Educate yourself and become part of the solution. Simple changes can reduce polluted runoff to La Crosse area waters.
Wash your vehicle in the grass.
Park your car in the yard so the water can soak in and be naturally filtered. Better yet, take your car to a car wash where the wastewater is treated.
When you mow, keep grass out of streets.
Yard waste in streets eventually ends up in a local river. It brings nitrogen with it and clouds water, reduces stream depth and damages habitat.
When your pet poops, pick it up.
Clean up pet waste often at home to avoid harmful bacteria soaking into the ground water. When walking your dog, put their waste in a plastic bag, and in the garbage.
Stop using salt in the winter.
When removing ice from driveways and sidewalks, use a calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) deicer. This is about as corrosive as tap water, safe for concrete, biodegradable and requires fewer applications.
Build a Rain Garden
Rain gardens are simple structures that capture water from downspouts, roofs, streets, parking lots, sidewalks and driveways before it can carry pollutants to streams.
When planting, only use native trees and plants.
Trees and deep rooted native plants keep soil in place, absorb water and help rain soak into the soil. This prevent erosion and holds runoff. They also come back year after year.
Rainwater and snowmelt move soil, sand and pollutants to streams. Capture water in rain barrels, rain gardens, cisterns and ponds. Use it in your garden or home.
Minimize Hard Surfaces
Roofs, patios and driveways move water fast, carrying soil, sand and pollutants to streams. Pave less. When you do pave, use gravel, stone, well-spaced bricks, or porous pavers, concrete, or asphalt.