Soils are a major contributor to clean water and keeping water in its place.
But, as cities developed on former forest and prairie land, humans engineered ways to “manage” the water flow. However, many cities realize that working with nature, and its soil, is healthier and less expensive for the environment. Here are some tips from the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) about “what can the average citizen do?
Step 1: Conserve the soil
Like any sustainable strategy, the most important starting point is conservation. Conserving our green spaces and caring for the soil that’s already in place is central to creating healthy ground for improved stormwater management. This includes reducing soil compaction and erosion, and promoting soil health. Strategies for improving soil include:
• Amending soils with compost
• Letting leaves and grass clippings decompose in place to restore soil organic matter
• Using compost socks and berms to prevent erosion in areas under construction
• Planting trees and native plants in areas where soil is bare
Step 2: Install a rain garden or other green infrastructure feature
Residential rain gardens not only reduce flooding in your neighborhood but can increase property values and are a charming landscape feature. Other green infrastructure tools for reducing runoff include use of rain barrels or cisterns, disconnecting downspouts, and installing green roofs. Many municipalities have developed incentive programs to share the cost of construction.
Step 3: Create a community
The impact of these strategies will be enhanced if they are implemented on a community level. Clustering rain gardens in a designated area such as a neighborhood block allows pooling of resources, the potential for shared maintenance, and a greater collective impact on runoff.
Tips for inspiring community stormwater projects:
Communicate! Talk to your neighbors or hold a community event to educate the neighborhood about the issues surrounding stormwater runoff.
Collaborate! Reach out to landscapers, nurseries, and other vendors who might be willing to give you bulk discounts for group projects. Local non-profits or government agencies may also be helpful.
Educate! Post signage in yards or parking strips where projects have been built to bring attention to the economic and environmental values of green infrastructure.
Share! Organize a tour of your rain garden project to inspire other communities to create their own projects.
For more information on using your soil more wisely, visit soils.org/discover-soils/soils-in-the-city. Topics under Soils in the City include Community Gardens, Green Infrastructure, Green Roofs, and Soil Contaminants. SSSA also has an informational blog about soils, called Soils Matter, at http://soilsmatter.wordpress.com/
Susan Fisk | newswise
Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy