UF/IFAS expert: How to protect your yard during drought

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- As drought conditions continue, some Florida yards and gardens may start to look less than lush. “Certain ornamental plants such as roses, azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas and many annuals are more vulnerable to drought conditions,” said Denise DeBusk, environmental horticulture agent in Alachua County with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension. Lawns with St. Augustine  More»

Florida 4-H awarded $10,000 sponsorship

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Florida 4-H has been awarded a $10,000 sponsorship from HughesNet to introduce youth to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) at two overnight camps, Camp Timpoochee and Camp Cherry Lake, and several summer day camps. Florida 4-H is administered by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. As a result of the sponsorship, 340 youth will learn about the engineering design  More»

VITA participation jumps more than 50 percent

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- James Holland had tried other tax preparation services before, but the experience was never positive. “I’ve had some issues with in-person services in the past, and I wanted to try something new. Then I tried doing my taxes online and wasn’t impressed,” he said. Holland was looking for a service that would explain every step of the filing process and that was managed by experts he felt he could trust. So when  More»

Don’t get burned: Tips for protecting your home from wildfires during drought

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- As communities in Florida face a record drought, many residents have been waking up to the smell of smoke from nearby wildfires. And some may even face blazes in their own backyards. “Those most at risk will be those who live near undeveloped land or wooded areas,” said Alan Long, emeritus professor of forest resources and conservation at the University of Florida. Long remains active in fire-related research and  More»

Talk about, plan for end-of-life decisions, care

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- As Sallie Maxwell got older, she knew she had to start getting her and her husband’s affairs in order. “Life will be a lot easier for our two children if we are proactive with regard to such things as wills, advance directives and funeral arrangements,” she said. To gain this peace of mind, Maxwell turned to the Art of Goodbye program offered through the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural  More»

UF, FWC: Citizen science key to tracking horseshoe crabs

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- As the weather warms, tourists won’t be the only ones heading to Florida’s beaches. Horseshoe crabs also come ashore this time of year, though they are more interested in finding a mate than getting a tan. For Jane Brockmann, professor emeritus of biology at the University of Florida, the horseshoe crabs’ arrival is a chance to track and monitor these primeval-looking creatures. Brockmann and a few dozen volunteer  More»