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Lands Green, Waters Clean: Hello Neighbor!

What if someone showed up at your door and offered to landscape your yard at very little cost to you? It gets better: not only would the landscaping be beautiful, it would manage water drainage better and attract pollinators and birds.

No, it’s not the Tooth Fairy coming to call – it’s the Izaak Walton League!

The Izaak Walton League (a national conservation group headquartered here in Gaithersburg) is installing conservation landscaping, rain gardens, and canopy trees in Montgomery County yards. The goal is to protect the Muddy Branch – a stream that begins in Gaithersburg and travels seven miles southwest to the Potomac River. By installing rain gardens, conservation landscaping, and canopy trees, more rainwater will be gathered where it falls, less pollution will enter the Muddy Branch, and more yards will attract birds and butterflies.

Here’s how it works: First of all, this offer applies only to residential properties located within the Muddy Branch watershed. (To learn whether you are in that watershed, check the Montgomery County Environmental Protection Web site and click the “Find Your Watershed” link.) In the right place? Then go to the League’s “Lands Green, Waters Clean” Web site and request a site visit. A landscape consultant will give you custom recommendations for your yard. And once the visit is completed, your property will be considered for the installation program. If selected, homeowners will receive a landscape design and installation at no additional cost to them. The only cost to homeowners is a $30 discounted fee for the first site visit. The League is able to provide the site visits and landscape installation through a generous grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

In return for a new landscape, the League asks participants to maintain the new plants, participate in either the Gaithersburg or Montgomery County Rainscapes Rewards Programs, and help to promote the program to neighbors.

Interested? Throw your hat in the ring and sign up on the Lands Green Waters Clean Web site! And check back here over the next few weeks for more details about the program.

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