By Lisa Hardy
Plant More Plants is not a demand; it's a call to arms! It's a rally cry for everyone to unleash their green thumb to plant some good, and grow some good to improve our local water quality.
Plant More Plants, led by the Chesapeake Bay Program, aims to encourage residents in Hampton Roads, Richmond, DC, and Baltimore to plant more plants and adopt conservation landscaping behaviors that mitigate the harmful effects of stormwater runoff and ultimately improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
HR Green is partnering with Plant More Plants to bring you helpful tips and plant inspiration. Check out the website plantmoreplants.com, the Facebook group Plant More Plants, or on Twitter @Growsomegood for steps you can take to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
What is stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff occurs when rain or melted snow flows over parking lots, sidewalks, streets, or any other surface that cannot absorb water. As stormwater runoff moves, it picks up dirt, trash, oil, grease, fertilizers, and other pollutants and carries them into the stormdrain system, which empties directly to local waterways. Stormwater runoff does not flow to a treatment plant; it flows directly into our streams, bay and ocean. Pollution from untreated stormwater runoff affects drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries and wildlife.
What do plants have to do with stormwater runoff?
Plants (including trees and shrubs) play a critical role in managing stormwater runoff by stabilizing soil with their intricate root structure; slowing down runoff as it travels over land; mitigating the impact of rain by storing rainwater on leaves, in braches and on trunks; and absorbing pollutants that would otherwise go into the storm drain and directly into waterways.