Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Getting Cred to Help the Watershed

Rain barrels are one of many changes you can make to your property for stormwater management. BayWise certification process and reading +Michael Judd's book, Edible Landscaping, I hadn't realized how important erosion control is to gardening. The organic layer of a garden is the first to wash away, so getting control of how rainwater flows is a must in setting up any planting area. The main things are to reduce the velocity of runoff and to capture nutrients before they escape.
The University of Maryland Extension notes many other features which I have incorporated into my hilly property, such as rain gardens, conservation landscaping, swales, fertilizer reduction, a pet waste station, and tree planting. Before going through Maryland's

Stormwater management is not the most tantalizing task, even less so when it requires many hands. That is why, in setting up a curriculum for the Watershed Stewards Academy, the University included lessons on educating and motivating groups to take action. County ordinances, such as Calvert's offer a negative incentive to meeting minimum standards, i.e. do it, or we will do it for you (on your dime). Right now, my church faces a choice between taking the initiative or the risk of getting negatively incentivized to remediate the erosion that has occurred over the past several years into their detention pond.

A motivator of those who seek certification through the university extension as a Master Watershed Steward Volunteer, or Master Naturalist Volunteer, or (in my case) Master Gardener Volunteer is the scale at which you can hope to have an impact.  It's not just on your own property, but in many parts of the locale.

Water is every bit as critical to our future as food, and even more urgent. Expanding local applications of biochar and mycorestoration as well as the exigent need at my church could draw me into making the jump to the Watershed Steward program, ne: Master Gardener. There is only a little while to decide, since the application deadline for the next class is April 22. There are information sessions tonight (March 23) and next Thursday for anyone interested.

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