Monday, June 26, 2023

Penn State Extension: Meadow Repository - Resources For Planning, Planting Meadows

By Meagan Hopkins-Doerr,
Master Watershed Steward Coordinator

Meadows play an important role in our ecosystem and have multiple benefits for wildlife and humans.  Whether your project is a small backyard or a community park of several acres, your contribution to enhancing the environment will be significant.

Meadows using native plants are a recognized best management practice that is increasing in popularity as municipalities look for effective stormwater management strategies, beautification, and habitat creation, public engagement spaces, and ways to save municipal resources. 

Meadows help with stormwater runoff management. By replacing the short-rooted turf grass with native plants with much longer root systems, stormwater infiltration will be improved onsite thus reducing stormwater runoff. 

This will indirectly reduce the amount of pollutants entering our waterways and lessen the damage to streambanks from influxes of stormwater runoff. 

The onsite soil will also naturally improve through the addition of organic matter from leaf litter and meadow plant decomposition. Rich, organic soils play a vital role in climate resiliency as they hold both more moisture and carbon than poor soils. 

Meadows provide native habitats, attracting butterflies, birds, and other beneficial wildlife. 

Worldwide we are witnessing increasing attention to declining biodiversity in our environment. 

Native plants and grasses found in meadows provide greater biodiversity than single-species lawns. They provide food and places to hide and rest for wildlife. 

These habitats attract a wider variety of birds, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife than non-native plants and areas planted with fewer species.

Meadows demand less maintenance, resulting in increased environmental benefits. Native wildflowers and grasses do not require frequent mowing; therefore, less oil-based energy is expended in their long term care. 

The time savings for homeowners and municipalities is another consideration in favor of meadows. They also don’t require frequent watering, an economic savings for homeowners and municipalities alike as well as a water conservation tool. 

If you are interested in creating a meadow in your home or community, this repository of resources may help you discover the benefits of native meadows, basics of installation and maintenance, ideas for "cues of care" for neighborhood acceptance, and other resources.

The online repository is part of a larger meadow education project by the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards of Chester/Delaware Counties and Master Gardeners of Chester County. 

This project was made possible by funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Education Grant Program, which was awarded to Penn State Extension.

Visit the Meadows Repository - Converting Lawns To Meadows webpage for more information.

Other New Extension Articles

-- Master Watershed Stewards Plant Native Meadow In Indiana County

-- Meadow Repository - Resources For Planning, Planting Meadows

-- Master Watershed Stewards Native Plant Clean Water Installation In Delaware County Park

-- Managing Your Drinking Water Well During A Drought

-- Preparing For Drought Conditions

Education Programs

-- Multiple Dates: Private Water Supply Education & Water Testing Workshops

(Reprinted from the latest Penn State Extension Watershed Winds newsletterClick Here to sign up for your own copy (bottom of page).)

Related Articles Last Week:

-- Penn State Watershed Friendly Certification Program Expands To Large And Small Properties, Apartments  [PaEN]

-- Penn State Extension: Testing, Treating For PFAS 'Forever Chemicals' In PA Water Wells  [PaEN]

-- Partnership For The Delaware Estuary Now Accepting Applications For Urban Community Green Infrastructure, Water Quality, Access, Resilience Mini-Grants  [PaEN]

-- 3 Days That Shook Washington County: Natural Gas Plant Explosion; Pipeline Leak Of 1.1 Million Cubic Feet Of Gas; 10,000 Gallon Spill At Compressor Station  [PaEN]

-- Susquehanna River Basin Commission Approves Water Withdrawal Projects, Including 12 Related To Shale Natural Gas Drilling  [PaEN]

-- Susquehanna River Basin Commission Approves 32 Shale Gas Well Pad Water Use Permits In Bradford, Clearfield, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wyoming Counties  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Finds PA General Energy Installed Its Shawnee Water Withdrawal On The Exceptional Value Loyalsock Creek At Sizes Larger Than Authorized By Its SRBC, DEP Permits  [PaEN] 

-- Senate Environmental Committee Reports Out Bills Letting Polluters Decide When To Report Spills And CO2 Injection Well Primacy By Party-Line Votes  [PaEN] 

NewsClips This Week - Watersheds:

-- TribLive: Murrysville Will Use $2 Million To Clean Mine Drainage In Lyons Run Watershed In Westmoreland County 

-- PA Capital-Star: PA House Panel Talks Challenges Of Cleaning Up Chesapeake Bay, Local Waterways

-- Lancaster Farming: Fencing Livestock Out Of Streams Next Front For PA Water Regulations

-- Lancaster Clean Water Partners: Lancaster Clean Water Fund Now Accepting Grant Cycle 2 Letters Of Intent By July 14

-- York Dispatch: Storm-2-Street Art Contest Raises Awareness Of Stormwater Pollution And Boosts Local Artists

-- Explore Jefferson County: PA Great Outdoors - Improvements To Gallagher Run

-- Scranton Times: Clarks Summit Council Hears Details, Costs Of Regional Stormwater Plan In Lackawanna County

-- Scranton Times Editorial: Smart Regional Cooperation On Stormwater Management Saves Money

-- Brodhead Watershed Assn.: July 15 Creek Snorkeling For Students In The Upper Brodhead In Monroe County

-- Partnership For The Delaware Estuary News: Microplastics Are Forever; Growing Big, Strong Freshwater Mussels; Predicting Sea Level Rise; Much More!

-- Lehigh Valley-based Wildlands Conservancy Highlights Bushkill Creek, Tunkhannock Creek Restorations; Seeking Volunteers For Stream Team! June Is Rivers Month

-- Delaware RiverKeeper June 30 RiverWatch Video Report

-- Delaware RiverKeeper: Environmental Activists Host A ‘Last Baby Shower’ For The Endangered Delaware River Atlantic Sturgeon

-- Delaware RiverKeeper ‘Baby Shower’ For Delaware River Atlantic Sturgeon - Video

-- Erie Times: NOAA Wants Public Comment On Proposed Lake Erie National Marine Sanctuary

Related Article This Week - Watersheds:

-- Environmental Quality Board Meets July 11 To Consider Changes To Water Quality Standards; DEP Reports Law Limiting Its Authority To Change Conventional Oil & Gas Well Bonding May Be Unconstitutional [PaEN]

-- DEP Citizens Advisory Council Meets July 11 On Programs To Promote Use Of Electric Vehicles; Chapter 105 Environmental Assessment Alternatives Analysis  [PaEN]

-- House Environmental Committee Hears Progress Report On Cleaning Up PA’s Portion Of Chesapeake Bay Watershed  [PaEN]

-- Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement At 40: Perspectives On Pennsylvania From Former DEP Secretary, EPA Region 3 Administrator Jim Seif - By Jill Whitcomb, Director Of DEP's Bureau Of Watershed Restoration

-- DEP Chesapeake Bay Program Health Waters, Partnership, Progress June Newsletter: County Updates; Grants, Accomplishments, Much More!

-- USDA NRCS Announce $500 Million In Funding To Expand Conservation Reserve, Workings Lands For Wildlife, Environmental Quality Incentives Programs

-- Western PA Conservancy Watershed Conservation Program Receives U.S. Forest Service Award For Decades-Long Work To Improve Water Quality In The Allegheny National Forest  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Starts Accepting Applications For Next Round Of Federally-Funded Abandoned Mine Reclamation Grants For Locally-Sponsored Projects July 3  [PaEN]

-- Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - June 24 to 30 - Radiation Levels Prompt Shale Gas Wastewater Tank Decontamination; Replugging Conventional, Shale Gas Wells  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Invites Comments On Individual Stormwater Permit For 4,000 Acre ‘Conservation’ Housing Development Next To Hickory Run State Park In Carbon County  [PaEN]

-- Capital RC&D, PA Grazing Lands Coalition To Host July 18 Rotational Grazing Pasture Walk In Northampton County  [PaEN]

-- Penn State Extension: Meadow Repository - Resources For Planning, Planting Meadows  [PaEN]

[Posted: June 26, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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