Protecting our watersheds: healthy lawn care and gardening

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Man weed wacking his yardPesticides and fertilizers can pollute our waterways by running off our yards and gardens on rainy days or when we water our lawns.

Pesticides, intended to kill nuisance and harmful insects and weeds, can also harm fish and other aquatic life that live in rivers and streams.

Fertilizers that help our gardens and lawns grow can lead to algal blooms and impact the health of people who use our waterways for recreation or drinking water. 

What you can do:

  • Use natural fertilizers such as compost and slow-release fertilizer, or none at all.
  • If using pesticides, follow directions. Avoid use when windy or if rain is in the forecast.
  • Keep grass clippings, debris and chemicals away from storm drains, streams and ditches.
  • Avoid weed & feed chemicals. 
  • Remove weeds by hand and be willing to live with a few weeds. 
  • Plant native trees and shrubs that thrive in western Oregon’s wet winters and hot, dry summers.
  • Ask your landscaper to eliminate or use less pesticide and fertilizer.