Our behaviors impact the ecosystem around us—and landscaping is no different. Thankfully, there are many local businesses in our county that seek to protect our waterways from detrimental lawn practices such as fertilization and overwatering. “Excess nutrients can lead to increased algae and aquatic plant growth, which can harm aquatic habitats and disrupt the ecosystem.” Collectively, individuals, businesses, organizations, and government departments in Teton County are committed to trout friendly lawn practices.
#1 – Limit Fertilizer
Excess fertilizer can negatively impact native trout, insects, plants, and other wildlife. Common fertilizers on the market use high but short-lived nitrogen. This nitrogen can seep into your groundwater or be flushed down a waterway near your land. To avoid this, use our helpful tips:
- Only use fertilizer if it is absolutely necessary
- Use slow-release or organic fertilizer
- Don’t fertilize within twenty feet of water
#2 – Be Water Wise
Overwatering is not only a waste financially, it is also a poor environmental practice (especially in the west where we commonly have drought and other water shortages). Plus, overwatering increases the likelihood of pollution from contaminated water runoff. Be more water wise this year:
- Water your lawn at dawn or dusk
- Turn off your irrigation system if it rains
- Mow your lawn high
Watering the correct amount will reduce pollution risks, establish healthier plant root systems, and reduce your risk of creating mosquito habitat (yay!).
#3 – Plant Natives and Maintain Streamside Buffers
A streamside buffer five feet away from a waterbody will naturally protect water resources near you.
- Allow your native grasses to naturally grow tall within five feet of a waterbody—do not mow them
- Plant willows or other native species that thrive in riparian areas
Healthy vegetation near a creek or a pond will keep water temperatures cool, reduce pollution, and provide habitat for birds, insects, and mammals.
#4 – Use Herbicides and Pesticides Appropriately
Excessive application of pesticides can damage native wildlife and decrease water quality in our county.
- Only treat state and county-designated noxious or invasive weeds
- Follow the label on the pesticide
- Spot spray instead of cover-spraying an area
- Use organic pesticides when possible
- Contact us to create an invasive species management plan before you use a pesticide
We Can Be a Part of the Solution
We all need clean water—and the Snake River fine spotted cutthroat trout deserves to live in healthy streams. When you commit to trout friendly lawn practices, you join a coalition of people who collectively improve our water resources in Jackson. Be a part of the solution!