Saturday, October 18, 2014

Riverkeeper has tips for controlling soil erosion

Sam Perkins was driving along Park Road in south Charlotte when he spotted a stretch of red clay opened up in someone’s yard. It was a fall landscaping project, a common thing at this time of year.
Perkins, Riverkeeper for the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, was concerned. The Riverkeeper’s job is to protect our waterways. Uncovering earth creates a vulnerability.
“If it rains, there is going to be an awful lot of sediment making its way to Little Sugar Creek,” he said of the unfinished project.
Sediment is tough on the fish, turtles and other wildlife living in creeks and streams. Nutrients and chemicals travel into waterways with soil, boosting algae growth and pollution.
Perkins understands the importance of tackling landscaping jobs while the temperatures are cooling. He’s thinking about what he can do to renew the landscape at his home in Madison Park, where plants have to compete with decades-old trees that gobble nutrients and moisture.
Here’s what he suggests if you’re planning a landscape overhaul this fall:

  • Design your landscape so it keeps rainwater on the property as much as possible. Slopes, planting beds and other barriers on and at the edges of a property can accomplish that. A temporary sediment fence is also an option. The fence is made of fabric that is dug into the soil at the bottom end to filter out sediment as water passes through.
  • Finish the job as quickly as possible once the soil is exposed, especially when rain is expected. Plants and mulch can help control erosion.

Karen’s blog:; on Twitter @sullivan_kms


0s0-Pa said...

Glad to see the growing support for soil erosion and sediment control. Thanks for the great tips!

Jennifer Davies said...

Thanks for the practical tips. I want to protect the environment as much as the next homeowner, but I wasn't sure how to do that when trying to landscape my yard. It's nice to see how everyone can help erosion and sediment control through small changes.