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Environmental Landscape Management (ELM) is an extension education program developed to promote resource conservation and environmental protection through appropriate landscape design and maintenance practices. Use of ELM practices by Florida home owners and landscape professionals will conserve energy and water, recycle yard wastes, and reduce inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. Site analysis and appropriate landscape design and plant selection are inherent components of ELM. Guidelines for ELM integrate irrigation, fertilization, pest control, recycling of yard wastes and other cultural practices to result in a holistic approach to landscape management.

Five videos, 3 slide sets, 20 newspaper releases, and a 45-page booklet, The Florida Environmental Landscape Guide, have been produced to support ELM. This information also will be available on CD-ROM in each county extension office.

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Landscapes and private gardens are a major component of United States residential landscapes. They not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of a property but also offer several social and environmental benefits such as providing space for outdoor

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When determining whether landscaping is sustainable, we should consider environmental, financial, and human factors. Environmental factors include the capacity of the landscape to damage or heal the system in which it is placed, the environmental effects of the cultural techniques and products used to install and maintain the landscape, and the ability of that landscape to endure without environmentally damaging inputs. Financial factors include the cost of the landscape compared to the economic return in terms of increased property values, the ability to attract and hold industry in the neighborhood, and user fees paid by people attracted to an area by the landscaping. Human factors include the effects on the landscape on mood, employee retention, and health and activity of the individuals who interact with the environment. The ideal landscape would be sustainable in all three of these areas, meaning there is more benefit than cost environmentally, financially, and humanly.

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When determining whether landscaping is sustainable, we should consider environmental, financial and human factors. Environmental factors include: 1) the capacity of the landscape to damage or heal the system within which it is placed, 2) the environmental effects of the cultural techniques and products used in the installation and maintenance of that landscape, and 3) the ability of that landscape to endure without environmentally damaging inputs. Financial factors include: 1) the cost of the landscape compared to the economic return in terms of increased property values, 2) ability to attract and hold industry in a neighborhood, and 3) user fees paid by people attracted to an area by the landscaping. Human factors include: 1) the effects of the landscape on mood, employee retention, health and 2) activity of the individuals who interact with the environment. The ideal landscape would be sustainable in all three of these areas, meaning that there is more benefit than cost environmentally, financially and humanly.

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Environmental Landscape Management (ELM), an extension education program, approaches every landscape as a “system” in which cultural practices interact with each other and the environment. ELM guidelines integrate site conditions, landscape design, plant selection, cultural factors, and recycling in a comprehensive, environment-friendly strategy for managing a landscape. Use of ELM practices by Floridians will conserve resources and protect the environment. The ELM program was evaluated from 1992 to 1994 in 10 counties to measure the program's impact on participants' landscape practices and to provide information on ways to improve program delivery and effectiveness. The evaluation was accomplished by comparing pre-program information on the use of ELM practices with that of a follow-up conducted six months after the program. Responses of this Program Group (n = 473) were compared to those of a Comparison Group of randomly selected Floridians (n = 186). ELM training increased the Program Group's adoption of most practices pertaining to pest management, irrigation, and mowing and pruning. ELM training increased adoption of some fertilization practices and a few recycling and wildlife practices. Energy conserving practices were not widely used by respondents. Respondents maintaining their own yards or those without a permanent irrigation system were more likely to adopt a wide range of ELM practices. The Program Group generally had higher initial levels of adoption of ELM practices than the Comparison Group.

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The Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program (FYN) provides special educational and outreach activities directed at the community to help Floridians reduce pollution and enhance their environment by improving landscape management. The Commercial Landscape Industry Professionals program (CLIP) was developed to provide training in FYN principles to Florida's landscape professionals. CLIP was pilot-tested from 1997 to 1999 in the six-county Indian River Lagoon area of coastal east-central Florida. Teaching resources, audiovisuals, teaching outlines, and reference materials were developed to create an FYN/CLIP curriculum, which was delivered to landscape maintenance personnel through a series of training programs. In addition, the pilot program developed marketing approaches, incentives, and recognition programs for landscape professionals to encourage their participation in CLIP training programs. Evaluations of training programs and results of pre- and post-test questionnaires demonstrate the effectiveness of the FYN/CLIP program.

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Optimizing growing conditions and, thereby, plant growth reduces the susceptibility of plants to many disease and insect pest problems. Educating lawn or landscape management professionals and homeowners about plant health management reduces the need for chemical intervention. Pesticides combined with N and P fertilizers contribute to water pollution problems in urban areas; thus, it is important to manage the amount, timing, and placement of chemicals and fertilizers. To educate consumers applying pesticides and fertilizers in residential gardens, we must educate the sales representatives and others who interact most closely with consumers. Evidence suggests that knowledge about the effects of chemicals is limited and that warning labels are not read or are ignored. Integrated pest management (IPM) offers alternatives to conventional chemical treatments, but such methods are not used commonly because of their relatively high cost and their uncertain impact on pests. Pest detection methods and using pest-resistant plants in landscapes are simple and, in many cases, readily available approaches to reducing the dependence on chemical use. Research on effective, low-cost IPM methods is essential if chemical use in landscape management is to decrease. Current impediments to reducing the pollution potential of chemicals used in the landscape include the limited number of easily implemented, reliable, and cost-effective alternative pest control methods; underfunding of research on development of alternative pest control measures; limited knowledge of commercial operators, chemical and nursery sales representatives, landscape architects, and the general public concerning available alternatives; reluctance of the nursery industry to produce, and of the landscape architects to specify the use of, pest-resistant plant materials; lack of economic or regulatory incentive for professionals to implement alternatives; inadequate funding for education on the benefits of decreased chemical use; and the necessity of changing consumer definition of unacceptable plant damage. We need to teach homeowners and professionals how to manage irrigation to optimize plant growth; use sound IPM practices for reducing disease, weed, and insect problems; and minimize pollution hazards from fertilizers and pesticides.

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recognized benefits of sustainable landscaping, there are still challenges in gaining widespread adoption of these practices. A sustainable landscape is meant to maximize environmental benefits without compromising the landscape’s beauty and ease of

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variables which were the perceived benefits attained from the landscape. These eight researcher-developed perceived landscape benefits variables were monetary, food, habitat, well-being, aesthetic, social, health and comfort, and environmental. We developed

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adaptable, and thus more accepting of alternative landscaping. Alternately, the older generation might be sensitive to environmental issues but less able to make changes to their landscapes. Perhaps a longitudinal study of the impact of demographic trends on

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