Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Ways to Protect and Conserve Groundwater - Go Native}

This is week eight in Frannie's series The Groundwater Foundation's Top 10 List of Ways to Protect and Conserve Groundwater at Home.  Even though it's still winter in most of the United States, it's not too early to think about spring, gardening, and being water-wise!  Remember to use native plants in your landscaping and gardening this spring.

There are so many benefits to using water-wise, native plants in your lawn.  Not only do they look great, but they don't need much water or fertilizer.  You help conserve water resources when you use less for watering, and you protect water quality by applying less fertilizers to the soil.  Remember from Frannie's Story, fertilizers can wash off the grass from rain or watering and run into streams and lakes (where Frannie and her friends live!)  Fertilizer is food for plants.  It is often given to plants so they can grow bigger and faster.  Fertilizer will also make plants and algae grow in the water.  Too many plants in the water can be bad for fish like Frannie. 

Remember to also choose grass varieties for your lawn that are adapted for your region's climate, this will help reduce the need for lots of watering and chemical applications.  In some cases, it may be best to skip using grass at all.  For example, in desert regions, rock landscaping has taken off as a water-wise landscaping option.

Do research for your region to see what kind of landscaping will help protect and conserve groundwater!  For more fun, work with your Girl Scout troop to "go native" in a public green space then get the site certified as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site