The Health of Virginia’s Waterways Begins in Your Backyard.
Green lawns, tall trees, bright flowers—Virginians love the outdoors, even when it’s just the backyard. The way you maintain your yard, however, can have surprising impacts on the natural world. You probably know that pesticides and herbicides are powerful chemicals that can harm wildlife if overused. But, did you know that over-fertilization and erosion also are major threats to Virginia waterways and wildlife?
Carried with rainwater into lakes, rivers or the Chesapeake Bay, nitrogen from fertilizer feeds toxic algae and creates dead zones where nothing else can survive. Sediment from erosion clouds waterways, preventing the growth of aquatic grasses—the base of the food chain for many fish and waterfowl. The good news is that you can help protect Virginia’s waterways and wildlife and still enjoy a vibrant, healthy yard. This guide will help. Arranged in a convenient seasonal format, it will help you decide what to plant and when to fertilize. It will help you restore ailing plants and enrich your soil. Many of the steps outlined in the guide will save you both time and money, making it even easier to enjoy your lawn or garden.
Download the Department of Conservation and Recreation – A Virginian’s Year-Round Guide to Yard Care for information on how to maintain a healthy, waterway-friendly yard.