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Watershed Health Pledge

I care about protecting the quality of water in our watershed. I know that clean rivers, streams, ponds, wetlands, and aquifers are necessary for health, recreation, and the survival of all creatures.

I want to be River Smart! I commit to taking at least four of the following steps to protect our local water resources. I will strive to achieve all where appropriate for my home

In maintaining my lawn, gardens, and landscape, I will… (PICK 2)


  • nurture native trees, shrubs, and flowers around my home. I will limit lawn areas. I will plant or allow natural buffers to grow at the edges of streams and wetlands.


  • mow my lawn properly, following the rule “mow high and let it lie.” I will use the highest setting on the mower, not cut more than one third of the height of the grass, and allow the clippings to lie as mulch.


  • water my yard infrequently or not at all. I recognize that one inch of water a week is usually fine. I will not water when the sun is high or overnight. I will recognize that brown grass is dormant, not dead. It will return to life when rain comes.


  • use fertilizer carefully or not at all. I will have the soil tested to determine what my yard needs. I will never apply phosphorus on an established lawn unless the soil is deficient. If necessary, I will use only a slow-release, low-concentration fertilizer or natural compost.


  • abstain from using pesticides and herbicides. I will protect children, pets, birds, and butterflies from lawn-care toxins. I will only spot treat if absolutely necessary.


  • create natural places for the water to soak into the ground. I will use swales or rain gardens to manage stormwater. I will limit paved areas and will use pervious materials when possible for patios, driveways, and walkways.

In maintaining other areas around my home, I will… (PICK 2)


  • have my septic system pumped out regularly.


  • fix leaky faucets and toilets, and only buy water-efficient appliances and fixtures.


  • use non-toxic cleaners and “green” building materials in my home.


  • learn how to dispose of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications.


  • dispose of pet waste in the trash or a pet-waste processor (better).


  • wash my vehicles in a carwash or on the grass, but not on my driveway.

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