Protecting Water Quality in Rural Landscapes: A Comprehensive
Community Nonpoint Source Education Program.
Landscapes is a URI Cooperative Extension Education Program
that was piloted in the Town of North Kingstown, RI beginning
September 2002. The goals of the program are to inform
residents about the
importance of their water resources and identify steps
they can take to have attractive home landscapes while
protecting these resources.
Gardening is the number one hobby nation-wide. Residents
spend vast amounts of time and money on yard and garden
care. On average, residential landscapes use ten times
the amount of fertilizers and pesticides on a per acre
basis than agricultural lands. In addition, outdoor water
use results in a 40% - 50% increase in residential water
consumption during spring and summer months.
rural homeowners also have pets, horses and other livestock.
If improperly handled, animal waste from pets,
livestock, and other “resident wildlife” are
potential sources of pathogens and nutrients that can impact
rural parcels are also subject to erosion, sedimentation,
loss of pond and stream buffers, and private well contamination
when animal access and paddock areas are within or near
to these areas.
Furthermore, small acreage farms
usually do not qualify for traditional agricultural and
forestry programs and have different land use goals from
that of larger livestock operations.
Visit our small
acreage livestock education program.
The Healthy Landscapes Program focuses on "smart" landscaping
techniques that also enhance and protect water quality. Proper
plant selection, proper watering methods, responsible fertilizer
use, integrated pest management techniques, animal waste
management, stormwater runoff control, and the use of naturalized
landscapes are all environmentally sound practices that result
in productive and attractive home landscapes that protect
Program, which began in September 2002, contained several
education and outreach components including:
Change: engaging community participation in water quality
September 2006, the University of Rhode Island Cooperative
Extension Home*A*Syst and 4-H Programs and the URI
Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science received
a three year Extension Education grant to create an education
program for small acreage livestock owners focusing
on pollution prevention best management practices (BMPs). Visit
our small acreage
livestock education program for more information.
material is based upon work supported by the
National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, National Integrated