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eco-rangers-full-colorThe 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.

What color is your lawn?

Healthy lawns in the Pacific Northwest are a light meadow green.

What crop covers more land than any other in the United States?Lawns cover 17.7 million acres in the U.S.( A 2004 study by the Environmental Protection Agency found 78 million households using home and garden pesticides alone. According to a recent National Science Foundation study, 63 percent of US residents fertilized their lawns and 79 percent watered them.

When lawn chemicals are applied improperly, they can run off into streams and lakes, polluting drinking water and harming fish, reptiles, and other wildlife. Children and pets are exposed to these chemicals as they frolic on the lawn.

Consider natural lawn care.

Work with your soil and plants to create thick grass that discourages weeds and promotes growth of a deep, extensive, and drought-tolerant root system.

  • Get your soil tested by Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardeners; the lawn may not need to be fertilized.
  • Avoid using weed-and-feed products which spread pesticide on the whole yard, not just the weeds. Accept a few weeds and spot spray those that you don't want.
  • Improve poor lawns with aeration, over-seeding and top dressing with compost.
  • Aerate the lawn at least once a year. Twice is better: spring and fall.
  • If you fertilize, use organic or slow-release fertilizers. Fertilize in September when lawns are building root reserves for the next year.
  • Mow high, mow regularly, and leave the clippings on the lawn
  • Plant native or drought-resistant plants that can grow without a lot of additional water and fertilizers.
  • Visit the City's AWE garden for inspiration
  • Water deeply to moisten the whole root zone, but less frequently - typically one inch per week. This prevents runoff that carries lawn chemicals into streams.
  • Schedule a free outdoor water audit (available June - August). Call 541-791-0087.

Upcoming Events:

7th Annual Procession of the Species Parade
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Historic Downtown Albany
Starts at 10:00 a.m. at the Linn County Courthouse steps