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How to up your curb appeal this spring (and be a friend to the Reedy River)

We’re sharing four tips from The Reedy River Water Quality Group that locals can implement this spring to help prevent damage to water and wildlife.

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A green space leads to a riverfront lined with shrubs and full trees as the sun shines through the branches.

Apply fertilizers sparingly, and if you live on a waterway, leave an unmown strip along the streambank.

Photo provided by The Reedy River Water Quality Group

Spring is right around the corner (14 days away to be exact, not that we’re counting), and with the new season often comes a renewed urge to flex your green thumb.

But improper fertilizer application can be problematic for surrounding waterways — and for you. Accidental exposure, inhalation, or ingestion, by a person (or pet) can be harmful to your health and your wallet.

Allowing fertilizer to enter a waterway or storm drain raises the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, which can cause toxic aquatic plant growth that may harm or kill other aquatic life.

Here’s how to make your yard the talk of the town while helping preserve our local waterways:

  1. Closely follow the instructions, including how much fertilizer you should use and the safety precautions.
  2. Only allow fertilizer to touch areas of the yard that need treatment — never on paved surfaces or near storm drains.
  3. Don’t water immediately after you fertilize, and don’t fertilize if there is a rainstorm in the forecast.
  4. If you have a body of water running along your property, don’t cut back the surrounding vegetation. Already have? It’s best to re-plant the area with native grasses, trees, shrubs, and plants.

Why? A riparian buffer zone can help water quality. A buffer zone, or riparian buffer, is an area next to a stream, lake, or river that contains a combination of trees, shrubs, and other perennial plants, which protect water quality and filter pollutants. The roots of buffer plants hold soil in place. This helps to prevent erosion and flooding, which can cause major harm to your property and aquatic habitats.

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