Hillsborough Water Works
People

 

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"The classes: we took almost everything the Extension office had to offer – lazy gardening, landscaping design, water wise and composting."

Steven and Carolyne Roberts
Residents, Hillsborough County

 

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"No matter where you go or
what you do in the state of Florida, there's water someplace and it's very important to what we do here."

Paul Catoe
President and CEO
Tampa Bay & Company

People

Although all of the components of Hillsborough County water management strategy are important, people are the ones who make things happen.

We’d like to introduce you to a few exceptional people in Hillsborough County who are doing their part to protect our water resources. 

The Master Gardeners

Roberts gardenCarolyne and Steven Roberts are a great example of how a little effort makes a big impact. When Carolyne moved from London to Florida, the climate and soil were unfamiliar. The Roberts were eager to plant a tropical garden, but didn’t have the experience to know which plants grow best in Florida’s climate.

After seeing an advertisement in their local newspaper, the couple attended gardening classes at the Hillsborough County Extension Service offices in Seffner.  They took nearly every course that was offered: Water Wise, Right Plant, Right Place, Composting, and Rain Barrels.  They enjoyed the classes so much that they quickly became experts. Today both of them have been accepted into the competitive Master Gardener’s clinic.

Thanks to the knowledge gained from the Extension Service, their backyard has transformed into a gardening masterpiece.  They have rain barrels, a babbling brook and Koi pond, and several butterfly gardens.  The classes they took taught them how to install a micro-irrigation system so now their backyard gardens are practically self-sufficient!

To learn more about the classes offered through the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods program, visit this link: http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/

Water and Tourism

Homeowners are not the only people using water in Tampa Bay.  Hillsborough County is a vacation destination and conference location for millions of visitors every year. Hillsborough County Hotel and Motel Association Executive Director Bob Morrison knows this.  Morrison is involved with a partnership between Southwest Florida Water Management District, the City of Tampa, and Hillsborough County Water Resource Services to reduce hotel and motel water use. The program, called “Water CHAMP,” has integrated water conservation practices into hotel policies that resulted in more than 30 million gallons saved in just the first year. While the program was initially met with hesitation, major hotel chains quickly embraced water conservation policies as a way of showing their guests that they are good stewards of our environment. 

“There is no question that water is the resource that draws our guests and if we are able to reflect a water conservation mindset in our practices, I feel that we are doing our part to contribute,” says Morrison.

Paul Catoe of Visit Tampa Bay makes his living by selling Tampa Bay to visitors and agrees that water is our biggest attraction.

Paul Catoe“We would not be able to do the things we can in the tourism industry if not for water. Tourists get to see the natural beauty and wildlife that inhabit the river, which wouldn’t exist without a healthy river system,” he says. “It is our job to protect that.”

Hillsborough water works thanks to them—thanks to you!

Let us know what you, your neighborhood or your business is doing to conserve water. Email your story and photos to mywaterworks@hillsboroughwaterworks.com or call our Water Conservation Team at 813-274-6800.