Fall Leaf Collection Protects Rivers and Streams

Leaves are a big topic of research when it comes to water quality issues coming from residential neighborhoods in the fall. Rainwater leaches nutrients from leaves lying in the street, creating a kind of “leaf tea.” The nutrient-rich leaf tea then flows down storm drains and into local streams. The nutrients from leaves, especially phosphorous, cause algal blooms that lower oxygen levels in the stream–less oxygen makes it harder for fish and aquatic insects to live there.  The U.S. Geological…

0
Read More

Enrich Your Soil with Fall Leaves and Leaf Mold

Leaves, like all organic materials, contain nutrients. The nutrients in leaves hurt our local rivers but help our lawns and gardens. This is because nutrients encourage plant growth. In streams, excess nutrients cause oxygen-depleting algae to grow, which hurts the fish and insects that live there. In your yard, these nutrients are beneficial since they fertilize plants you want to grow, like grass and garden vegetables.   When it rains, stormwater draws the nutrients out of the leaves similar to a…

0
Read More

Early Life in the Water: Dragonflies, Mosquitos and Other Insects

Did You Know…Some Flying Insects Start Their Lives in Water? Many of the insects that live in our streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands are actually the immature stages of flying insects like dragonflies, damselflies, mayflies, midges and of course, mosquitos. These insects spend the first part of their life cycle in the water before becoming flying adults. The length of time this aquatic stage lasts is dependent on the insect. Some dragonflies take 4-5 years to complete this part of…

0
Read More

How Do Dams Affect Fish and Water Quality?

Although there are many factors impacting urban stream systems from pollution to stormwater runoff to structures in the floodplains, dams create a host of problems for stream systems everywhere. What Did the Fish Say When It Swam Into the Wall? First and foremost, dams fragment stream systems preventing fish from freely move upstream. Even a low-head dam can create a barrier to our midwestern fish, that unlike salmon are not built to jump any significant height. These barriers block access…

0
Read More

Managing Detention Basins for Healthy Communities

Detention basins provide protection from flooding by capturing rain water through a series of storm sewers, holding the water for a specifically designed amount of time and then slowly releasing the water into a nearby stream. When managed well, detention basins not only address water quantity issues, but also water quality issues. A naturalized detention basin – one with native plants around the edges instead of the traditional riprap or rocks, can help: Minimize erosion around the edges, therefore not…

0
Read More
Get in Touch

Naperville, IL 60565

Phone: 630-428-4500
Fax: 630-428-4599
jhammer@theconservationfoundation.org

Follow us on Facebook

2021 Meeting Dates

January 21
March 18
May 20
July 15
September 16
November 18