The Izaak Walton League of America, Inc. (“IWLA”) has launched a projected called Lands Green, Waters Clean, designed to encourage homeowners in the Muddy Branch watershed of Montgomery County, Maryland to utilize environmentally-friendly strategies in their landscapes. IWLA is focusing on 3 strategies in particular: conservation landscaping, rain gardens, and rainwater collection.
The ultimate goal of the initiative is to protect the Muddy Branch watershed by reducing the volume and improving the quality of storm water runoff that makes its way into the Muddy Branch, a tributary of the Potomac River. Conservation landscaping replaces lawn with native plants. The deeper roots of the native plants will take up more water than the shallow-rooted turf grass. Additionally, the soils under conservation landscaping will hold more water than the soils under turf grass. Rainwater collection allows homeowners to capture storm water and hold it for a slower, more targeted release later. Rain gardens are another very effective way of slowing rainwater and allowing it to percolate slowly back into the soil.
Gracefully Green visits homeowners selected by IWLA and advises on the feasibility and processes of installing these practices. So far, we have found that all of the homeowners can do at least one of the strategies. This bodes well for the health of the watershed, as well as the health of the local environment: better habitat for all.