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Who’s Flipping Out? As It Turns Out, WE ARE!

Friday, April 21, 2017
Article by: Kate Clary, Strategic Engagement Specialist

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Digging in - Chad Crawford, host of "Flip My Florida Yard," shows what it's like to take a Florida landscape from drab to fab. (PHOTO COURTESY CRAWFORD ENTERTAINMENT)

In addition to ‘Emmy award-winning producer,’ Chad Crawford will soon add a new title behind his name – ‘Florida Plant Advocate.’

Well-known already for his “How to Do Florida” TV series, Crawford has just wrapped filming four episodes of “Flip My Florida Yard,” a new series expected to begin airing in select Florida broadcast markets in April.

The new series, of which FNGLA is the title sponsor, seeks to stir up enthusiasm for Florida plants, trees and home landscapes – and impart a little plant and conservation wisdom along the way. The show’s premise? A handful of lucky Florida homeowners whose outdoor areas are in need of a facelift are sent away for an afternoon adventure while dozens of industry professionals build them a brand new personalized landscape.

FNGLA’s Kate Clary spoke with Crawford to get a sense of just what this project entailed – and why it was important to create:

FNGLA: So, Chad, tell us about yourself. How did you get into show business?

I’m a third-generation Florida native. I was born in Sanford and moved to Lake Mary when I was seven. So I have lived my entire life here.

I was in the Navy out of high school for four years, and travelled all throughout the Caribbean. I was stationed on an island called ‘Antigua’ in the West Indies.

Before I left for the Navy, though, my high school video production teacher told me, if I wasn’t such a goofball, I’d be good at this. He thought I had a knack for television. I got in trouble in his class quite a bit, but he took it upon himself, at least, to leave me with that [compliment] before I graduated.  

And that kind of stuck in my mind. As I was about to get out of the Navy with my GI Bill, his message kept coming back to me. So, I enrolled in Full Sail, which is a video and film school here in Winter Park (near Orlando), and graduated in 1995. And it kind of started my career in television.

FNGLA: Nice. Tell us how you got into filming the outdoors-y type of shows you produce? Passion, practicality, location?

The development and creation of outdoor programming is really the combination of my two passions-- film and the outdoors. I had a corporate video production company for about 15 years, but I always wanted to do my own show. And, I loved Florida – I always loved being outdoors in Florida. And, so I decided to create a television show to inspired and show people how to get outside and do outdoor activities in Florida.

FNGLA: So, how did you come up with the premise for “Flip My Florida Yard?”

“Flip My Florida Yard” was basically a spin-off of “How to Do Florida” which ran for seven seasons. I did an episode entitled, ‘How to Have a Florida Yard.’ [During that shoot], I developed an interest in Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM and water-saving technology.

As I traveled around the state filming “How to Do Florida,” I saw and talked to a lot of people who were very concerned about water use in our state. We weren’t using it really efficiently. And, so I started doing a lot of research and looking into it. I wanted to do a show to teach people how to have a Florida yard, save water, and use more Florida-friendly plants.

And, I just loved the yard episode! It got a great response. People loved the message. They really responded to it. They wanted this information and they wanted it presented in that kind of HGTV format to which they were so accustomed.

And, so that’s how “Flip My Florida Yard” launched! Then we developed the series, and shot the pilot – and the rest is history

FNGLA: Sure is. What’s the hope for the series?

The hope for this series is it invites Florida residents to be a part of the solution. I want to create very tangible ways for people to be a part of the state [effort] to use less water. And, I want people to look at landscaping differently. I want them to see their front yard as their little piece of Florida. And, everything they do in their yard has ripple effects throughout our entire state.
And, I also want people to become more connected to Florida through their yard – and connected to each other.

FNGLA: How do you hope your audience will receive the series?

I hope my audience responds to the water conservation message and commits to doing a little. Our show’s motto is, “Everybody doing a little is a whole lot.”

I don’t fully expect everybody to flip their yard. I want them to just take small steps toward water conservation.

FNGLA: We love it. So, when is “Flip My Florida Yard” slated to air, and where?

The shows have already begun airing in select broadcast markets, and they will also air on Fox Sports Sun as well. You will also be able to watch full episodes at www.FlipMyFloridaYard.com just as soon as network licensing allows it.     

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