MARCO ISLAND — Marco’s Community Development Department is presenting the Florida Friendly Landscapes public workshop from 6 to 8 p.m., on Thursday, at Mackle Park, located at 1361 Andalusia Ct.. The courses will inform residents, including gardeners, landscapers and property owners, which species of plants to use and where to plant them to help save money, water and the surrounding environment.
Catherine Feser, horticulturist and native plant expert from the University of Florida’s Agriculture Extension Office, is leading the upcoming workshop. Information on the nine principles of Florida Friendly Landscapes, Xeriscape and Florida native plants for landscapes, will be presented and demonstrated.
The workshop offers information to residents on the city’s required certification for landscape contractors in professional lawn and landscape care as well as information on fertilizer regulations. The landscape contractors can be certified through courses available at Rookery Bay Estuarine Research Reserve in southern Naples. Landscape contractors are required by the city to be certified by April 1, but are encouraged to contact the city if they are signing up for a Rookery Bay course offered in April to get that certification, Environmental Specialist Nancy Richie said.
All members of the public are welcome to Thursday's workshop, City Public Information Coordinator Lisa Douglass reported in a prepared release on Monday.
The nine Florida Friendly Landscaping principles, which are to be presented in more detail by Feser, include putting "the right plant in the right place to conserve water and money;" how to water efficiently; proper fertilization techniques; mulching; attracting wildlife; managing pests; composting; reducing storm water runoff and protecting water fronts, Richie said.
She added that Feser is very knowledgeable of the Island area.
"She (Feser) gives really good examples of pretty plants that are also low maintenance.
"Minimizing maintenance and saving water, means saving money," Richie said.
Contact Bob Devlin, of the city’s planning and zoning department, email@example.com, 389-5023, or City Environmental Specialist Nancy Richie, firstname.lastname@example.org, 389-5003, for more information.