GAINESVILLE, FL--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - The University of Florida/IFAS Extension today announced that "Florida-Friendly Landscaping™: What it Means to Your Community," offering two hours of continuing education credit to licensed Community Association Managers, will be presented for the first time anywhere as part of the Florida Communities of Excellence Conference & Awards Ceremony, April 1, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Conference Center, Hollywood, Florida.

Managers who attend will learn how Florida-Friendly Landscapes contribute to cost-savings that condo and HOA communities seek, while suiting their aesthetic tastes. The class will enable community association and property managers to recognize ways to design, retrofit, and maintain aesthetically-pleasing landscapes that have greater sustainability, protect water resources and save money.

"We're pleased to partner with the Florida Communities of Excellence Awards to launch this new Continuing Education program," said Kathy Malone, state builder and developer coordinator for Florida-Friendly Landscaping. She said participants will walk away empowered and equipped to work with their boards and residents to facilitate Florida-Friendly Landscapes. The new class will provide a number of user-friendly resources Community Association Managers can take back to their boards as they develop their own Florida-Friendly guidelines unique to their communities.

"Managers will see how flexibility in Florida-Friendly Landscaping works to encourage HOA boards and residents to work together on landscapes," Malone added.

The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is a statewide program of UF/IFAS Extension that provides education on how to design, install and maintain quality, water-conserving landscapes that protect the environment. The Florida Legislature in 2009 recognized the importance of Florida-Friendly Landscaping to community associations with legislation that promotes participation of HOAs in protecting water resources.

Managers interested in attending "Florida-Friendly Landscaping: What it Means to Your Community," can register for The Florida Communities of Excellence Conference & Awards Ceremony and for the 10 AM to 12 Noon class at

The 2nd Annual Florida Communities of Excellence Conference & Awards Ceremony is an all-day event that is free for community association board members, managers and residents. The event will be held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Conference Center, April 1, 2011, from 10 am until 7 pm.

During the day participants will network with their peers and attend educational sessions, with the awards ceremony to follow in the evening.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™: What's in it for Your Community" is approved by Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (provider #0000831/Course #9626094).

™Florida-Friendly Landscaping is a Trademark of the University of Florida

Contact Information:

Kathy Malone
State Builder and Developer Coordinator
Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program
University of Florida, IFAS Extension
(352) 273-4508