Home » Green Blog » Currently Reading:

Lands Green, Waters Clean: In the ‘Hood, Looking Under the Hood

April 3, 2015 Green Blog No Comments
Toni Bailey

Toni Bailey

 

 

 

 

 

April 2, 2015

Gaithersburg, Md

By: Toni Bailey

Okay, so you’ve confirmed that your home is in the Muddy Branch watershed, and you’ve visited the Lands Green, Waters Clean Web site and made an appointment for a site visit (also known as a “landscape audit”). It’s time for me to show up. I’m a landscape designer specializing in sustainable landscape consulting and design, and my company is called Gracefully Green, LLC. You can go to my Web site to learn more about me. On this visit, I will learn a lot more about you.

This site visit is a really important first step in the process to be considered for a free landscape installation through the Izaak Walton League’s “Lands Green, Waters Clean” program. We need to know where the opportunities are in your yard for rain gardens, conservation landscaping, and/or canopy trees. I’ll want to know what is happening with water on your property: do you have wet spots? Does water get inside the house? Does the runoff from your roof or driveway go to storm drains in the street? Have you done anything up until now to manage that water, perhaps by installing a rain barrel?

We’ll also look at how much lawn you have. Can we replace some of it with other plants? If we can do that, I’ll measure the area. What other vegetation do you have in your yard? Do you have invasive plants that could be removed and replaced with native plants? Do you have any canopy trees already on your property? If you do, and they are native trees, we want to be especially careful with those. If you don’t, maybe it’s time to have some – if you have the space for them.

I’ll be curious about your soil, too. Is your property new construction with soils that have taken a beating? Do you clean up and remove leaves each fall or do you allow them to decompose where they fall? Do you compost kitchen scraps and use the finished compost on your yard? Do you have compacted soils anywhere? Eroded soils? How about slopes?

Finally, we’ll talk about critters, be they furry or feathered, big or small – whatever you’ve observed in your yard. If you noticed a snake, perhaps there are small rodents around that it is keeping in check. Maybe, like one family, you’ve noticed hawks nesting in a nearby tree. Perhaps a robin is nesting on your downspout, or you’ve heard the call of a fox in the night. How about a black bear? (It does happen!) And maybe, like many of us in this area, you have lots of deer coming through. The wildlife around us tells us something about our own little ecosystems.

At the end of the visit, I’ll collect $30 from you. This will be the only cost you will have. If your property is selected for landscape design and installation, the rest of the work will be covered by the League. Based on this first visit, I’ll get back to you with a report and recommended next steps as well as a map showing the locations of proposed landscape changes. If you are still interested, we will put your name on the list of properties to be considered for installations. Either way, you will have an action plan that can help improve water quality and make your yard more attractive to birds and pollinators.

Next post: Less Lawn, More Life

 

Comment on this Article:







Facebook Forum

Advertisement space available

 
 
 

Meatless Monday Recipes

Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Parmesan Croutons

19 Nov 2013

A good friend, Denise Clark, sent in this vegetarian seasonal recipe.   1 3 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1″ cubes (5-6 cups) 2 tablespoons of olive oil 2 teaspoons of  kosher salt Pinch of freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon butter 1 large onion, diced 1 tablespoon …

(No Comments)

Meatless Monday Butternut Squash Ravioli

4 Nov 2013

From Chef John at allrecipes.com Ingredients  Original recipe makes 6 servings 1 cup mashed, cooked butternut squash 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 pinch cayenne pepper 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese 1 egg yolk 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 (16 ounce) package round wonton wrappers 2 …

(No Comments)

Meatless Monday Proclaimed by Montgomery County Council

22 Jul 2013

July 22, 2013 Gaithersburg, Md By: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin I was so pleased to find out that Montgomery County Council has officially endorsed Meatless Mondays, a nationwide effort to choose more plant-based foods. For more information about this news read Compassion Over Killing’s website.  Also, Naomi Bloch sent in a Meatless …

(No Comments)

Meatless Monday Recipe- Roasted Cauliflower

17 Jun 2013

  This recipe sounds delicious and I am going to try it tonight because I have a cauliflower sitting in my fridge and I need to cook it! Will let you know what it tastes like!- Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin Recipe is from BonApetit Ingredients Roasted Cauliflower 2 1/2 cups dry white …

(No Comments)

Meatless Mondays-Caramelized Onion Tart

20 May 2013

Here is a vegetarian recipe for an Onion tart. I just read up and now understand that a tart is made in ribbed dish, the bottom part of the pan can come out, and the tart can be all sorts of shapes vs. a quiche is in round pie dish… …

(No Comments)

Available Grants and Scholarships