University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension Water
Quality Program currently plays a unique
role within the State as leaders in water quality education
using state of the art approaches that tailor educational
programs to local communities. The Healthy Landscapes Project
is a partnership program with URI Cooperative Extension’s
Water Quality, GreenShare, and Master Gardener Programs,
the Town of North Kingstown, and the private sector.
Gardening is the number hobby in our country. Residents spend
vast amounts of time and money on yard and garden care.
On average, homeowners use ten times more chemical fertilizers
and pesticides than agricultural producers. Furthermore,
the improper use of fertilizers, pesticides, lawn watering
and the need to manage and dispose of yard waste and pet
waste are occurring on small acreages within close proximity
to “urbanizing” areas or areas with an increase
in impervious surfaces. Polluted stormwater runoff and
a reduction in groundwater recharge threaten water quality
and balance in the water cycle.
Healthy Landscapes Program focuses on "smart" landscaping
techniques that also enhance and protect water quality. Integrated
pest management, pollution prevention and sustainable landscaping
are the guiding principles of these CE programs. Proper plant
selection, responsible fertilizer use, integrated pest management
techniques and the use of naturalized landscapes are all
environmentally sound practices that work to produce beautiful
home landscapes and protect water quality.
· Established three residential demonstration
one “small-acreage” farm site. One additional
demonstration landscape was added for educational programming.
an approach for mass media distribution of Healthy Landscapes
best management practices that included
both TV and print media coverage on statewide and local levels.
Healthy Landscapes web page at www.healthylandscapes.org
contains all project materials and documents the development
of the demonstration sites, program events and TV coverage.
· Developed written materials, an educational
display and a residential survey to
accompany educational programming and events.
educational tours of demonstration sites, workshops, and
participated in community events for residents,
volunteers, and professionals.
a comprehensive method to evaluate and document project
· Increased citizen awareness of the quality of their drinking
water, the water cycle, and of the interrelationships between
humans and the environment.
education on best landscaping practices for protecting
water quantity and quality.
adoption of best landscaping practices for protecting water
students education in landscape best management practices
and community service.
partnership enhanced among the University of Rhode Island
Cooperative Extension, the Town of North
Kingstown, and the professional landscaping sector.
residential pollution prevention programs with the development
of new educational materials,
innovative programming, and new delivery techniques.
What’s Next – Year
· Continue local and statewide media outreach.
and advanced training programs for Master Gardener volunteers.
additional Master Gardener volunteers in project to work
at demonstration sites and deliver programmatic
information at community events.
targeted workshops and tours to demonstration landscapes.
· Conduct professional sector and garden center training
through URI GreenShare’s WinterSchool.
water conservation demonstration garden at North Kingstown
best landscaping practices at the URI CE Learning Landscape.