You Can Have a Salmon Friendly Lawn
Are you up for the Challenge?
This program is intended to promote wise water and pesticide use in the Oceanside area.
The Salmon Friendly Lawn program is intended to promote wise water and pesticide use in the Oceanside area. Our homes and gardens are connected to local streams, and we have an immediate impact. Using too much water or too many chemicals hurts salmon and other wildlife but you can make a difference by using a natural approach to lawn care with three simple changes.
For the upcoming dry season MVIHES will be partnering with the Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers to promote Salmon Friendly Lawns.
1. Eliminate Toxins, Pesticides, Herbicides and Fertilizers
The major route of entry for pesticides into the body is through the skin meaning that humans, pets, wildlife and beneficial insects can all be poisoned. These chemicals can be tracked into our homes where they remain trapped in carpet fibres and furniture upholstery. There are increased health risks associated with families that use lawn pesticides, especially amoung children and pets. Also, pesticides can contaminate our streams and groundwater.
2. Limit Lawn Watering
Up to 40% of our summer water supply is used by watering our lawns. Historical low water flows in B.C. watersheds could destroy salmon recovery efforts. Summer watering not only puts our drinking water supply at risk, it increases air pollution from gas powered lawn mowers. Low water flows decreases fish habitat, cause water temperatures to rise and can impede fish passage to spawning and rearing areas.
By adopting a few new habits, you can help to reduce the amount of water you use, while also decreasing the size of your utility bill.
As we live in a mediterranean climate zone there is always a period of drought in later summer and our grasses naturally go dormant.
Practice New and Improved Methods of Lawn Care
Mow high (5-6 cm), mow often, and leave the grass clippings. Taller grass means less run-off and healthier lawns. Fertilize moderately in September and May, using a natural, organic fertlizer. Improve lawns with aeration and over-seeding. Aeration helps rainwater penetrate deeper into the roots where it will do the most good. Remove weeds by hand.
Consider alternative to lawns by replacing traditional lawns with other groundcovers that work just as well with much less care and waste. A natural landscape retains more water than a lawn. Let your lawn go "blond" for the summer, allow lawns to go dormant, they will green up again in the first fall rains. Enjoy your free time! Plant native plants, they are beautiful and need less water. Redirect downspouts, help the winter rains soak into the ground by directing downspouts out on the lawn and flower beds.
And don't forget to proudly display your Yellow Salmon! This program is coordinated in partnership wtih the Qualicum Beach Streamkeeper Society.
Contact us for information on how to get your own yellow fish!