How we care for the land impacts water quality in our local lakes and rivers. The River Restoration program teaches residents of the watershed how to manage their land to improve water quality and to provide wildlife habitat through hands-on projects and educational events.
Riparian (waterfront) landowners must recognize their property is part of a larger system and log jams, bank erosion, and flooding are natural processes. Establishing a buffer zone of native plants, managing (rather than removing) woody debris and using soft bioengineering techniques to stabilize banks will all help to reduce erosion and improve water quality for us and the fish and wildlife that depend on the river.
Our actions impact water quality whether we live along the river or not. The Rouge River is an urban river. Much of the land is covered by buildings, roads, parking lots and houses. These impervious surfaces prevent rainwater and snow melt from soaking into the ground. To prevent flooding on our roads and in our neighborhoods rainwater is collected in catch basins on streets and parking lots and is piped to nearby streams, carrying with it pollutants picked up along the way. The result is a flashy river system where water levels rise rapidly during and after wet weather which scours stream banks and increases sediment in the stream.
What can you do to help improve water quality?
Growing Sustainable Water Solutions:
Rain Gardens to the Rescue Program
Sewage and urban runoff are polluting Detroitís rivers. Help prevent this pollution by putting Rain Gardens to the Rescue! The Rain Gardens to the Rescue program is a series of workshops designed to teach you about rain gardens, so that you can plant your very own garden and educate your neighbors and family to do the same. Space is limited. Residents and institutions (i.e. libraries, activity centers, places of faith) are encouraged to participate. Participants will receive assistance with planting a rain garden. Contact Sierra Club at (313) 965-0055 or click here for an application.
The River Restoration Program is funded, in part, by:
The Bloomfield Hills Garden Club (Branch of the National Women's Farm and Garden Association)
Landscaping with Native Plants
- Intorduction to Green Landscaping for Clean Streams
- Creating Native Wildflower Gardens
- Rain Garden Guide
- Greenacres: Landscaping with Ntive Platns, EPA
- Garden design for full sun 1
- Garden design for full sun 2
- Garden design for full sun 3
- Garden design for mostly sun
Native Plant Identification
- Seedling Identification Guide of Native Prairie Plants
- Newcomb's Wildflower Guide
- Michigan's Flora I, II and III by Edward G. Voss
Sources of Native Plants
Invasive Plant Information
Riparian (water front) Living