Cowlitz Clean Waters | cowlitzcleanwaters@gmail.com

Cowlitz Clean Waters is a collaborative initiative of the City of Kelso, City of Longview, Cowlitz County, Consolidated Diking Improvement District #1 (CDID#1), Kelso School District, Longview School District, Washington State University (WSU) Cowlitz County Extension and the Lower Columbia College.

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Don't Blow It

We get it.  Yard work can be a hassle and dealing with lawn and yard clippings in the summer and leaves and debris in the fall and winter is a challenge.  But when you blow or rake grass and leaves into the street, they can end up in the nearest storm drain or drainage ditch where they can clog inlets, pipe and culverts causing flooding—or be carried directly into our local waters.  
 

Once in a lake or waterway, this dead vegetation breaks down and creates excess nutrients which can cause algae blooms that rob fish and other aquatic creatures
of oxygen to survive.  One bushel of fresh grass clippings can contain 0.1 pounds of phosphorus which is enough to produce 30 to 50 pounds of algae! 

 

Make sure you prevent these impacts by collecting your yard waste and either composting or bagging leaves and grass clippings for proper disposal.  
 

Alternatively, mow high and leave grass clippings on the lawn.  This will produce a deeper and denser root system which helps improve soil quality and lawn health, and reduces the need for fertilizer and summer irrigation.

Other useful tips:

  • Sweep any grass clippings on the street or sidewalk back onto the lawn.

  • Consider building a compost bin for grass clippings and leaves.