August 19, 2013

Meet Brian Niemann

Brian Niemann,
Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Extension Agent 

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be returning to my home county to fill the role of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) Extension Agent. I welcome the challenge and can’t wait to get started. In fact, you can join me for my first Rainwater Harvesting Workshop on August 31st at Weedon Island Preserve. Register online at

My family originally hails from the suburbs of Chicago, but the warm weather and sandy beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast attracted them in the late ‘70s. When I was growing up, my parents owned a landscape material yard and land clearing business, which meant I spent my summers picking up trash before dad came through with the tractor to make short work of the knee high weeds I had just waded through. By the time I was 13, I graduated to operating the tractor and Bobcat loaders under his watchful eye. I continued to work for them through high school and when college rolled around, I decided I wanted a career within the landscape industry.

I chose the Landscape Architecture path. I wanted to work with the landscape, but I didn’t want to be outside in the Florida heat every day. I spent some wonderful years at the University of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture degree in 2006. After graduation, I accepted a landscape architecture position with Phil Graham & Company in St. Petersburg. During my time with Mr. Graham, I was blessed with the opportunity to work on many high-profile projects. Some of these projects include 400 Beach Drive, Museum of Fine Arts, and Ovation in downtown St. Pete.

In late 2007, a position opened up with the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program State Office in Gainesville. I had recently learned about the FFL Program and was intrigued by this very different style of landscaping than what I was currently designing. I got the job, and worked my way up through the ranks during my nearly six years of service with the state office. I wasn’t actively looking to leave Gainesville, but the opportunity to move back to my home county to run an Extension program based on Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ was a chance I couldn’t pass up.

The FFL program provides residents with information on using low-maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. I'll be teaching you how you can have a beautiful landscape that could save you time, energy and money while protecting our future.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or with ideas for programs you would like to see offered in the future.

Brian Niemann
Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Extension Agent
Pinellas County Extension 

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