- Updated on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 9:03 pm
The City of Albany Environmental Services department has been conducting outreach programs to educate the community about our local water resources and the impact humans have on the natural world. We have focused on many issues including watershed protection, surface water pollution, water conservation, stormwater management, water and wastewater treatment, wetlands, and partnership and volunteer activities. We encourage YOU to get involved in environmental education through Awareness and action.
We created the "Eco Rangers" water education program to remind us that we all have a chance to be environmental stewards through everyday actions. Eco Rangers will host activities to encourage citizens to take part in natural resource protection, restoration, and education.
The Eco rangers program will continue to focus on youth environmental education while strengthening ties with the local schools and community partners. The Eco Rangers program provides an assortment of classroom lessons, field trips, and special events designed to educate, entertain, and allow students an opportunity to be active environmental stewards.
Spring Lawn Care tips
Rake and Aerate
- In spring, rake your lawn thoroughly to remove thatch build-up.
- Aerate in spring and fall if your lawn is compacted. (Leave pulled plugs on the surface). At lawn and hardware shops, you can rent a power aerator, or simply push a garden fork six inches deep every four inches into the lawn and work back and forth to loosen the soil.
- In spring and fall, top dress your lawn with fine compost about a quarter-inch deep to provide a slow release of nitrogen and rake until the grass tips poke through. Compost improves the condition of the soil and allows for better water retention, thereby reducing water needs.
- Avoid additional slow-release fertilizing in the spring, as too much fertilizer in spring can lead to disease and weed problems.
Weed Control: Skip the pre-emergent herbicides and weed and feed
Weed and feed is more than just fertilizer. It contains weed killers that may damage soil and lawn health, as well as pollute waterways. Evidence suggests that pesticides may also harm humans, pets and wildlife. Why use weed killer over the entire lawn, if you only need to get rid of a few weeds?Weed and feed does nothing to prevent germination of new weed seeds. If your lawn is healthy, weeds will have less opportunity to take root.
- Accept some weeds, such as clover, and remove others by hand in spring and fall when the soil is damp. Clover actually fixes nitrogen in the soil and makes it available to your lawn.
- If necessary, spot spray problem weeds with an equal mix of vinegar and water as a natural weed-killing technique.
- As a last resort, use the proper herbicide at the right time of the year.
- Mow regularly to keep seed heads from developing, or pull them off by hand.
- Overseed bare spots from winter damage and weed pulling. Overseeding will crowd out competing weeds and ensure a thick, lush lawn.
Mowing: Let it grow, mow high, SHARPEN your blade
Twice a year your lawn should be cut to a height of one half to 1 inch. The first cut in the spring and the last cut in the fall should be low. In the spring this removes any winter fungus and in the fall prevents fungus from getting established during the winter.
- Set mower blades to 2-3 inches. Mowing your grass extremely short can cause it more stress.
- Growing your lawn taller is an excellent way to reduce herbicide use.
- Mow with a sharp blade! Mowing when the grass is wet or with a dull blade can cause the tip of the grass to shred, giving the lawn a brown appearance as the tips dry out, and making the grass more susceptible to disease.
- Cutting the grass in the intense heat can cause stress to the plant
Mulch Clippings (Grasscycling)
- Leave grass clippings on the lawn. Mulching reduces the need for fertilizer by as much as 50% since important plant nutrients are returned to the soil.
- A mulching mower circulates the grass clippings in the mowing chamber to produce smaller clippings which break down more easily.
- Leaving cuttings on the grass does not promote thatch, contrary to common belief.
- However, do not leave large clumps of wet grass on your lawn.
Always Water deeply but infrequently
- Over watering promotes diseases and excessive growth, leaches nutrients from the soil and wastes water.
6th Annual Procession of the Species Parade
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Historic Downtown Albany
Starts at 10:00 a.m. at the Linn County Courthouse steps
- City of Albany's Eco Rangers Water Education Program brochure 2012-13 (pdf)
- City of Albany's Eco Rangers Water Education Newsletter 2012 (pdf)
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