Much of the pollution and degradation of our streams and river comes from what happens on the surrounding lands.  Landscaping and gardening practices can either harm or help water quality.  Once we understand the impact of our land practices, we can adopt practices in our own backyards that promote clean water and healthy habitats.  The “Resources” section of the website provides details on the practices below.

  • Reduce the Use of Pesticides, Insecticides, and Fertilizers.  Chemicals contained in pesticides and insecticides pose risks to human, bird, and animal health.  Nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers that flows off yards cause eutrophication or algae blooms, which in turn reduce the level of dissolved oxygen needed for aquatic organisms.  Removing vegetation even when replaced by lawns increases polluted stormwater runoff and can lead to lost wetlands and riparian buffers and cause erosion and sedimentation.
    • Plant pest-resistant, native species.
    • Rotate garden crops to reduce infestation.
    • Use mulch and time plantings to avoid peak infestation periods.
    • Hand pull weeds.
    • Use biological, mechanical or botanical controls as needed for particular pest problems.
  • Keep rainwater where it falls by planting a rain garden and using rain barrels
    • Rain barrels irrigate gardens while capturing pollutants that wash off roofs.
    • Use mulch instead of impervious plastic coverings to increases absorption in bare areas.
    • Plant terraced or sloped rain gardens to directly capture roof runoff.
    • Plant vegetated swales capture and treat stormwater along curbs and roads.
    • Green roofs have numerous benefits for homeowners and the environment.symphony_village_rain_garden
  • Maintain vegetated buffers
    • Establish “no mow” buffer zones around wetlands and bodies of water.
    • Minimize lawn/turf areas and use native, low-maintenance plantings.
    • Cut lawns no shorter than 3” to establish deep roots.
    • Plant cover crops.  For more information, call the Queen Anne’s Soil Conservation District at 410-758-3136, ext. 3