It’s heating up out there, and the grass is certainly responding! Many of us know we’ll need to mow frequently over the next few months, but we may not know that yard waste, such as those lawn clippings, is actually a stormwater pollutant that can have a big impact on water quality. Check out the CWEP video below starring the Sodfather, and learn about what you can do to help keep stormwater runoff clean as we do our summer landscaping!
The Town of Morrisville, NC, member of the CWEP group, was recognized for their excellent efforts in stormwater management by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by winning the 2017 EPA Rain Catcher Award in the Municipal category!
The Town’s Northwest Park Project was created to provide a new neighborhood playground and public recreation spaces. They incorporated low-impact design elements such as green stormwater infrastructure to reduce the speed of water flowing through the area, as well as remove sediment and other pollutants like nutrients from the runoff. The parking lot and playground area were installed with permeable pavement to allow rainwater to soak through instead of flowing off, and also features a 3,000-gallon cistern to capture rainwater for use in irrigating the landscaping. There are also fun and educational signs highlighting the projects to the park visitors.
Congratulations to the Town of Morrisville – keep up the great work!
To learn more about what the Town is doing in stormwater managment or about this project, please visit the Town website here.
What is a stream buffer?
Stream (also called riparian) buffers are strips of trees and other vegetation that:
- improve water quality by filtering pollutants from stormwater runoff such as oil, fertilizers, pesticides, and dog waste;
- reduce flooding and erosion by stabilizing stream banks;
- moderate stream temperature and sunlight, keeping fish and other aquatic life healthy;
- provide nesting and foraging habitat for many species of birds and animals.
You can help stream buffers purify our water by planting native trees and bushes along your stream or ditch, especially if the bank is bare or eroding. If you already have trees or shrubs along your waterway, simply leave it alone!
Mowing, cutting, and removing buffer vegetation may be regulated in your area, so check with your local government before undertaking landscaping or other projects within 100 feet of any water conveyances. (Selective cutting of understory shrubs and scrub by hand is usually allowed in very small amounts, but it is better to let the vegetation continue its natural regeneration process, which will allow trees to mature, form a canopy, and prevent undergrowth naturally.) Continue reading
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