stormwater on steps

There is Only One Water

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

Stormwater is making the news!

In the September 13, 2019 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Frank Kummer states “On average, Philadelphia gets about 42 inches of rain in a year, according to the National Weather Service. In 2018, it got 62 inches. This year is also proving to be wet, with about 36 inches so far — 8 inches more than normal for the same period.”

So, what does this mean for the Green Industry? 

As landscape professionals, we are in a unique position to deal with these issues. Using green infrastructure to handle rainfall, we can lend our expertise and voice responsible land management practices. The professionals at GreenWeaver Landscapes evolved from being part of the problem, to becoming part of the solution. We changed the way we manage stormwater, treating water as a resource that belongs in the ground.

While other parts of the country deal with prolonged droughts, the Mid-Atlantic has had increased rainfall. This threatens private and public property, infrastructure, and water quality. As water runs off impervious surfaces, it fails to recharge ground water, threatening our reliance on aquifers as a source of clean water.

Rain gardens, bioswales, riparian buffers, and meadows are all tools that you can add to your toolbox. However, these projects need to be well designed and properly maintained in order for the public to embrace them.  A kidney shaped depression randomly placed in the middle of a lawn will never sell. However, a strategically placed rain garden designed into a border planting adds another dimension to the landscape.

Many of us already have the skills needed to be experts at stormwater management. Knowledge of plants and soils, creative problem solving, an eye for design, and the ability to manage construction projects of different sizes are just a few. Use these skills to address some of the major issues ahead of us, and show the world the importance of the Green Industry. After all, stormwater, drinking water, and ground water is all One Water.