By Paula White
A creek flowing through your back yard can be a restful oasis with proper care. In the pages of the newly updated Living With Creeks brochure, we offer guidance on how to keep your creek healthy so that you, your neighbors, and local wildlife will be happy.
Tip 1: Get informed about how to care for your creek. If you don’t have a creek running through your backyard but want to be involved with creek stewardship, The Watershed Project has many opportunities throughout the year to participate in creek cleanups and water quality and habitat monitoring.
Tip 2: Give the creek some space. Avoid building on creek banks—leave at least 10 feet of space between any structures and the top of the creek bank. Keep debris away from the banks to prevent them from being washed into the creek and creating blockages.
Tip 3: Nip erosion in the bud. Have a strategy for preventing erosion by making sure banks are properly vegetated. It’s better to get help with a small, easily correctible problem—save yourself from the aggravation of dealing with a crisis down the road. If you notice a problem, review the information in the brochure and make use of the resources described there. If you still have questions, call the county or a local watershed group.
Tip 4: Plants are mightier than concrete and much more attractive to boot. Bank stabilization through intelligent planting is the way to go! In addition to being more durable and adaptable than hardscaping, plants also provide habitat for wildlife. Be careful to select native plants that will not become invasive.