The Villages Voice - February 2020

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Maintaining Beauty

by Richard Baier

“Maintaining the Beauty”

by Richard Baier, District Manager

As you go about your day around The Villages, whether by automobile or golf car, the one thing you notice is the beautiful landscaping and essential cleanliness of the Districts, but do you ever wonder who makes it all happen? Well, it is the District Property Management Team or (DPM) for short. The dedicated DPM staff wears many hats. DPM monitors and manages the landscape contractors to ensure they perform maintenance in an efficient, timely, and cost-effective manner that meets or exceeds the contract specifications and impacts on the environment. DPM holds regular contractor communication meetings with DPM Landscape staff and key contractor personnel. They also conduct monthly contract performance reviews to make sure the contract requirements are being met in regard to mowing, edging, trimming, weed control, water management and irrigation, disease and pest control, fertilization, public interactions, safety, and seasonal color beds. The seasonal color beds are changed out quarterly and are contract grown by local nurseries. Considering our contractors replace over 1.5 million plants per year, timing is critical. Although sometimes the existing plants seem to be flourishing, in most cases they are at the end of their life-cycle. New plants must be delivered and installed within a very small window of time to avoid circling roots in the container that will affect the success of the plants. DPM also has the responsibility for tree maintenance. The Villages standards far surpass the requirements of most other developments. DPM currently has three ISA Certified Arborists that supervise all trimming, as well as removal and maintenance of over 35,000 planted trees on District property, not to mention thousands of existing trees that require higher levels of care in some cases. One of the largest responsibilities DPM has is water management and conservation, as it not only affects our landscape but also the environment. DPM maintains 442 storm water basins of which 260 are used to capture and retain water for use through our irrigation systems. All irrigation water sources are monitored carefully and controlled by state-of-the-art Smart Irrigation Controllers that allow us to use our water responsibly. These controllers allow us to monitor water use, weather, excess water flow from large line breaks and system diagnostics. This accompanied by the monthly irrigation system maintenance performed by our contractors, ensure we are doing all we can to use our water wisely. The Safety of our residents, staff, and our contractors is very important to us as we perform these duties. All contractors are required to have the training to provide a safe work environment at all times. These workers should be visible and protected as they work in the contract areas. If at any time you witness an unsafe situation, please contact us at 352-753-4022 or contact local law enforcement to avoid possible accidents.