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KATHY LUTHER: Rain, rain go away - but not completely

KATHY LUTHER: Rain, rain go away - but not completely

You might have noticed that we’ve had a little rain in the region lately. If you are like me, right about now you have that childhood rhyme “Rain, Rain, Go Away! Come again some other day!” running through your head. At my house we have once again dubbed our backyard Lake Luther because of l…

June 26, 2014 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Create healthy lawn without poisoning water

KATHY LUTHER: Create healthy lawn without poisoning water

Now that we have parked our snowblowers in favor of lawnmowers, and traded our snow shovels for spades, it is time to talk about environmentally responsible gardening. Whatever patch of green you call home, whether it is a few patio planters, prize-winning veggies or acres of turf, how you t…

May 22, 2014 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Melting snow reveals water's awesome power

KATHY LUTHER: Melting snow reveals water's awesome power

At long last the mile-high snow piles have melted away. In their wake, I find two things to reflect on.

April 17, 2014 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Christmas tree green in other ways, too

KATHY LUTHER: Christmas tree green in other ways, too

Knowing I’m getting the Christmas week for my column, I started to write with the intent of celebrating how the environment supports our holiday cheer. I apologize if the mixed results of my research leaves you feeling there is a “Grinchy” tinge to your green Christmas.

December 26, 2013 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Tips for healthy turf, gardens

KATHY LUTHER: Tips for healthy turf, gardens

This is the time of year when it is usually pretty easy to see who has decided to let the turf grass in their lawn go dormant for the hot summer months, and who has decided to irrigate.

August 27, 2013 12:20 pm
KATHY LUTHER: Water knows no boundaries

KATHY LUTHER: Water knows no boundaries

We use water to sustain our bodies, cook and grow our food. We use it to wash everything from clothes to toes, cars to decks. We use it to float goods to us from faraway places, and to carry away waste products. We swim, paddle and play in it.

May 23, 2013 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Use deicing agents sparingly to protect streams

KATHY LUTHER: Use deicing agents sparingly to protect streams

Remember that today’s snow is tomorrow’s river and lake. Here is my annual list of how to limit the stormwater pollution you create during the winter.

February 28, 2013 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Give thanks for water, conserve it carefully

KATHY LUTHER: Give thanks for water, conserve it carefully

Since this is a Thanksgiving column, you are either reading this column with the delicious aroma of turkey in the oven, or you are dozing over your newspaper in a pleasant turkey tryptophan-induced daze. While you are thinking of all the things you are thankful for -- whether family, friends…

November 22, 2012 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Valpo turning green at conference today, tomorrow

KATHY LUTHER: Valpo turning green at conference today, tomorrow

Many people recycle, and that is a great green thing to do. Some conserve energy by turning down the thermostats, changing light bulbs and replacing windows when they can. These are great steps individuals can take toward a green future. But there is a lot more we can do together in our citi…

September 27, 2012 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Here's your chance to support clean water

KATHY LUTHER: Here's your chance to support clean water

Public opinion polls show Americans want clean water. Our own surveys of Northwest Indiana residents found that 91 percent value clean water.

August 23, 2012 12:00 am

KATHY LUTHER: Watering lawns in a drought isn't always the best solution

A recent article in The Times highlighted the fact that our region is a little on the dry side this year, and much of the state is in a moderate drought. Up until last weekend’s storms, we have experienced enough of a shortfall of rainfall to be categorized as “abnormally dry” by the U.S. Dr…

June 21, 2012 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Become well grounded for groundwater protection

KATHY LUTHER: Become well grounded for groundwater protection

I’ve written a lot about stormwater runoff and ways to protect it. Today I’m thinking about the water underneath the ground and how the two are connected.

May 24, 2012 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: When geese are well fed, you'd better duck

KATHY LUTHER: When geese are well fed, you'd better duck

Now that spring is truly here, it is hard not to notice some of our feathered friends settling down for a season of reproduction. Who doesn't enjoy the site of Canadian geese gracefully sailing across a lake, the cute upturned tail of a dabbling duck, or soaring seagulls circling at the beac…

April 19, 2012 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Harvest rain water for use on lawn, in garden

KATHY LUTHER: Harvest rain water for use on lawn, in garden

The old Bing Crosby standard "Pennies from Heaven" reminds us that rain falling from the sky is valuable and that clouds and showers now lead to sunshine and flowers later. The song recommends turning your umbrella upside down to catch this treasure.

March 15, 2012 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Use chemicals with care to reduce harmful effects

KATHY LUTHER: Use chemicals with care to reduce harmful effects

You probably already know that many of the common household products used for cleaning, home improvement, pest control or other purposes need to be handled with care. Yet despite label language such as "Danger," "Caution," "Warning" or "Toxic," we can get so used to household chemicals that …

February 16, 2012 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Snow provides proof of urban runoff pollution

KATHY LUTHER: Snow provides proof of urban runoff pollution

Are you a stormwater pollution skeptic? Do you tend to think that all the talk about runoff causing water pollution is just an urban legend designed to distract us from more important topics?

January 19, 2012 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Introducing the NWI Partnership for Clean Water

KATHY LUTHER: Introducing the NWI Partnership for Clean Water

For several years, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission has provided public education materials, outreach, media and community involvement services for Lake and Porter counties as well as an additional 20 or so cities, towns, and conservancy districts collectively known as T…

December 15, 2011 12:00 am Photos

Photos

KATHY LUTHER: Planning for clean water in 2040

KATHY LUTHER: Planning for clean water in 2040

Many have said that the 21st century will be the century of water. In the not too distant future, clean freshwater will be as precious as oil seems right now.

October 20, 2011 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: You can make mosquito season less of a pain

KATHY LUTHER: You can make mosquito season less of a pain

With all the rain we've been having, it's not too much of a surprise that the bloodsuckers are out in full force. And I don't mean vampires. Yes, it's mosquito season out there.

June 25, 2011 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Let's try not to P on our lawns this year

KATHY LUTHER: Let's try not to P on our lawns this year

Spring has finally gotten a solid grip on the region, and green is busting out all over. With spring comes a pretty long list of yardwork and gardening chores. Along with the thrill of watching spring bulbs bloom, lawn mowers, gardening equipment and lawn spreaders are coming out of the gara…

April 23, 2011 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Clean, safe water is never free, so save it

KATHY LUTHER: Clean, safe water is never free, so save it

Water, and this time of the year, snow, falls out of the sky whether we like it or not, in a seemingly endless supply. And yet, when we think about it clean, safe water is never free.

February 26, 2011 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: Invest more greenbacks in green infrastructure

KATHY LUTHER: Invest more greenbacks in green infrastructure

Beyond individual action, communities are taking steps to reduce pollution from stormwater.

January 29, 2011 12:00 am
KATHY LUTHER: What's the best 'green' choice for Christmas trees?

KATHY LUTHER: What's the best 'green' choice for Christmas trees?

Did the environmental concerns have an impact in your choice of Christmas tree? It is something to think about if you are trying to go "green."

December 25, 2010 12:00 am

KATHY LUTHER: Prepare now for a water-friendly winter

Fall is almost over, and those recent snowflakes remind us that winter is almost here. Even as we prepare for the white and gray of winter, we still need to think green.

November 27, 2010 12:00 am

KATHY LUTHER: Falling leaves bring water quality concerns

Autumn has arrived with its cool crisp nights, bright days and falling leaves.

September 25, 2010 12:00 am

KATHY LUTHER: A watershed approach for managing region's stormwater

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission has been involved with water resource planning in our region from a variety of different angles over the years.

August 28, 2010 12:00 am

GUEST COMMENTARY: For water quality's sake, let's have a chat about scat

No matter what you choose to call it -- excrement, feces, poop, scat or dung -- it's just plain unpleasant.

June 26, 2010 12:00 am

KATHY LUTHER: Green lawns, blue waters, not vice-versa

When we pamper our lawns, our hearts are in the right place. After all, a beautiful lawn is rewarding. It enhances property values and provides a place for recreation and relaxation.

May 22, 2010 12:00 am

KATHY LUTHER: After April showers, it's time for May flowers

If you have been following this column, you might recall way back in January when I challenged the region to install 200 rain gardens. May is not too late to start! I also promised you more information in case you were scratching your head wondering what I was talking about.

May 01, 2010 12:00 am

GUEST COMMENTARY: Melting snow can wreak havoc on environment

When the thermometer hits the 60s in March, even though I know the warm weather is here only temporarily, I can't help but think of gardening, bike rides and picnics outside. Although it is sometimes the snowiest month of the year, it also marks the official start to spring and calls us to t…

March 27, 2010 12:00 am

KATHY LUTHER: Make sure there is only rain in the drain

What is the big deal about stormwater anyway?

February 27, 2010 12:00 am

GUEST COMMENTARY: For new year, resolve to have cleaner water

Those who know me, know I am typically always late for everything. So, if you like me are late in finding a new year's resolution. Or if you have already given up on your first one, how about trying a water friendly one on for size?

January 30, 2010 12:00 am

GUEST COMMENTARY: Water requires your attention in winter, too

Winter has definitely arrived, covering our driveways and walks with snow and ice. Winter is a good time to think about water quality and urban stormwater pollution, because you can actually see it happen as the snow turns from pristine white to dirty gray over the course of a few days. The …

December 19, 2009 12:00 am

'Tis the season for winterizing autos, proper disposal of fluid

Whether we like it or not, winter is on its way. If winterizing your vehicle is on your "to do" list, good for you. Keeping your car in good operating condition is a great way to prevent air pollution and save money. This is an excellent time to make sure your car is not contributing to loca…

November 21, 2009 12:00 am

GUEST COMMENTARY: How you handle leaves will affect water quality

Falling leaves bring water quality concerns.

October 17, 2009 12:00 am
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