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Entries needed for Water-Wise Awards program
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Photo courtesy of TAMPA BAY WATER
Susan Rohr of St. Petersburg shows off her award stone for winning Tampa Bay Water's 2012 Water-Wise contest.
Photo courtesy of TAMPA BAY WATER
Susan Rohr is surrounded by her award-winning landscape outside her home in historic Kenwood in St. Petersburg.
CLEARWATER - Tampa Bay Water is accepting applications for the 15th annual Community Water-Wise Awards program.

Yards that incorporate Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles with attractive design may have what it takes to win. The application is online at tampa­baywa­terwi­se.or­g and must be received by June 30.

Residents, businesses, builders or other organizations in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties as well as the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg and New Port Richey, are eligible to apply.

Applicants are asked to provide a brief description and photos of their water-efficient landscape to be considered for an award. Each landscape entry will be evaluated and scored on-site by a local Florida-Friendly Landscaping representative during regular business hours in July; applicants need not be present for this evaluation.

Winning landscapes will balance attractive design with Florida-friendly plants and landscape elements, as well as water-efficient irrigation techniques that have a positive impact on our environment.

“It’s part of the station’s mission to minimize our impact on the environment,” said Paul Carroll, WMNF Radio and 2012 Water-Wise Award Winner. “It’s kind of in our DNA.”

Susan Rohr of St. Petersburg also won a Water-Wise award in 2012 for her landscape outside her home in Historic Kenwood.

“When I moved here, the yard was pretty overgrown with weeds and grass; it was pretty wild, Rohr said. “But I knew that I could make it look beautiful.”

Winners receive a custom 2013 Water-Wise landscape stepping stone for their efforts during an award ceremony presented by county commissioners, city council members or even mayors within their local government.

“When I switched to rainwater and native, Florida-friendly landscaping, my water bill was reduced 80 percent,” said Tom Ungaro, 2011 Water-Wise Award Winner.

The money savings are just an added benefit with having a Water-Wise landscape. To hear why some of the past Community Water-Wise Award winners implemented their water-wise landscapes, view Tampa Bay Water’s new Water-Wise video series on YouTube at www.y­outub­­/tamp­abayw­ater.

The series showcases past winner’s experiences with the Water-Wise program, including information about their personal landscaping practices, irrigation techniques and what it means to be Water-Wise.

The Water-Wise Awards program is designed to recognize attractive, water-conserving landscapes in various water-use sectors - homes, businesses, industry and government. Moreover, the program seeks to identify actual examples of outstanding Florida-friendly, water-wise landscaping and to promote those principles within the community.

Tampa Bay Water is the largest wholesale water supplier in Florida, providing drinking water to its members, who in turn, supply water to more than 2.3 million residents of the Tampa Bay area. Tampa Bay Water member governments include the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa, and the counties of Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas. For more information, visit www.t­ampab­aywat­er.or­g.
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