When you live next to a river or creek, you know how special that is. However, it’s more than just a pretty spot, your property is part of a larger ecosystem of plants, animals, land and water that make up riparian zones. Rivers and streams rely on riparian zones as buffers to absorb floodwaters, filter pollutants from runoff, provide critical shade to cool waters, provide wildlife habitat, and other benefits. However, as more land is developed, we are losing these protective areas and all of their benefits. When riparian areas are lost, more pollution reaches rivers and streams, habitat is diminished, and water temperature increases. These are big problems for salmon (who love cold water), people, and other species. That’s why balancing your needs with the needs of the larger ecosystem is what streamside landscaping is all about, and a key to becoming Stream Smart!
The following practices will help you steward those landscapes while keeping healthy streams and river in mind:
OSU Extension resources on Streamside Gardening and Landscaping
Medford Water Conservation Information
Ashland Conservation Information
Taking Care of Streams in Jackson County
Stream & Wetland Enhancement Guide
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