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.” [source]
So, what does this mean for the Green Industry?
Landscape professionals, are in a unique position to help deal with these issues. We can lend our expertise and be a voice for responsible land management practices by using green infrastructure to handle rainfall. Having been in the industry for many years, the professionals at GreenWeaver Landscapes have evolved from being part of the problem, to being part of the solution. We have changed the way we manage stormwater, from getting it away from the buildings and off the property as quickly as possible to treating water as a resource and getting it into the ground.
While other parts of the country may be dealing with prolonged droughts leading to increased risk of forest fires, in the Mid-Atlantic increased rainfall is posing threats to private and public property, infrastructure, and water quality. In all parts of the country 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. Be aware though, that these projects need to be designed well and maintained properly for the public to embrace them. A kidney shaped depression randomly placed in the middle of a lawn will never sell, but a strategically placed rain garden designed into a border planting can add 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. Let us use these skills to address some of the major issues ahead of us and show the world how important the Green Industry is.
After all, stormwater, drinking water, and ground water is all One Water.