Residents of Maine who live near the Knox-Lincoln Conservation District will be offered several different landscaping classes to help sharpen and extend their skills. The programs have a definite conservation perspective. You will learn, for instance, how plants in your garden can stop soil erosion and run-off. The highlighted plants are not just ornamental – they’re hard workers. Your plants are food sources for the birds and the bees, and provide humans with glorious sights and fragrances. A West Nyack landscaping devotee expressed excitement at attending this program: “I travel all over the country seeking out the best landscaping programs, and this one is right at the top of the list!”
Another program addresses how to get a lush lawn without using chemicals. While it’s true that you can purchase insect and weed control chemicals at the local store, you don’t really know whether these products are safe in the long run. Let’s face it – these chemicals are toxic; who can say what their ultimate effects will be? Fertilizers are another problem – they are often used unnecessarily, costing you money for no good reason and polluting local water in the bargain. By taking this course, you can cut your reliance on herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers without sacrificing a thick green lawn.
The District offers a program that teaches you to choose native plants for your property. A native plant or native cultivar is well adapted to the local environment, will provide food and shelter to local animals and insects, and will give your landscape a native authenticity. You can learn to buy native perennials and shrubs at local plant outlets, while avoiding non-natives that can be problematic.
A nifty landscaping idea is to set up a vegetative buffer on the perimeter of your property. This living fence beats out man-made structures in terms of its contribution to the ecosystem. A buffer reduces erosion and excess run-off. It absorbs nutrients and water, traps excess topsoil, provides a wildlife habitat and reinforces natural systems. As a living organism, a vegetative buffer responds dynamically to the change of the seasons, providing different looks throughout the year. A West Nyack poolscaping contractor has used living buffers behind pool installations to provide privacy and beauty.
The Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District presents programs and offers technical aid all year long. You can learn about landscaping, forestry, water quality and agriculture through its educational outreach programs. Check it out the next time you are in the area.