Sustainability begins at home. All of us can make a difference in improving and conserving our natural resources. One of the best ways also happens to be one of the simplest. By engaging in the simple autumn ritual of raking, mulching and removing leaves from the streets, curbs and storm drains, we can significantly help protect the Chesapeake Bay and the ecology of our twelve local watersheds in Anne Arundel County such as the South, Severn, Magothy, and West Rivers. Now that the leaves have mostly fallen, it’s time to get this task out of the way before winter comes. You will discover many benefits beyond the environmental ones.
Here are my top 10 reasons why leaf management should be at the top of your to-do list:
10. Leaves protect shrubs and perennials from extreme temperature changes.
9. It’s good exercise; raking, moving and mulching gets the heart rate up and fresh air into your lungs.
8. It’s a family affair, giving you the opportunity to spend quality time with your kids outside.
7. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate leadership: you’ll be surprised to see once you start managing your leaves, your neighbors will follow suit.
6. Leaves cleared from the streets and storm drains prevent injury, accidents and flooding.
5. Leaves that are mulched and managed on site save space in landfills.
4. Your azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons thrive with shredded organic leaf humus.
3. Leaves mowed into the yard enhance clay or sandy soil, add natural fertilizers and introduce beneficial microorganisms to the soil.
2. Each year, tons of falling leaves are blown or washed into our watersheds releasing Nitrogen and consuming Oxygen as they decay, creating dead zones that kill fish and oysters.
1. Managing your leaves is easy, ecological and the right thing to do.
For more information on the environmental benefits of leaf management and sustainable landscape practices for protecting our local rivers, visit the Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy at: aawsa.org