Parks & Recreation

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Rotary Park Environmental Center
5505 Rose Garden Road
Cape Coral, FL 33914

Phone: 239-549-4606
Fax: 239-549-4903

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Florida Friendly Landscaping

Florida is a such great place to live, it's tricky to make room for everyone. To keep Florida beautiful and have clean water, it is important to minimize the use use of fertilizers and pesticides in our yards. One of the easiest ways to do that is to plant Florida friendly grasses, shrubs, and trees.  The City of Cape Coral encourages all residents to embrace the University of Florida’s “Florida Yards & Neighborhoods” program. This outreach program was designed to help residents learn how to create and maintain attractive landscapes that will help protect Florida’s natural resources. There are many free, informative classes held regularly at Rotary Park. For specific dates and topics, click on the current Parks & Recreation program guide in the left hand margin and view the Rotary Park pages, or visit the FYN website at:

Florida friendly landscaping emphasizes nine major principles that play an important role in minimizing the harmful effects of urbanization on our natural resources:
Right Plant, Right Place – Plants selected for your site should require minimal amounts of water, fertilizer and pesticides.
Water Efficiently – Irrigate only when your lawn and landscape need water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy Florida yard and to reducing run-off that pollutes our waterways. For Cape Coral’s current watering regulations, click here.
Fertilize Appropriately – Fertilizing less is often best. Over-utilization of fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard, our waterways and the environment.
Mulch – Maintaining a 2-3” layer of non-cypress mulch will help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion, and suppress weeds.
Attract Wildlife – Native Florida plants in your yard provide food, water and shelter to help conserve Florida’s diverse wildlife.
Control Yard Pests Responsibly – Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.
Recycle – In a Florida friendly yard, grass clippings, leaves, and trimmings are recycled on site to provide added nutrients to the soil and to reduce waste disposal.
Reduce Storm Water Runoff – Water running off from your yard carries soil, debris, fertilizer and pesticides that can harm water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help prevent non-point source pollution.
Protect the Waterfront – Waterfront property, whether on a bay, river, stream, pond or beach, is very fragile and should be protected as a natural treasure.

Please RSVP for any or all of these free classes offered by the Lee County Master Gardeners

FREE Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program
Learn what plants to use and where, how to create a beautiful and eco friendly yard, be efficient with your use of water and more.

FREE Florida Friendly Gardening Walks
Join a Lee County Master Gardener for a walk through the gardens at Rotary Park.

Florida Friendly Yard Tours (16 years old and up) Next Tour - March 9, 2019
Go with a guide to tour local yards that are certified by Florida Yards and Neighborhoods for using Florida friendly concepts and their designs. Visit a variety of homes to learn what works on what terrain. Bring drinking water and wear close-toes shoes, please.

Introduction to Florida Friendly Gardening Classes (18+ years) Next Class: Jan. 11, 2019
Learn about plants and useful tips to help you create your own beautiful and eco-friendly Florida yard.

Tree & Shrub Pruning (16 years old and up) Next Class - Feb. 2, 2019
Let a certified arborist teach you proper pruning techniques to enhance proper growth of your trees and shrubs.

Rain Barrel Class (16 years old and up) Next Class: Apr.20, 2019
You will be taught how to set up a recycled 55-gallon plastic barrel to collect rain water from your roof.

Design a Florida Friendly Yard  (18 years old and up) Next Class: Apr. 12 & 19, 2019
With the help of experienced horticulturalists, design a personalized landscape to fit your needs.
Meets 2 Fridays in a row.
$18 per household

When you are ready to plant, Rotary Park has two large native plant sales each year, one in April and one in July. Visit Rotary Park’s Excellent Events page or see the current Parks & Recreation Program Guide for more information.