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Florida-Friendly Irrigating: It just makes sense

Meet Lou Kavouras — representing the Southwest Florida Water Management District

As a bureau chief of Board & Executive Services, Lou plays an important role in the District’s efforts to protect water resources and the environment.

“We have such a great quality of life in west-central Florida, and I attribute much of that to the natural beauty and unique resources we enjoy. The natural environment deserves protecting.”

“I’ve been interested in living things and the natural environment all my life,” said Lou.

Before joining the District, Lou was a nursery plant inspector with the Florida Department of Agriculture, which helped her become more knowledgeable about Florida plant species and their growth requirements.

A horticultural expert

Lou also served as Hernando County’s first horticultural Extension agent with the University of Florida Extension Service and was responsible for training master gardeners in the county. “During my three years with the county, I trained about 70 volunteer master gardeners, many of whom are still active in their communities,” said Lou.

In 1989, Lou was hired by the District as a water conservation planner. Her role was to develop an outdoor water conservation program for the region with a focus on landscaping.

“At the time, our District was experiencing an extended drought and we recognized that considerable water savings could be achieved through a commonsense approach to landscaping.” Lou’s early efforts paved the way for the widespread acceptance of “Florida-friendly” landscaping. “People realize it just makes sense for Florida — it saves water and protects the environment.”

Protect our natural resources

Over time, Lou’s roles and responsibilities at the District have changed, but she has stayed involved with the District’s efforts to promote Florida-Friendly Landscaping™. As part of the Florida-Friendly Irrigating Team, Lou hopes to help residents learn more about simple water conservation practices and how to protect our natural resources.

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