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Environmentalists hope to educate Florida newcomers on importance of our water

Water is such a vital part of our state, not just for wildlife, but our livelihoods as well.

As more people more to Florida, environmentalists see it as a way to educate them on different methods to conserve this important resource.

Rick Molek, owner of Thrifty Garden, doesn’t get skimpy when it comes to conserving water.

“And it’s not just money, not just water, but our time, and to get the most enjoyment out of it, you want to do as little work in your garden to get the maximum benefit out of it,” he said

As Southwest Florida’s population booms, the University of Florida sees it as a chance to teach more people about water conservation.

“The initial one is to plant plants that are kind of acclimatized to our environment that are drought-tolerant, that don’t need very much water during the winter,” said David Outerbridge, director at UF/IFAS Extension Lee County.

Fiddlewood is considered a Florida-friendly plant, and while it’s possible to find exotic plants with a similar price tag, this one could save you water, money and effort in the long run.

That’s because Florida-friendly plants don’t require as much maintenance, including water, as plants not suited for our environment.

You can also consider using drip irrigation and low-emitting sprinkler heads.

“I think that, you know, your water costs will go down if you’re conserving water and it can offset the cost of the initial investment, which is difficult for most people, but I think if you look long term, it benefits you as a homeowner,” Outerbridge said.

It benefits you, your garden and our water supply.

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
Writer:Briana Harvath
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