Rainbow Springs Audio Transcripts
This page contains the transcripts of audio tracks included in the Good Neighbors: Springs Protection Sucess Stories.
Developing a Spring-Friendly Community
So, we wanted to try to build a community where we would be using things like best management practices or conserving water. One good example is to use xeric species in lawns. When we first talked about xeric species everybody that was on the developers side sort of bristled up and said, "Oh, gosh, that sounds like a desert. That has to be cactus." Once we got educated, once the developer really understood what we were talking about about xeric species that's including oak trees, that's including some very nice decorative plants that we normally don't think of as xeric species, but they are. So, part of it was an education process. And for us to say that we would like to conserve waster and go to a xeric species really was not a painful change from what we're used to, which is just having a little more freedom. It was actually after the educational process very harmless. It didn't affect us much at all.
It was very interesting. When we started the discussion, everybody was against the golf course. Our response was, well, "Wait a minute. Let's take a look at it. Let's see, you know, what are the effects of a golf course? Is it really a bad thing?" And what we found was that probably the yards are much worse because one, you can't control every single person, what they're going to do. Two, they will probably over-fertilize, versus what we do which is very scientific. We talked about that to a great degree about how to control people that are homeowners. And, the ultimate answer was, "better education." Try to teach them what their fertilizer requirement needs are.
The main concern with the golf course was the runoff issue, the nitrate loading issue. And we did some research on grasses that had not been done previously by anybody in the state and certainly by no other developer and discovered that, for example, Bahiagrass requires a lot less water to grow. You can grow that in almost a nonexistent water environment. So, by using Bahia in your roughs, you can almost eliminate the need to water in that area and, therefore, cut down on the nitrate loading; you still have to use Bermuda in the fairways. So, we probably cut our watering requirements down... in half by doing that and consequently the nitrate loading.