by Anthony Lowndes, The Groundwater Foundation
The City of York, Nebraska recently earned Groundwater Guardian Green Site designation for the York City Parks and ballfields. The program recognizes managers of green spaces, such as college campuses, golf courses and parks, for their environmental stewardship. But York used the program as more than just recognition. Managers of the City’s green spaces took the application process as an opportunity to evaluate their maintenance practices and realized more could be done to further conserve and protect water resources for their community. The Green Site designation is a part of ensuring the City is dedicated to protecting the community’s water resource as the Wellhead Protection planning process continues.
The steps Green Sites take to protect and conserve groundwater are crucial to the future use of the resource. There is no substitute for dedication, which is why we are pleased to acknowledge the efforts of all Groundwater Guardian Green Sites. You don’t have to be a green space manager to follow the basics of groundwater protection and conservation! Try implementing these practices at home:
1. Water in the early part of the day to reduce evaporation.
2. Follow the label recommendations for fertilizer and pesticide applications and be sure to clean excess off sidewalks and driveways so it does not get washed into surface waters.
3. Choose native or drought tolerant plants when replacing landscaping.
4. Don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty and control weed the old fashioned way by pulling them. I always find it to be more satisfying too.
5. Check out The Groundwater Foundation website for more tips and tools to conserve and protect water resources.