Thanks for helping clean up our streams! Whether you are driving less to help the climate (and your pocketbook), or using compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent (and reducing your electric bill), you are helping to reduce emissions and in the process reducing pollution that rains into our ponds, streams, rivers and lakes. Whether you are avoiding plastic and paper bags and carrying your own cloth bags for shopping, buying more local food, less packaged and processed items, generating less trash – and perhaps helping pick up the careless trash of others - you are helping improve the health of our streams for us and our downstream neighbors.
Some of our neighbors are showing us how to do more. Peter and Barbara Luchsinger have taken good care of their land near Urbana - a great example of faithful conservation deserving their Watershed Steward designation. The Maryland Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation can use volunteers in their work to breed a blight resistant American chestnut tree. Deer Crossing Elementary students, teachers and parents have installed rain barrels and a beautiful rain garden to help trap pollution. You can too. Schoolyard habitat activities have generated enthusiasm, education and wildlife habitat at lots of schools around the County. Thanks to Mike Kay’s leadership, a generous contribution from the Board of County Commissioners and the hard work of the Gypsy Moth Task Force, the threat of defoliation from gypsy moths was reduced on an additional 8,200 acres of forest this past spring.
Check out possibilities for delight close to home. Do you enjoy fishing? How about helping gather nuts and acorns on a beautiful fall day? Or join Audubon volunteers for a nature walk to identify and enjoy the variety of beautiful migrating birds. And it won’t be too long before we can enjoy a new Nature Center overlooking Catoctin Creek – perhaps with a green roof?! Do you know a young adult that might like to apply for a Conservation internship with the Potomac Conservancy?
Seems to me that we can each do a bit better. Those of us with septic systems can consider pretreatment devices and certainly schedule regular inspections and pumping. All of us are upstream of the Potomac River and can help make it cleaner by learning how to help ensure that construction sites are not contaminating our waterways.
Let’s recommit this fall to lightening our impact on our streams!
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