Wandering around this fabulous city of ours, it's obvious that there are many different ways to maintain a yard (and even more ways to NOT maintain one).
While it is important to let your green space reflect your own tastes and ideas, its important to remember that what happens in your yard doesn't stay in your yard.
Maybe you are of the mindset that the neater and more manicured your green spaces are, the better. Maybe you prefer to let your plants freely express their true selves with minimal outside influence. No matter what your gardening style may be, the best way to ensure a happy and healthy yard is to remember that your yard is connected to a much bigger picture: a watershed.
You may think that this means I'm going to yell at you for watering your lawn or or letting the sprinkler run a little longer than you should. And yes, wasting water is never a good idea, but let's face it: No one is perfect! Even me! If water conservation is a challenge in your yard, its still important is to keep any extra water you use from running directly into the sewers (and out to our lakes and rivers). As water passes through yards it picks up chemicals, bacteria, and other debris which are really harmful to our rivers and Lake Michigan.
But there is hope!
- Planning a rain garden installation in your yard is an awesome way to naturally filter water that passes through your space!
- Plants that are native to Wisconsin require less water and less maintenance in the first place which means less excess water usage.
- Using rain barrels helps to collect your excess water and keeps it from leaving your property and carrying runoff with it.
- Consider adding more trees to your yard. Besides shading your house, trees are natures straws. They are a great way to suck up extra water passing through your property and keep it from rushing off into the sewers.