espumas de extinción de incendios, envases de alimentos, alfombras y telas para muebles. Los perfluoroalquilos poseen un largo tiempo de residencia en el medio ambiente, lo que significa que los perfluoroalquilos pueden acumularse en los organismos en niveles que causan efectos nocivos.

This 6-page fact sheet is the Spanish language version of Contaminants in the Urban Environment: Perfluoroalkyl Substances, written by Ignacio A. Rodriguez-Jorquera and Gurpal S. Toor, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, June 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss644
Feature image credit: iStock/Thinkstock.com (non-stick pan, waterproof fabric, and fire fighting foam)/Digital Vision/Thinkstock.com (fast food)

Lionfish: Is It Safe to Eat?

Figure 1. Eating large, predatory fish harvested from warmer, tropical waters puts consumers at risk for ciguatoxic fish poisoning, and food safety officials in the United States and Caribbean caution against it. The voracious appetite and diverse eating habits of the lionfish suggest it is also a top-order predator species prone to accumulation of ciguatoxins. Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Lionfish is not a traditional or likely seafood selection, but growing interest in response to the invasive and increasing abundance has stirred recreational and commercial interest. This prolific, invasive fish is threatening reefs and coastal fisheries in ocean waters throughout the Caribbean Seas and neighboring regions, and eating lionfish is being encouraged as one of the best options to mitigate the its harmful impact. This 4-page fact sheet discusses the risks in handling and consuming lionfish, and offers recommendations for avoiding risk, for both recreational and commercial harvesters. Written by Steve Otwell, and published by Florida Sea Grant, April 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/sg135

Seafood Knowledge, Perceptions, and Use Patterns in Florida: Findings from a 2013 Survey of Florida Residents

Figure 1

Over the past few years, consumers have begun to pay more attention to the nutritional benefits, sustainability, and environment impact of consuming seafood. However, media coverage of these concerns may leave consumers confused and uncertain about how they should incorporate seafood into their diets. In 2013, a survey was conducted to better understand Florida seafood consumer preferences, perceptions, and concerns. This 4-page fact sheet explains the survey’s findings and how they might help Extension deliver effective seafood-based education to Florida residents. Written by Lisa Krimsky, Charles Adams, and Bryan Fluech, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, May 2015. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe965

Perceptions of Florida-Friendly Landscapes: Linking Visual Quality and Environmental Health through Landscape Codes

plant beds with natural forms that require less trimming.
Early efforts to promote Florida-Friendly landscapes emphasized the use of drought-tolerant plants, which created a negative association with a visually unappealing landscape. This has hampered the promotion of FFL yards and the adoption by homeowner associations. But recently many homeowners are rethinking their landscape maintenance and plant choices and HOAs are considering promoting environmentally friendly landscapes but express uncertainty about recommending FFL because of the need to maintain visual quality. We conducted a study to address both groups’ concerns and help develop FFL-oriented landscape codes that meet both groups’ needs. This 7-page fact sheet was written by Gail Hansen, Laura Warner, Paul Monaghan, Emily Ott, Tim Fogarty, Claire Lewis, and Esen Momol, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, April 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep519

Contaminants in the Urban Environment: Perfluoroalkyl Substances

Figure 2. Examples of common sources of perfluoroalkyl substances in the environment. Clockwise from top left: (1) non-stick pan, (2) waterproof textile, (3) fire-fighting foam, (4) food wrap papers. Credit: iStock/Thinkstock.com (non-stick pan, waterproof textile, and fire fighting foam)/Digital Vision/Thinkstock.com (fast food)Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) or perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are the most widespread and persistent manmade chemicals on earth. Common products that contain PFASs are Teflon pans, non-stick cookware, rain/waterproof jackets (like Gore-Tex), fire-fighting foams, food packaging, carpets, and furniture fabrics. PFASs stay in the environment for a long period of time, which means they can accumulate in organisms to levels that cause harmful effects. This 9-page fact sheet discusses the occurrence, use, exposure, and potential harmful effects of PFASs to humans and the environment, and suggests ways to reduce your exposure to PFSAs. Written by Ignacio A. Rodriguez-Jorquera and Gurpal S. Toor, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, March 2015. (Photos: Thinkstock.com)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss631

Conservation Subdivision: Post-construction Phase: Policy Directions and the Importance of Assessing Stakeholder Opinions

Figure 1. A dragonfly using an urban habitat patch in Gainesville, FL.Simply designating open space in a development is not enough to provide long-term protection for a variety of wildlife. New policies need to be developed that encourage developers of conservation developments to adopt long-term management practices that support biodiversity conservation. This 5-page fact sheet discusses policy options that could be used to support conservation management practices and reports on a survey of Colorado landowners who have created conservation developments and their opinions about a policy option to support the implementation of management practices. Written by Daniel Feinberg and Mark Hostetler, and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, December 2014. (Photo credit: Daniel Feinberg)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw401

Economic Value of the Services Provided by Florida Springs and Other Water Bodies: A Summary of Existing Studies

Springs at Ichetucknee Springs State Park.  Water, vegetation, spring, nature.  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.Florida residents and visitors place a high value on aquatic natural resources. This 8-page fact sheet reviews nine studies that demonstrate that Florida’s springs have a very large economic value, both for recreation and resource conservation. In these studies, economists measure the value of ecosystem services in dollar terms to assist management decisions concerning natural resources. Willingness to pay studies show that people who benefit from Florida springs place a high value on them. Economic contribution studies show that Florida springs play a significant role in local and state economic health and job creation. Written by Sara Wynn, Tatiana Borisova, and Alan Hodges, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, November 2014. (UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe959

Talking Local series

Figure 1. Fruit and vegetable stand on Krome Avenue in Homestead.Extension agents can assist Florida farmers and ranchers in the labeling, sale, and promotion of locally-produced products. This six part series of 3- to 5-page fact sheets provides information about Florida consumers’ perceptions of local food to Extension faculty who are interested in local food programming or who work with local food clientele. Written by Joy N. Rumble and Caroline G. Roper, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, September 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_series_talking_local

In this series:

A Practical Guide for Aquaponics as an Alternative Enterprise

Figure 1. Aquaponic media filled bench bed (left) floating raft system (right) and recirculating tanks and filters (top) at Green Acre Aquaponics, Brooksville, FL.Aquaponics is an intensive sustainable agricultural production system that connects hydroponic and aquaculture systems to produce multiple cash crops with reduced water and fertilizer inputs. It is highly suited for small farm producers targeting local markets and agritourism opportunities. This 10-page fact sheet was written by Richard Tyson and Eric Simonne, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, September 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1252

Introduction to Organic Crop Production

USDA Organic logoOrganic farming can generally be described as a method of production that utilizes non-synthetic inputs and emphasizes biological and ecological process to improve soil quality, manage soil fertility, and optimize pest management. This 16-page fact sheet is written for commercial producers who are transitioning to or beginning organic production. Written by D.D. Treadwell, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, April 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/cv118

Using Social Norms to Increase Behavior Change in Sustainable Landscaping

Figure 1.  A graphic representation of the social marketing approach as applied to Extension programming. Adapted from McKenzie-Mohr, 2011.When Extension agents work to encourage behavioral changes in their community through educational programming, they may already be using some elements of social marketing. Extension educators can use an understanding of their clients’ reservations and inclinations toward a behavior, or their benefits and barriers, to develop strategies that encourage behavior change. Common strategies include prompts and reminders, incentives, and changing social norms. These strategies may be piloted on a small scale, modified if necessary, and then implemented on a large scale and further evaluated. This publication’s purpose is to describe the use of social norms as a social marketing strategy and make recommendations for applying social norms as a tool in Extension programming. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Laura Sanagorski and Paul Monaghan , and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, February 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc158