Every season brings challenges and opportunities to protect our natural environment. Fall is no exception. From our woodlands to our lakes, there are steps that citizens can take to keep our lakes clean and our woodlands healthy.
Fall Leaves Affect Water Quality and Drainage
Take steps to prevent localized flooding and keep our lakes healthy by keeping leaves off the street this fall. Runoff from rain carries leaves and other yard waste in the street through the city’s drainage system to local lakes, streams or wetlands. Once there they promote algae growth and reduce water clarity.
Sometimes leaves and debris in the street don’t make it through the drainage system. But that’s not good news either. That’s because they accumulate in ditches, culverts and storm sewers and stop the flow of water altogether. This can cause localized flooding as water backs up behind the obstruction. Yards, roads and even houses can be affected or damaged.
Managing Fall Leaves
Turn leaves into an excellent mulch for gardens and plantings.
Let the leaves benefit your lawn by mulching a light covering of leaves right into the grass with a mulching mower.
Add leaves to your backyard compost bin.
Check with your garbage hauler about leaf collection. Most haulers have compost programs in place, and accept yard waste – including leaves – from their customers. There is usually a fee associated with this service. And remember, Minnesota law requires the use of compostable bags (either paper or compostable plastic) or carts for yard waste collection.
Taking on the Buckthorn Invaders
The fast-growing buckthorn shrub is spreading out of control in our local parks and woodlands. This invasive shrub is edging out native plants. It threatens the diversity and vitality of our urban forest by out-competing native trees and shrubs.
Individually and in groups, citizens can take action to remove buckthorn and restore our urban forest.