Water Conservation in Your Community

The increase of commercial and residential development in the state of Florida may be a positive for the  economic growth, but it has proven to be a negative on the  sustainability of Florida’s most precious natural resource, fresh water.   The concern over the quality and quantity of our drinking water is widespread throughout the state and has become a challenge for local municipalities as well as state agencies.    Recent studies have shown  that Florida’s demand for water is expected to increase from  approximately 1.4 billion gallons a day to 7.9 billion gallons by the year 2030. This means that protecting our current water supply and establishing new methods of decreasing our usage is critical. Communities can help with both of these efforts by  looking towards conservation.   One such way to make a difference is to help your community become  Florida Friendly.

Florida Friendly Communities  have in place practices to help preserve Florida’s natural resources and protect the environment.  The community should support the residents and encourage them to plant Florida Friendly yards by providing information on how to be Florida Friendly and  incorporating Florida Friendly into HOA covenants.    For a community to be considered Florida-Friendly the yards and common spaces must  minimize the use of potable water for irrigation and avoid the use and runoff of excess fertilizers and pesticides.  There are many websites such as http://www.floridayards.org/ that will provide information and details as to how you can create and get recognized for having a Florida Friendly yard.

Another program that provides a pathway to conservation for communities is the Florida Water Star Program.  Developed by the St. Johns River Water Management District in 2006, the Florida Water Star program is a water conservation certification process put in place for new and existing residential and commercial developments.  Unlike the Florida Friendly program which solely focuses on the landscape, the Water Star program focuses  on three areas:  indoor fixtures and appliances, landscape design, and irrigation.  The community must pass inspection by an independent certifier in all areas  and  certification is not awarded unless all criteria in the Technical Manual are achieved.  For more information on Florida Water Star, please visit floridawaterstar.com

One community that is setting the bar for conservation is Staghorn Villas, a newly built Habitat for Humanity community of 58 townhomes located in Orlando that is Florida Friendly, Florida Water Star Certified, and Energy Star.  This community is only one of  five Water Star Certified Communities,  making it a showcase for green and energy-efficient communities throughout greater Orlando.   Set on 3.9 acres, Staghorn  was designed with green in mind, with a focus on energy conservation from its design origins.  Some of the features of the Staghorn Villas community are drought-resistant plants and Bahia sod,  a Fertigator fertilizing system (made with fish protein and injected into the drip irrigation water system), and  an efficient  micro irrigation system used during droughts.   All plants are Florida-friendly and well adapted to the region. Inside the townhomes the  water is conserved via WaterSense faucets, toilets, and showers and Energy Star washers and dishwashers.

From a management company perspective,  it is important to view water conservation as a means of not only saving our water supply, but also helping the community conserve funds.  Educating the members of the community on the benefits of conservation is the first step. Once you have community support, a plan can be established and all of the members of the community should be educated on how they can do their part with water conservation and Florida Friendly Landscaping.  A committee  can then be selected to create a guide book that will become the overall blueprint of the community’s conservation plan. Once the plan is in place, all the stakeholders in the community (management company, Board Members, vendors, residents) should work together to put the plan in in motion.

Conservation is an ongoing and ever changing process (most notably in the case of landscaping),  therefore the management company and Board must be committed to working with service providers who understand and support water conservation and are committed to continuing with the groundwork that has been put in place. “At Staghorn Villas, we are working together with the Board to come up with ways to encourage and include the resident to support ongoing conservation and environmental efforts.” Amanda Brown, Leland Management CAM.

Below are some tips  out of our Going Green guide book that help support conservation efforts:

  1. Perform soil tests annually to keep track of the soils character, thus helping you make better  planting choices as well assist in chemical applications.
  2. When replacement planting opt for native plants as well as plants which will be best suited to your soil and planting area.
  3. Provide residents with educational material on conservation as well as local rebates and incentive information.
  4. Utilize your local government as many classes are given for conservation, as well as county/city representatives who will speak at your events/meetings.
  5. Instead of chemically treating  ponds monthly, speak to your pond maintenance company about more natural methods such as  installing native plants, carp and aerators which will help alleviate some of the chemical use and save money in the long run.
  6. Replace community light bulbs with energy efficient ones.
  7. Use light sensors or timers in bathrooms, clubhouses, outdoor floodlights and pool lights when possible.
  8. Start a community recycling program, community compost and/or community garden.
  9. Install Soil Moisture sensors or other innovative irrigation technology  to help conserve water in common areas.
  10. Make sure all windows, doors and trim have been caulked and sealed annually on all community buildings.
  11. Tint windows in community building to save on energy costs.
  12. Start a community clean-up day once a year and give incentives for people to attend (drinks, snacks, t-shirt, recognition, etc.).
  13. Make use of rainwater by directing downspouts and gutters to drain into the lawn or plant beds.
  14. Consider conserving paper use by emailing your newsletter and asking for monthly financials electronically.
  15. Check outside doors to be sure weather stripping has been installed; this keeps cool air in and hot air out.
  16. Use pervious materials for driveways, sidewalks and recreation areas.
  17. Consider installing informational kiosks throughout the community to educate residents on different plant and animal species.




Leland Management Announces New IT Manager

Leland Management is pleased to announce that team member Diane Braswell has been promoted to Manager of IT and Digital Media.

Diane, who has worked at Leland for two years,  has a degree in Mechanical Engineering  from Auburn University.  Prior to her career at Leland, Diane spent 13 years as a project manager for an IT Consulting and Web Development company.  In her new role Diane will be responsible for the management of the IT department as well as the oversight of the Leland Management website and Leland’s digital presence.

Leland Management Announces Van Der Laan Vice President

Leland Management is pleased to announce that teagarym member Gary van der Laan has been promoted to Vice President.

Gary has worked at Leland for over 7 years and has a degree in business from the University of Miami. Gary is certified by the State of Florida to teach several continuing education courses for licensed managers as well as Board Member Certification class’s for both condominium and homeowner association Board members. Gary is an active member of CAI, has served 2 years at the Central Florida chapter President and is currently serving on the Board. Gary holds the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), Association Management Specialist (AMS) and Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designations through the Community Association Institute (CAI) as well as the CFCAM designation from (FCAP) Florida Community Association Professionals. Most recently Gary was appointed to the Florida Bars Unlicensed Practice of Law (UPL) committee. Gary is a contributor to the education curriculum of the statewide FCAP training program and has provided education courses at many City and County education conferences.

In his new role, Gary will facilitate manager education, teach Board training programs throughout the state and assist with the marketing initiatives for the company. Please join us in congratulating Gary on his new position within the Leland Management team.

Leland Management Earns AAMC Designation

We are very happy to announce that Leland Management has received our AAMC® (Accredited Association Management Company) designation by the Community Association Institute (CAI). The AAMC® is the top industry professional credential a management company can achieve. We are especially proud of this accomplishment as it is shared by only a small percentage of management companies worldwide. This achievement was a team accomplishment. To gain accreditation 50% of managers in a management company must hold a professional designation. Leland surpassed that requirement and employs many managers with several professional designations each. Leland is very thankful to have such a dedicated team and looks forward to continuing excellence in community association management.

Leland Management Announces Vivian Carvalho Superstar

vivian2Leland Management was pleased to announce Vivian Carvalho as a superstar for the month of December. Vivian has been with Leland for 2 years as a Community Association Manager in our Brevard Division and brought over 10 years of experience in the industry with her when she joined the Leland Team. When she is not at the office she enjoys relaxing, entertaining her family and friends, and spending quality time with her two children. Vivian is the lead manager in Leland’s Satellite Beach office and also manages her own portfolio. Additionally, Vivian took the lead with the Brevard Making Strides Against Breast Cancer team and led us to be Silver Striders in 2013. When asked what her favorite part of working at Leland is she stated: “Working for a company in which the owners are truly sincere and genuine people and having a great boss to report to, Gary. Gary is always challenging my ability to continue and pursue for more within myself and my work.” Vivian says being named superstar means she has reached a milestone of accomplishment within the company and demonstrates the credibility of work that she provides to clients.

Leland Management Welcomes The John Gorrie

biz_02GorrieCondos06Leland Management would like to welcome The John Gorrie Condominium to our Jacksonville Division. Originally opened in 1923, The John Gorrie Junior High School provided educational excellence to the children of the Riverside neighborhood in Jacksonville until it was closed in 1997. In February 2009, Jacksonville Jaguars co-owner Delores Bar Weaver and J. Wayne purchased the historical landmark and began extensive renovations on the property.  The result is a 68 unit residence including studios, one & two bedroom condos and two story townhomes ranging in size from 800 to 1800 sq. ft. Featuring Palladian windows, soaring ceilings, exposed brick walls, and a private courtyard, Weaver took care to preserve the historical significance of the building while blending modern luxuries such as stainless steel GE appliances, gourmet kitchens and pedestal sinks in every unit. One of the most compelling aspects about the John Gorrie is that each unit is completely unique. The condominium is located on the corner of Stockton and College streets, within walking distance of a multitude of local restaurants, boutiques and shopping areas. Residents also enjoy close proximity to the banks of the St. Johns River, oak-canopied streets and a sampling of the area’s most marvelously maintained parks. The community is minutes from downtown Jacksonville, cultural landmarks such as the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens and national sporting venues. For more information about this association please visit http://www.johngorrie.com/.