With the return of spring, we enjoy getting outside and thinking about home improvements. Yardwork and landscaping can also make a difference in keeping streams and lakes healthy.
EPA New England has a helpful website that shows how to sustain local waters and improve your yard. This Soak Up the Rain site provides free guidance about rain gardens, tree planting, rain barrels, porous paving and other ways to keep runoff from harming brooks and ponds. Home landscaping can use plants and soil to prevent pollution, reduce flooding and recharge groundwater. These “green practices” will enhance the neighborhood, as well as attract birds, butterflies and fauna you can enjoy watching.
The Soak up the Rain website also has practical ideas for town officials, youth groups, businesses and lake associations that are looking to prevent or fix stormwater problems. There are links for how-to guides, videos, mobile phone apps, and EPA’s Stormwater Calculator. The Calculator is a desktop tool that estimates runoff from a specific site using local soil conditions, topography, and rainfall records. Home builders, landscape services, homeowners and community groups can apply this tool to consider low impact practices that protect streams and ecosystems. For more information, visit the website at http://www.epa.gov/region1/soakuptherain.