A manual for N.H. Landowners and Landscapers
No matter where you live in New Hampshire, the actions you take in your landscape can have far-reaching effects on water quality. Why? Because we all live in a watershed, an area of land that drains into a surface water body such as a lake, river, wetland or coastal estuary.
Landscaping at the Water's Edge: An Ecological Approach, a new book from UNH Cooperative Extension, explains how landscaping choices affect ground water and demonstrates how, with simple observations, ecologically-based design, and low-impact maintenance practices, you can protect--even improve--the quality of our water resources.
"Every citizen should be concerned with the impact of his or her own actions on the environment," says Extension landscape specialist Cathy Neal, one of the book's authors. "The balance of nature is easily disrupted by humans, with far-reaching impacts on water quality, soil health and stability, animal and human health, and the living ecosystems around us."
"This book will help you understand the basics of how watersheds and shoreland ecosystems function so you can use the strategies and techniques presented to help prevent soil erosion, nutrient and pesticide runoff, exotic plant invasions, and other detrimental processes associated with developed landscapes," Neal says. "Applying the principles of ecological landscaping will support wildlife and plant diversity and maintain or even improve water quality in our lakes, streams, rivers, bays and estuaries."
In addition to Neal, the book's authors include nine other UNH Cooperative Extension educators with expertise in horticulture, soils, water resources, entomology, turf grass and landscape maintenance. These educators partnered with an ecological landscape designer and consulted with state regulatory agencies to provide the most current information to help landscapers and property owners make good decisions about landscape inventory, design and maintenance practices that will protect water quality in our lakes, ponds, rivers and estuaries.
Illustrated with full-color photographs, paintings and drawings that provide clear examples of the concepts presented, Landscaping at the Water's Edge: An Ecological Approach also contains appendices that include relevant information about state regulations, recommended plant lists and other resources.