A watershed is a geographic where all of the water that runs off of or under that area of land eventually ends up in the same place. This means that the water that runs off of your property eventually ends up in our lakes, rivers, and streams. There are several things you can do to help improve the health of our surface waters.
Be sure to reduce the rate and volume of runoff from your property, reduce your overall water usage, and make choices that improve the quality of water running off of your property. This helps us to conserve our fresh water resources and prevents pollutants from reaching our water supply.
In maintaining my lawn, gardens and landscapes,
nurture native trees, shrubs, and flowers around my home. I will limit lawn areas. I will plant or allow natural buffers to grow at the edges of streams and wetlands.
mow my lawn properly, following the rule “mow high and let it lie.” I will use the highest setting on the mower, not cut more than one third of the height of the grass, and allow the clippings to lie as mulch.
water my yard infrequently or not at all. I recognize that one inch of water a week is usually fine. I will not water when the sun is high or overnight. I will recognize that brown grass is dormant, not dead. It will return to life when rain comes.
avoid synthetic fertilizers. I will never apply phosphorus on an established lawn unless the soil is deficient. If necessary, I will use only a slow-release, low-concentration fertilizer or natural compost.
abstain from using pesticides and herbicides. I will protect children, pets, birds, and butterflies from lawn-care toxins. I will only spot treat if absolutely necessary.
create natural places for the water to soak into the ground. I will use swales or rain gardens to manage stormwater. I will limit paved areas and will use pervious materials (like gravel) when possible for patios, driveways, and walkways.
In maintaining other areas around my home,
only run my dishwasher when it is full.
drink tap water instead of bottled water.
have my septic system pumped out regularly.
fix leaky faucets and toilets, and only buy water-efficient appliances and fixtures.
use non-toxic cleaners and “green” building materials in my home.
learn how to dispose of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications.
dispose of pet waste in the trash or a pet-waste processor.
wash my vehicles in a carwash or on the grass, but not on my driveway.
research and purchase energy-saving appliances