Waterwise Wednesday: Multipurpose Ponds

Did you know the Riverside Park fishing ponds also help manage the city’s stormwater runoff?

The ponds at Riverside Park provide scenic greenspace, recreation, and even food (fish) while safely routing and cleaning our stormwater runoff on the way to the North Platte River. Terrytown and Gering include Terry’s Lake and the water hazards at Monument Shadows Golf Course in their stormwater systems too.

Stormwater travels untreated through the storm sewer, so protecting stormwater runoff from pollutants also protects our public fishing, our scenic water spaces, and our water recreation.

Photo: Riverside Fishing Bridge by L. Sato

Waterwise Wednesday: Nebraska Natives

Our downtown native landscapes serve many functions: to absorb and purify water, stormwater managements, water conservation, beautification, and inspiration. Enjoy these Nebraska native plants from the Guadalupe Center’s pollinator garden.

Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: plant, sky, tree, flower, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: sky, plant, flower, cloud, outdoor and nature

Scottsbluff-Gering Wildflower Week Events

Friday, June 8,  10:00 AM – 11:30 AM   City of Gering’s Nebraska Statewide Arboretum site tour.  Meet at Gering City Plaza, 11th Avenue and N Street. Tour stops:  Plaza Project, Monument Heights Island, Legacy of the Plains. Public invited to attend

Friday, June 8, Noon – 1:30 “Imagine the Possibilities”  Green

Team Luncheon.        Past and present Green Team or Greener Nebraska Towns team members are invited to brainstorm future public/private partnership projects and resources in the tri-city area.  Please RSVP to 630-8011 before Wednesday, June 6 if you plan to attend

Friday, June 8, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM City of Scottsbluff Downtown Project Tour.   Meet at the Downtown Plaza. Tour stops:  Bulb-outs, parking lot rain gardens, Wellhouse 3, Guadalupe Center. Public invited to attend.

Friday, June 8, 4:30 PM  – 6:30 PM  Panhandle Planning Team BBQ @ Peaceful Prairie.  Panhandle Wildflower Week Planning Team to meet at Peaceful Prairie

Friday, June 8, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Twilight Wildflower Hike at Wildcat Hills with Amanda Filipi.  Meet at Wildcat Hills Nature Center.  Public invited to attend.

Saturday, June 9, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM  Demonstration planting at Nebraska Pioneer Stadium.   Please call 436-3307 if interested in volunteering.

2018 Wildflower Week Events in Western Nebraska

June 2 near Lewellen. Wildflower Talk and Walk at Ash Hollow State Historical Park at 9am. Meet at the Visitor Center and dress for walking through tallgrass prairie. 308-778-5651, alison.bleich@nebraska.gov

June 3 near Harrison. “Wildflowers 101” talk and walk with a ranger through lowlands, prairie and rocky uplands to see a variety of wildflowers 2-4pm at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument visitor center, 301 River Rd. Trails are open dawn to dusk. agfo_ranger_activities@nps.gov, 308-665-4110

June 7 in Chadron. Western Nebraska Landscape: planting project, water use tour and wildflower presentation.  Meet at 9am at Chadron State College Range Land Lab, wear gardening togs and sunscreen; ends at noon. lmays@csc.edu

June 8 near Gering. “Wildflower Walk in the Wildcats” 7pm at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center, 210615 Hwy 71, Gering NE 69341. ngpc.wildcat.hills@nebraska.gov , 308-436-3777

June 8 in Gering. Tour of municipal landscapes 10-11:30am starting from Gering City Plaza, 11th Street and N St. 308-436-6834, pheath@gering.org

June 8 in Scottsbluff. “Imagine the Possibilities” brainstorming session with past and present Green Team or Greener Nebraska Town members from 12-1:30pm at Monument Shadows Grill.  Please RSVP by June 6.  308-630-8011, lsato@scottsbluff.org

June 8 in Scottsbluff. Tour of downtown landscapes from 2-3pm starting from 19th & Broadway. 308-630-8011, lsato@scottsbluff.org

June 10 near Harrison. “Wildflowers 101” talk and walk with a ranger through lowlands, prairie and rocky uplands to see a variety of wildflowers 2-4pm at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument visitor center, 301 River Rd. Trails are open dawn to dusk. agfo_ranger_activities@nps.gov, 308-665-4110

June 14 in Ogallala. During the Summer Concert Series, the 2nd street bump-outs with wildflower planters between Spruce and East A will be highlighted; concerts are in Rendezvous Square on East 2nd.

 

 

 

 

Waterwise Wednesday: Managing Stormwater Runoff

While it’s unusual to get the amount of rain we had two weeks ago, it does remind us to take some flood precautions.

1. Basement windows or doors are common storm water entry points and should be sealed against leaks. Clear plastic covers or window wells that extend above ground level can help. Ideally, window and door sills should at least a foot above ground level.

2. Slope the yard away from the foundation to prevent water from pooling near the house and leaking into the basement. Create a rain garden or low basin landscaped with shrubs and flowers to encourage water to soak into the ground.

3. Eliminate paved surfaces where possible and consider alternatives that allow water to soak into the ground. Consider porous concrete or porous pavers for driveways. Gravel or woodchips for walking paths.

4. Aim downspouts toward the lawn and away from the foundation and paved surfaces. Consider using cisterns or rain barrels to catch rainwater for watering lawns and gardens in dry weather.

Photo: Creative Commons

Waterwise Wednesday: Spring Sprinkler Tips

Consider these tips from conserveh20.org as you prep the sprinkler system for the season for effective and efficient watering.

 

1. Look for signs of leakage, especially damage to sprinkler heads or piping which could have occurred over the winter. Repair and replace as needed.

 

2. Look for accurate spray patterns. Adjust your sprinkler heads so they water your landscape and not sidewalks or pavement. Also make sure their spray isn’t blocked by plants or other materials.

3. Clean clogged nozzles and sprinkler heads.

4. Install a rain sensor. Rain sensors are designed to shut off sprinkler systems when rainfall reaches a preset amount, usually 1/4 inch. Once the moisture level subsides, the sensor re-enables the sprinkler system, resuming the previous watering schedule. Rain sensors should be mounted in an unobstructed area exposed to open sky – minimizing the potential for fallen leaves or other debris from blocking the sensor.

Waterwise Wednesday: Only Rain in the Drain, Please

Stormwater is not treated before it flows into the North Platte River, so contaminants that enter the storm sewer system can also contaminate the river.

According to regulation, anything other than rain or snowmelt in the storm sewer is an illicit discharge. However, clean water discharges to the gutter – like pumped groundwater, air conditioning condensation, or irrigation water/lawn watering – are typically excused.

If you see or find evidence of substances other than rain or snowmelt in the gutter or near a storm drain please call the stormwater department 630-8011. If the spill is over 25 gallons or you know the substance is hazardous, please call 911.

Waterwise Wednesday: Winter Watering

Trees and plants may be parched and in need of water due to Winter being very dry, windy and warm here in the Panhandle.

– Water trees, shrubs, lawns, and perennials during prolonged dry fall and winter periods to prevent root damage that affects the health of the entire plant.

– Water only when air and soil temperatures are above 40 degrees F with no snow cover. Apply water at mid-day so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night.

– To water trees, apply water to the most critical part of the root zone under the tree canopy and let the soil soak to a depth of 12 inches.

Waterwise Wednesday: Trees Tame Stormwater

Trees play a critical role in managing our city’s stormwater runoff. Enjoy this interactive poster from the Arbor Day Foundation highlighting the role trees play in urban stormwater management.

https://www.arborday.org/trees/stormwater.cfm