Professional solutions and philosophies to Green and Grow your world. Don't just go green –!


I want to report a…Murder! How to avoid hacking your crape myrtle

by Adrian Higgins – Washington Post

Spring has been a long time coming this year. But the wait is over, and the next month will bring an especially vivid carnival as delayed blooms join those unfurling on schedule.

This floral parade may help distract us from a widespread practice that reaches its peak in March: the mutilation of crape myrtles, a deed that arborists label “crape murder.”

So why is it done? The short answer seems to be “because everyone else does it.” That includes landscaping crews who move through commercial and residential landscapes at this time of year, only to leave a forest of stubs.

The best option for a butchered tree is to cut it to the ground — actually, an inch or two above the soil line but no higher: No stubs, please. From the established root system, new shoots will return with vigor. After a couple of years, the tree can be pruned to leave a desired structure of five or so upright stems that leave an open center and pleasant silhouette.

Nice, simple overview of #Raingarden basics from #BluewaterBaltimore

Rain gardens are landscaped depressions that capture rain runoff. They are typically located down-slope from a roof, driveway or other impervious surface and are designed to absorb all standing water within 24-48 hours of a storm.

Rain gardens are one of the most effective ways to manage your stormwater and protect our local streams.

Using Fungi To Clean Up Pollutants by Rozie Apps

Mycore mediation – using fungi to clean pollutants – is being used to clean waterways, soil and in some areas, even radioactive waste. Here a US project is using locally grown mushrooms and coffee grounds to clean their local waterways.

The Ocean Blue Project, started by two local Corvallis residents – Richard Aterbury and Rosalie Bienek – begun using mushrooms to restore contaminated aquatic habitats in their area.

The project buy locally grown oyster mushroom spores that they grow in a coffee ground mix. Then they create a ‘bunker spawn’ which goes into the river. This consists of a burlap bag filled with wood chips and the inoculated oyster mushroom spawn. The bags are secured with bamboo sticks and placed on the river banks (see top photo). As the oyster mushrooms grow, they break down toxins in-situ, removing and neutralising the pollutants in the river (a form of bioremediation). Oyster mushrooms have been shown to reduce E. coli and break down hydrocarbons.

So far the project has been successful but it will take time to determine the full effects. Richard has hopes that one day metals will be able to be extracted from the mycelium which could then be used in computer chips and batteries – waste management at its best!

The Ocean Blue Project also plan to educate the community about unchecked industrial and agricultural runoff and alternative methods to pesticides and fertilsers.

To learn more, visit Ocean Blue Project’s website at

Alter-NATIVE: Benefits of landscaping with native plants to reduce Stormwater runoff

When: Saturday, March 14, 2015 from 1:00-2:30pm

Where: Booker T. Washington National Monument Auditorium, Route 122 in Westlake

Admission: Free (attendance limited to the first 80 people)

If you would like more information about the Blue Ridge Foothills and Lake Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists, please visit our website:

Tokyo Flood Prevention – Video exploring

Tokyo Flood Prevention – Video exploring the Japanese capital’s vast labyrinth of underground flood defenses.

Partners in Project Green & Calstone Inc team to Harvest & Reuse Rainwater from 1Ac Roof

In collaboration with Partners in Project Green, Calstone, a green furniture manufacturer, is undertaking an innovative project that will include collecting and irrigating, storing or infiltrating rainwater from their 42,000 square foot roof.

Partners in Project Green’s objective is to showcase lot-level stormwater management techniques to lower the burden on aging municipal stormwater management infrastructure. The eventual goal is to increase and replicate the number of stormwater management infrastructure initiatives in the Greater Toronto Area by taking a collaborative approach to their completion

“The idea started as a rainwater harvesting tank and some raspberry bushes. With the help of Partners in Project Green, the project has grown and we’re now committed to capturing 100% of the rainfall of our roof.” Jim Ecclestone, CEO/President, Calstone Inc.

With “Save the Rain,” Onondaga County Is a National Model for Sustainable Stormwater

Shortly after her election in 2007, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney proposed a bold solution to address the county’s CSO issues: Rather than building more sewage treatment plants to meet the terms of a consent decree, Mahoney put a temporary hold on construction projects to determine the feasibility of incorporating the use of green infrastructure in combination with smart gray infrastructure.

Today, the Central New York community has become a national model for the use of environmentally sustainable solutions to reduce CSO pollution, and Mahoney is recognized as a pioneer in the field.

Using a combination of natural and engineered systems to capture rainwater where it lands, “Save the Rain” program has reduced the amount of stormwater that flows to storm drains, thereby reducing CSOs and improving the water quality of Onondaga Lake and its tributaries.


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