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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…
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…
At long last the mile-high snow piles have melted away. In their wake, I find two things to reflect on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
Public opinion polls show Americans want clean water. Our own surveys of Northwest Indiana residents found that 91 percent value clean water.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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 …
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?
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…
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.
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.
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…
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.
Beyond individual action, communities are taking steps to reduce pollution from stormwater.
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."
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.
Autumn has arrived with its cool crisp nights, bright days and falling leaves.
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.
No matter what you choose to call it -- excrement, feces, poop, scat or dung -- it's just plain unpleasant.
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.
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.
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…
What is the big deal about stormwater anyway?
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?
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 …
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…
Falling leaves bring water quality concerns.
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