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New Neighborhood Best Practices Program Provides Tools to Build Healthy Communities

Post Date:05/02/2024 8:00 AM
SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County has launched a new educational series to help homeowners associations and residents with an array of challenges often encountered in neighborhoods, from stormwater management to wildlife interactions.

Developed by UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County experts, the free, online Neighborhood Best Practices series offers multiple self-help modules that address frequently asked questions and common misconceptions about managing common-area resources.

“Launching the Neighborhood Best Practices online program marks a significant step forward in our community's access to education, offering resources and expertise to foster sustainable practices to enrich our neighborhoods,” said Ashley Ellis, Sarasota County Extension residential horticulture agent. 
 
Balancing resource management for community benefit and environmental protection—along with keeping costs in check—can be challenging for neighborhoods due to various factors, such as limited technical knowledge, differing opinions on strategies, changes in board leadership and even navigating regulations.
 
The Neighborhood Best Practices educational series provides a valuable resource to help homeowners associations and residents alike work toward that balance. The series covers subject areas specific to living in a planned community, including:

• Stormwater management
• Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM 
• Tree-care management
• Irrigation and fertilization
• Best practices for living near a preservation area
• Wildlife interactions
• Community gardening and composting
• Coastal systems

The self-paced modules provide participants with a deep understanding of various aspects of environmental and community management in Sarasota County and how these elements intertwine. Participation in the program can help individuals and groups build and foster more sustainable, responsible neighborhoods. 
 
The Neighborhood Best Practices series allows individuals to obtain a certification by completing all modules and assessments or choose a non-certification option by reviewing just those modules that best meet their needs. Registration is available via tiny.cc/ufsaraext_nbp.

Learn more about the Neighborhood Best Practices series, including eight supporting program factsheets, a detailed resource list, and registration details: Learn Best Practices For My Neighborhood webpage, email sarasota@ifas.ufl.edu, or call 311 (or, 941-861-5000 if outside Sarasota County).
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