Be Water Smart and Learn Strategies for Water Efficient Living

The EGT invites you to save the date and join us for the next session of our Environmental Insights Series at the June meeting on Wednesday, the 28th when we will have a presentation about water conservation  and protection issues and how to become a better steward of nature on your property.  Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association representatives Ed DiFiglia, a Municipal Policy Specialist, and Brittany Musolino, the River-Friendly Coordinator, will provide background on the issues and speak about the Watershed’s River Friendly Program

“Water is our most fragile and precious resource. Essential to all forms of life and to our economies, our water supplies face a myriad of threats from pollution to climate change. Keeping our water clean, safe and healthy in the face of these challenges is the heart of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association’s mission.”1

While much has been done since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972 which reduced direct discharges of untreated sewage and industrial pollution into our water bodies to improve the health of our nation’s rivers, the problems facing our waterways are still challenging.  Threats such as pesticides and fertilizers, automobile waste products, pet waste, road salt are just a few sources of pollution.   Too much impervious surface contributes to groundwater run off.  The twin threats of climate change,  deluges or droughts contribute additional stresses on management of our water resources.

The presentation will provide an overview of the following:

  • Overview of current state and local drought conditions
  • How to convert a home landscape to be water smart
  • Plants for water smart landscapes
  • River Friendly program

The Watershed‘s River-Friendly Certification Program is designed to help individuals, businesses, schools and golf courses contribute to a clean water and a healthy environment thru education and improvement of land stewardship practices. The four cornerstone goals of the program are to reduce pollution, conserve water, restore habitat for wildlife and educate the public about becoming better environmental stewards. Please be sure to join us for an evening that will galvanize all into action!

Presenters

Brittany Musolino Biography

Brittany Musolino runs the River-Friendly Certification Programs for the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, which involves working with landowners to improve their landscape practices and stormwater management. Brittany earned her B.S. in Human Ecology from Rutgers University and completed a term in the AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador Program before joining the Watershed Association’s Science & Stewardship Department.

Date: Wednesday, June 28
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: ESCC, Community Room, 999 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing

  1. https://thewatershed.org/water/

Save Water and Money at the EGT’s Build Your Own Rain Barrel Workshop

Learn more about water conservation and how to harvest rainwater from your roof and divert it for on-site usage in the landscape.  The Ewing Green Team, in partnership with the AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador program, will teach area residents how to build a rain barrel at a workshop this spring.  The fee for the program is $10.  We have obtained 30 free food grade barrels and have costed out the hardware for each barrel at $10.  Registration is limited so be sure to register early.    Each workshop will run approximately 2 hours.  Sign up today.

Event: Rain Barrel Workshop
Dates:  Saturday, June 3rd
Time: 9 a.m. – Noon
Location: Ewing Senior and Community Center, Community Room
Cost: $10 per rain barrel

Installation of rain barrels in your yard will enable you to take an active role in reducing flooding and pollution in local waterways.  Install rain barrels under your gutter’s downspout to harvest rain water from your roof. Each rain barrel holds approximately 50 gallons. You can install them singly on hook them up in tandem to reserve even more water. Use the water to save money and save water when you irrigate your gardens with it during times of low rain.  In case you miss the workshop or are unable to attend, rain barrels are also for sale at local garden centers for approximately $100 give or take.

New Environmental Insights Program to Be Held on June 10th

How to Design and Implement a Rain Garden in Your Landscape

Become Water Wise and Protect Our Native Species

If you can only do one thing for the environment this season we suggest reducing some of our vast suburban monoculture by removing some of your lawn and planting a garden. If you plant a rain garden near a downspout to intercept roof runoff  and filled with native plants; even better.   It will help to slow the flood of storm water, reduce erosion, and absorb pollutants.  The birds, bees and butterflies will also repay your hard work by appearing regularly and pollinating your landscape.  And then enjoy the fun of watching wildlife up close!

What Are Rain Gardens?

Rain gardens are plantings that are specifically designed to soak up rain water from roofs, from driveways, parking lots, and lawns. When it rains, the rain garden fills with a few inches of water and allows the water to slowly seep into ground filtering out pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, and oil, rather than having it run into the waterways or storm drains. This purifies the water and lets it replenish the aquifer rather than having it flow unfiltered into streams, lakes or the ocean. The ground should not remain wet, but should dry in a day or so of fair weather. It is planted with native shrubs and flowers that can tolerate wet or dry conditions and add to the beauty of the neighborhood and attract wildlife.

Rain Gardens not only beautify your landscape, but also serve practical environmental purposes. Their interception of water runoff from impervious surfaces provides a number of benefits for your landscape. It acts to minimize the volume and improve the quality of water entering conventional storm drains and nearby streams. It also works to minimize soil erosion. It helps you provide a habitat for wildlife which can be sorely lacking in home gardens. And finally, the volume and quality of water is better whether it is absorbed in or leaves a rain garden.

Lindsay Blanton, our 2013/2014 AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador at NJDEP, will present using training materials created by Rutgers University.  She will teach the basic steps to building and maintaining this simple, proven and inexpensive solution to the problem of storm water pollution.

Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Hollowbrook Community Center, Nutrition Room, 320 Hollowbrook Dr, Ewing Township, NJ 08638
Cost:  Free and Open to the Public