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Springtime Lawn Prep

April 12, 2011

As spring arrives, many people start to work on their lawns and gardens.  But, KOMU 8’s Kristin Carringer and Nan Wu shows us that some of the preparations can cause harm to our local water.

Mike Heimos, City of Columbia’s Stormwater Educator, wants people to be mindful of what they put on their lawns.  The biggest caution as the snow melts in the spring is to be careful with fertilizers and pesticides.  He says your lawn may not even need all those chemicals and tells us how to find out exactly what your lawn needs:


But he does say that the public needs to be careful when they apply the treatments to their lawns:

 

Heimos also makes visits to local schools to teach kids about protecting the environment.  He says they usually cover not littering or putting things in the storm drains, and home composting.

Composting consists of gather organic matter, like parts of fruits and vegetables you don’t eat (like an apple core or banana peel), and letting it decompose.  It turns into a natural fertilizer that’s a more environmentally safe alternative to chemical fertilizers.  The City hosts free hour-long composting classes.  The remaining dates for the classes are Tuesday, April 19th (6 p.m.); Saturday, May 14th (10 a.m.); and  Saturday, June 25th (10 a.m.). A free compost bin comes with the class.

Heimos says the best way to make a difference on the water you drink is by starting at home.  He suggests having rain barrels, a composter, cutting your grass high, and collecting grass clippings and leaves.  He says everyone, even kids, should help with water improvements.

“This affects everybody.  This affects them now and as they get older.  And it’s important that they learn these techniques now and what do to around the house to keep our water waste clean.  It’s very important: it’s the water we drink, the water we swim in and inevitably it’s the water that gives us life!”

Check out this Flickr Slideshow to see how Columbia got involved in the green movement!

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