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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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. email@example.com, 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. firstname.lastname@example.org
June 8 near Gering. “Wildflower Walk in the Wildcats” 7pm at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center, 210615 Hwy 71, Gering NE 69341. email@example.com , 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, firstname.lastname@example.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, email@example.com
June 8 in Scottsbluff. Tour of downtown landscapes from 2-3pm starting from 19th & Broadway. 308-630-8011, firstname.lastname@example.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. email@example.com, 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.
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
Don’t overwater your lawn and remember a hearty rain eliminates the need for watering for as long as two weeks.
Water lawns early in the morning – the lower temperature and wind speed are reduce evaporation.
Position sprinklers to water the lawn and shrubs … not the paved areas.
Raise the mower to at least three inches. Taller grass encourages deeper rooting and shades the roots to retain soil moisture.
Avoid overfertilizing. Fertilizers increase the need for water and mowing.
Sweep, not wash, clippings back to the lawn from the driveway or sidewalk. Washing the driveway can waste hundreds of gallons of water.
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.
Capetown’s crisis is in the spotlight now, but other metropolitan areas could soon follow:
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.
Permeable pavement allows water to pass through the surface into the ground generating more groundwater recharge, faster melting of ice and snow, and decreasing the amount of water runoff from a property. Porous concrete, porous asphalt, or interlocking pavers are also good for trees whose roots can access the air and water that flow through the pavers.
Photos: (Top) Demonstration of porous concrete. (Bottom) Water runoff comparison of permeable asphalt and standard concrete.
It’s mid-summer, Panhandle temperatures rise and both the landscape and drought map begin to turn yellow and gold. According to the Drought Monitor, Scotts Bluff County is now experiencing abnormally dry conditions.
The water we use now greatly affects the supply we have in the future – especially if drought conditions spread and continue. Scottsbluff’s water system relies on groundwater pumped through wells, instead of surface water, which replenishes very slowly. Dry or drought conditions cause less regeneration of the ground water supply. Please use water wisely and conservatively.
It’s nearly July and the gardens are green and full of early summer blossoms – using just rainwater.
Late last week the City of Scottsbluff finally turned the water on the downtown gardens, about three months after lawn watering began around the city. Native and well adapted plants use much less water than traditional turf once established. They’re also drought hardy, provide needed habitat for pollinators and create a distinct sense of place with a plant palate tailored for the Nebraska Panhandle.