Towns and built-up areas are part of a healthy watershed, healthy people, and a thriving local economy. Whether you own, rent, or manage property in town or another type of built-up area, you can make an impact through environmental landscaping and best management practices on your property. These practices can have many benefits:
- Filter sediments, nutrients, and other contaminant from stormwater runoff that enters storm drains, and local rivers and lakes
- Reduce the potential for flooding, while conserving water
- Recharge groundwater aquifers
- Protect and restore native biodiversity (i.e., diverse native plants, birds, fish, butterflies, and other wildlife)
- Improve air, water, and soil quality
- Contribute to quality of life and human health.
What actions can I take?
There are many ways to contribute to the health of your property, neighbourhood, and watershed:
- Plant native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses
- Use environmental lawn maintenance practices
- Avoid the use of chemical fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides
- Work with environmentally friendly materials, such as permeable paving and sustainably harvested wood
- Leave a minimum of 3 feet of natural vegetation along creeks and lakes, and plant native shrubs, flowers, and grasses to help protect the shoreline
- Conserve water by planting drought tolerant species, and using rain barrels or cisterns
- Create a rain garden
- Remove invasive plants that enter your yard; and
- Reduce or eliminate pollutants, such as litter, oil spills, and overuse of de-icing salt.