Roots of Success

plantmoreplantsWe’re all part of the solution.

That was one of the messages at this week’s gathering of state and federal leaders coordinating the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay and its vast watershed.

On the agenda at the Chesapeake Executive Council’s annual meeting on Monday were updates on the “pollution diet” for the Bay watershed and the first set of two-year milestones of cleanup activity.

But the theme of the high-level meeting was how you and I can help in the restoration effort.

One of the initiatives showcased was the Chesapeake Bay Program’s “Plant More Plants” campaign.

The campaign encourages us to plant native trees, shrubs and perennials to help slow down and filter the rain water that charges from our roofs, driveways and sidewalks during a storm.  Unrestrained, that rain water picks up fertilizers, dirt, oil and other contaminants as it rushes into storm sewers and out into our favorite streams and rivers.  The pollution not only affects our local waters, it eventually creates problems downstream in big bodies of water like the Chesapeake Bay.

The Plant More Plants website offers free, downloadable landscaping plans as well as tip sheets for watering, fertilizing and mowing with conservation goals in mind.  They’ve also got a blog that we really dig.

So grab your trowels and shovels, put on your gardening gloves and pitch in to improve water quality.  Your lawn and your local stream will thank you.

And share with us your best tips on good gardening!