Gardens & Landscaping

Why Are Gardens & Landscaping Important?

Gardens and trees play an important role in beautifying the landscape, preventing erosion, and absorbing harmful pollution like carbon dioxide. The quantity of plants and trees directly affect water and air quality. They minimize effects of natural disasters such as flooding, landslides, and hurricanes. Plants can prevent erosion, a particular problem across Florida’s beaches. Besides all these quantifiable benefits, plants provide beautiful views that are aesthetically pleasing and relaxing.

About Gardens & Landscaping

Not all plants are created equal. It was commonly thought that as long as you’re planting something, it’s good for the environment. Wrong! We now know there are rules to gardening and landscaping. Words like “native plants” or “exotic species” are becoming more popular as people gain awareness. Floridians are conscience about the amount of water they use outdoors, to save money and resources for future generations. Becoming knowledgeable about appropriate plants, irrigation practices, and the programs available to help can save you money, reduce maintenance efforts, and preserve the environment.

Schools In This Category »

Irrigation Practices

Native Species


Outdoor Classrooms and Facilities

Student Gardening Activities

What Broward Schools Are Doing

Broward Schools have passed an ordinance that allows only native vegetation to be planted on school campuses. The only exception to this rule are butterfly and vegetable gardens planted by students for learning purposes. The District, with 284 campuses to landscape, is doing it's part. Here are just a few of the initiatives we are engaged in:

  • Develop school campuses as environmental learning resources.
  • Incorporate Naturescape principles - over 40 BCPS schools are Naturescape certified!
  • Promote environmental education outreach and partnering.
  • Support native habitat restorations.
  • Use Horticulture Best Management Practices (BMP) for maintenance.
  • Promote butterfly, herb, and vegetable gardens on school sites.
  • Promote irrigation efficiency, management, and accountability.

What You Can Do

  • Plant native species. Many local programs exist which can guide you in choosing an array of beautiful native species based on the climate zone in which you live. Learn about Natives for Your Neighborhood by visiting:
  • Have a Florida-friendly yard! Take classes with the University of Florida’s Florida-Friendly Landscaping program. Find out more about creating a Florida-friendly yard by visiting:
  • Compost. You can create nutrient rich soil for your plants on site and reduce your waste at the same time!
  • Skip a watering cycle. Every drop counts!
  • Get a rain gauge. Often you can get these instruments for free through the county water department.
  • Speak Up! If you see your neighbors water on an “off” day, tell them!
  • Educate yourself. Learn about Florida best Management Practices (BMP). BMPs cover four major areas: nutrient management; pest management; water management; and sediment management. Find out more by visiting:
  • Follow the rules. Know your watering regulations! Find your watering regulations by visiting the South Florida Water Management District's site at:

Remember, every drop counts!


American Forest

Broward County NatureScape Program

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Florida Division of Plant Industry

Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program

Florida Native Perenials and Annuals

Florida Native Shrubs

Florida Natural Areas Inventory

Florida Outdoor Classrooms

Florida School Gardens

Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge

Natives for You Neighborhood

Outdoor Classroom Facilities

Plant Atlas

Salt-tolerant Plants for Florida