As you trim the topiary and plant the petunias, remember the things you do on your lawn and in the garden can have a significant impact on the quality of area ponds, streams, and rivers.
When rain falls on your property, some of it will run off, going directly into a body of water or entering the storm sewer system. Stormwater does not receive any kind of water quality treatment, so it can carry weed killers, fertilizer, bacteria from pet waste, loose soil, and many other pollutants. But there are many things you can do in your own backyard to help protect stormwater quality.
Green Landscaping – This brochure describes landscaping practices such as having your soil tested before applying lawn chemicals, using a rain garden and native plants to soak in more stormwater, using smart lawn watering practices, and more to protect water quality. Learn more about green landscaping on the Fort Wayne Public Works website.
Grasscycling – This is an easy way to care for your lawn. The idea is to mow and go without spending time bagging or raking grass clippings. Grasscycling improves the quality of your lawn and keeps grass clippings out of the landfill.
Composting – There are lots of resources on the web that will help you get started composting—and many ways to do it. This fact sheet provides a simple overview of what composting is and how it benefits the environment. Yard waste may also be dropped off for recycling at Fort Wayne City Utilities’ Biosolids and Yard Waste Recycling site. Leaves, grass clippings, brush, and limbs are accepted. Root balls, sod, soil, and plant material that includes soil are not accepted. A disposal fee applies.
City Utilities also offers an environmentally friendly soil amendment/fertilizer type product called biosolids. Made up of cleaned and treated sewage by-products and composted yard waste, biosolids can be used as a compost or top-dressing for lawns and landscaping. The material is available for pick-up at City Utilities Biosolids/Compost Facility at 6202 Lake Avenue. Learn how you can put biosolids to work for you.