The elements of your property can affect how water is transported into watercourses. Healthy vegetation anywhere on your property helps to soak up harmful substances and heavy rains in addition to providing habitat for birds and mammals.
Riparian zones are the areas that border a watercourse. These areas play an important role in the filtering of harmful contaminants that may enter the stream, as well as stabilizing the banks to prevent erosion. Overhanging vegetation provides fish cover from predators and lowers the stream’s temperature.
If you live close to a watercourse you can improve your riparian zones. Even if you don’t live near water, these improvements help to decrease runoff and keep streams and lakes healthy.
- Reducing the amount of impermeable surfaces on your property (asphalt driveways, paths) in favour of grassy or loose gravel paths that allow water to filter into the ground
- Use rain barrels to store and conserve water
- Mow your lawn less often and avoid mowing lawns directly to stream bank
- Keep existing trees, shrubs, and other vegetation
- Plant trees and shrubs in your yard, especially if it is close to a watercourse. When planting along a stream bank it is important to plant native species that are adapted to wet environments and are deep rooted.