ST PAUL, Minn. - Great River Greening is a Minnesota nonprofit dedicated to working with communities to preserve and protect our state's water and land resources.
Here are some timely Earth Day tips from Great River Greening:
- Learn about your watershed: Visit the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts website for more information. Take the Bell Museum’s Watershed Quiz to learn where the water in your community goes and the many ways you can protect it. Start a Lake Association or River group to bring health to your community’s shorelines and water sources.
- Plant a Rain Garden: Many watershed organizations will send a technician to your home to help plan one.
- When planning your spring garden, design for low water use. With native perennials, you can reduce the size of your lawn and still have a beautifully landscaped yard that requires less maintenance and less water.
- Often, most of the water in household use is for yard irrigation, especially in spring and summer. Efficient irrigation like drip systems and organic mulch will lessen use. Route roof gutters and downspouts away from pavement and toward the ground where it will soak in and recharge underground water aquifers.
- Clean up after your pet. Pet waste is a major contributor to storm water pollution, it contains bacteria and is high in nitrogen and phosphorus. Rain and melting snow flows across yards, dog parks, down trails, etc. on its way to creeks via our streets and storm drains.
- Volunteer in your community and bring your family along to a trash pick-up, or invasive plant removal event.
- Compost organic waste; if your city has an organic recycling program, take part in that.
- Choose native flowers and plant pollinator-friendly species like Milkweed, Joe Pye Weed, Black-eyed Susan and Bee Balm.
- Assess your property for energy saving tree planting. The right tree in the right place provides wind protection, shade, and cool air, while adding beauty, privacy, and wildlife habitat to the landscape.