Saving America's great
watersheds one yard at a time.



Aquifer – a subsurface zone that yields economically important amounts of water to wells. The term is synonymous with water-bearing formation. An aquifer may be porous rock, unconsolidated gravel, fractured rock, or cavernous limestone

Buffer Strips / Zones – small areas or strips of land in permanent vegetation, designed to intercept pollutants, control erosion and manage other environmental concerns

Companion planting – the practice of planting species or varieties of plants that attract beneficial insects when you are also planting species or varieties that do not.

Conservation – the sensible use of the earth's natural resources in order to avoid excessive degradation and impoverishment of the environment.

Facultative Wetland Plant – a plant preferring a high soil moisture content but will survive dry conditions for periods of time. (ie. Clethra, Itea, and Fothergilla)

Green – supporting a social responsibility that espouses global environmental protection, bioregionalism, social responsibility, and nonviolence

Green Infrastructure – Green infrastructure is strategically planned and managed networks of natural lands, working landscapes and other open spaces that conserve ecosystem values and functions and provide associated benefits to human populations

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – a common sense approach utilizing a combination of pest control methods with high regard for the following principle; manage pests by the most economical means causing little or no hazard to people, pets, property and the environment

Mulch – a protective covering, usually of organic matter such as leaves, straw, or peat, placed around plants to prevent the evaporation of moisture, the freezing of roots, and the growth of weeds

Native plants – plants endemic (indigenous) or naturalized to a given area in geologic time.

Partnerships – a relationship usually involving close cooperation between parties having specified and joint interest, rights and responsibilities

Phytoremediation – refers to the diverse collection of technologies that use plants to directly or indirectly clean up pollutants.

Phytoextraction – absorbs and accumulates water and nutrients essential for growth as well as nonessential inorganic contaminants.

Phytodegradation – after taking up a contaminant it may be stored or sequestered safely in plant tissues, broken down or metabolized or volatilized and released into the aTMosphere.

Phytostimulation – plants release natural substances from their roots into the soil or wetland rhizosphere to facilitate remediation of microbes.

Phytovolatilization – the process used by some plants to absorb a pollutant, transform it and then release it into the aTMosphere via stems and leaves.

Plasticulture – refers to the practice of using plastic materials in agricultural applications TMDL (total maximum daily load) regarding pollution

Pollution – the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms

Rain Barrel – a barrel used as a cistern to hold rainwater

Rain Garden – a planted depression that allows rainwater runoff from impervious urban areas like roofs, driveways, walkways, parking lots, and compacted lawn areas the opportunity to be absorbed.

Rhizofiltration – roots absorb, adsorb and concentrate the contaminant from water.

Runoff – Surface water generated either by rain fall or by the melting of snow, ice, or glaciers

Stewardship – the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.

Sustainability – is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time.

Stormwater – runoff generated when precipitation from rain and snowmelt events flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground. As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff is discharged untreated

Urban Forest – The 'urban forest' refers to all vegetation, both public and private, which is found growing in cities, towns, and communities

Urban Reforesting – planting trees in urban areas

Waterkeeper – one who is dedicated to preserving and protecting water from polluters.

Watershed – A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place

Xeriscaping – a landscaping method developed especially for arid and semiarid climates that utilizes water-conserving techniques (as the use of drought-tolerant plants, mulch, and efficient irrigation). Now tailored to include water conscious gardening.


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