Water runoff from roofs, asphalt, and built-up snow when it melts can carry pollutants and heavy sediment directly to Lake Superior. Lots of rain or snow-melt picks up leaves, litter, or feces from the ground. And fast-flowing runoff can flood our streams and sewers.
You can help slow the flow, reduce runoff, reduce pollution and trash in our waterways and lake, and more in your urban or residential neighborhood.
Plant Rain Gardens
Ran gardens contain native wildflowers and shrubs that are adapted to wet soils. They collect and slow rainwater runoff and increase soil infiltration. Best yet, they do not have standing water which collects mosquitos, they attract finches and butterflies, and are low maintenance once established.
Here are some excellent partner resources for how to plant a rain garden in your yard:
- WI DNR Rain Gardens: A how-to manual for homeowners
- Lake Superior Duluth Streams: Rain Gardens
- EPA: Soak Up the Rain: Rain Gardens
Install Rain Barrels
Rain barrels are a simple way to capture roof runoff. Install them under a downspout, and you can collect rainwater to use on gardens and lawns between rainfalls.
Some municipalities have special rain barrel programs, so check with your local city or Land and Water Conservation Department to learn more!
Here are some partner resources about rain barrels and best practices for your home:
Coniferous tree species such as cedar, spruce, and pine trees can help keep the ground cool and slow the rate of snow-melt in the spring. This helps allow our plants and waterways time to soak up pollutants and reduce soil erosion.
Here are some partner resources about tree planting to slow the flow in your yard:
… And More
- UW Stevens Point Controlling Runoff and Erosion from Your Waterfront Property
- Milwaukee Sewer District: Tips to Prevent Spring Flooding in your home
- Nebraska’s Small-Scale Residential Stormwater Best Management Practices
- Lake County, IL Stormwater Management’s Homeowner Association’s Workshop (video presentation)
- Vermont’s GUIDE TO STORMWATER MANAGEMENT for Homeowners and Small Businesses
- Minnesota Stormwater Manual about stormwater management for home owners, construction, green infrastructure, and more