1. Consider a “Bee Lawn” in care of pollinators. Truth: bugs are beneficial. Planet earth, including your food supply and neighborhood bird population would not be the same without them. Here are a few resources to check out:
- “Where Have All the Insects Gone?” National Geographic article at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2020/05/where-have-all-the-insects-gone-feature/
- Pollinate Minnesota at https://www.pollinatemn.org
- Your Lawn Can BEE the Change with Lawns to Legumes at https://bwsr.state.mn.us/l2l
2. Know your watershed. No matter where you are on planet earth, you’re in a watershed. Here are a few links from my home state of Minnesota and across the nation that can help you discover your watershed. Once you know your watershed, dive in to learn about the top water issues close to home. Such as smart salting practices, lead-free sinkers, shoreline plantings for water quality, erosion control, and more.
- Mississippi Watershed Management Organization http://www.mwmo.org/learn/find-your-watershed/
- Capitol Region Watershed District https://www.capitolregionwd.org/about-crwd/
- Surf Your Watershed EPA https://www.epa.gov/waterdata/surf-your-watershed
3. Learn lawn tips & tricks! A green lawn can be so beautiful, but let’s also be thoughtful in considering the risks and rewards. Chemicals sprayed and even grass clippings, are easily moved by water into the nearest storm drain where those chemicals then pollute ponds, creeks, lakes and even groundwater.
- Join Capitol Region Watershed District and GrowingGreenHearts,LLC. for tips and tricks about caring for your lawn with water quality in mind. Online Lunch’N’Learn on May 13th, 2020 @11:30 am Join Zoom Meeting with Meeting ID: 213 167 6295, password is lawn.
- Stop Over Salting http://stopoversalting.org
- Adopt A Drain https://adopt-a-drain.org
4. Plant a butterfly garden to sink some carbon. Butterfly gardens, also known as pocket prairies, provide habitat for many critters. Did you know that those native plants also sink carbon while filtering water and building soil? Here are some resources about butterflies and the power of prairie:
- Monarch Butterflies MPCA https://www.pca.state.mn.us/monarch-butterfly
- Monarch Watch https://monarchwatch.org
- 8 Questions for Butterfly Gardening book for kids includes how to start a butterfly garden where you live, learn, or play: https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Questions-Gardening-Playing-Science/dp/1523902361
5. Get water to sink into the ground. Rather than running right into the street and stromdrain, get water from your apartment complex or house to sink into the ground. This looks like a rain garden or swale system. Here are a few of my favorite resources:
- Popular Mechanics magazine shares ways to control run-off from ruining your lawn… https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/lawn-garden/how-to/a7661/5-ways-to-stop-runoff-from-ruining-your-lawn/
- Urban Stormwater Management with BWSR: https://bwsr.state.mn.us/urban-stormwater-management
- City of Maplewood’s Guide to Rain Gardens https://maplewoodmn.gov/1034/Create-Your-Own-Rain-Garden
Play. Learn. Love.