Tag Archives | rainwater

A business or parking lot

If you own or operate a private business, there are plenty of opportunities to help conserve resources. Your efforts may even make your business more inviting to your customers!

What can you do?

Convert impervious parking lots to a pervious paving system that allows rainwater to infiltrate

Source: Wikimedia Commons, user Achim Hering, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

Permeable pavers

By converting parking lots, you’ll add water to groundwater resources, and contaminants will get filtered by plants and soil instead of just running downhill to contaminate somewhere else. Pervious pavement may not radiate as much heat in the summer, and that can make a visit to your business more pleasant.

Add strips of pervious pavement to capture and filter runoff

If you cannot convert an entire parking area, consider adding strips of pervious pavement to capture and filter some of the water that would otherwise run off the lot.

Provide pollinator patches

Source: Wikimedia Commons, user Aphaia, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Bee on plum flower

Pollinators need to eat throughout their life cycle. You can help by planting flowering native plants in pots, unused lot corners, and strips. It doesn’t take much effort to maintain an established pollinator garden, and you bring beauty to your customers and provide food for the creatures that are crucial in producing 70% of our food supply!

Harvest rainwater

Capture some rainwater, and use it to water those pollinator patches! Your roof captures a lot of water during the rainy season. If you capture it before it hits the ground, it’s yours to use.

Use the sun or wind to generate electricity

Source: Wikimedia Commons, user David Manniaux, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Solar panels

Install solar panels or a small wind generator. Yes, we live in a climate that isn’t very conducive to solar power, so you’ll want to evaluate this possibility very carefully. But if it makes sense to offset some of your power usage with solar panels or a small wind generator, you can reduce the impact on native fish. How does that work? Reducing demand on hydroelectric facilities gives those facility operators more leeway to manage flows in a way that benefits fish. There may be a positive climate impact, too, if some of your power is currently coming from coal, oil, or gas-fed generating facilities.

Sponsor some conservation activities

Conservationists are always in need of meeting spaces, refreshments for educational workshops, supplies, and sometimes even office space. You can still make a difference by donating resources to help others conserve our vital natural resources! Visit our partners page for links to their websites.

We can help

If you’re interested in these things, contact us. We can help provide technical and financial assistance for many of these activities, and if we can’t, we may be able to help you find those resources elsewhere.

A yard or garden

Walden House, West Linn

Do have a yard or a garden? Then you also have many ways to help conserve! Your efforts may even make it less costly to maintain your landscape!

What can you do?

Don’t water too much

Overwatering doesn’t just waste water. It can also impair the health of the plants in your landscape, even killing some that don’t like wet feet.

Our Golf Course Quality Lawns® program can help you figure out how much water your plants need, and how to measure how much you are applying to your lawn. We’ll tell you about “grass cycling” and how tall to let your grass grow for a healthy lawn without using too much water or pesticides.

Make and use your own compost

If you return nutrients produced by your plants to your own landscape, that means less money spent on expensive chemical fertilizers. Compost also contains carbon, a vital component for healthy soil. Your “black gold” can be used in flower and vegetable beds, and as a top dressing on your lawn.

Making compost can be very easy: just pile up the right materials and keep the pile somewhere between dry and wet. For faster compost, there are a variety of methods to speed up the conversion of raw plant materials to finished compost.

Minimize pesticide use, always follow label directions

Here’s a short video clip where Clair Klock talks about pesticides and weed control in your home landscape.

Provide pollinator patches

Pollinators need to eat throughout their life cycle. You can help by planting flowering native plants in pots, unused lot corners, and strips. It doesn’t take much effort to maintain an established pollinator garden, and you bring beauty to your customers and provide food for the creatures that are crucial in producing 70% of our food supply!

Harvest rainwater

Capture some rainwater, and use it to water those pollinator patches! Your roof captures a lot of water during the rainy season. If you capture it before it hits the ground, it’s yours to use.

Even if you don’t want to use your rainwater, a rain garden can help recharge ground water while providing an attractive landscape feature around your home. Our Urban and Community Conservation Specialist can help with your questions, or get started with our short article on rain gardens (PDF format): The Garden Path to Rain Gardens

Plant shade trees or windbreaks

The right trees can provide shade in the warm summer months, reducing energy consumed to cool your home. If your home is in the path of cold winter winds, a windbreak can also help reduce energy used to heat your home.

Of course, trees and hedges also take up carbon dioxide and release oxygen, contributing to the health of our community!

Sponsor some conservation activities

Volunteer with a conservation organization to help out in the office or assist in installing a conservation practice. Your local watershed council or your soil and water conservation district can help you get started! We have a list of watershed councils in Clackamas County on our Partners page.

We can help

If you’re interested in these things, contact us. We can help provide technical and financial assistance for many of these activities, and if we can’t, we may be able to help you find those resources elsewhere.