Improving water quality in local water bodies and in large systems like the Chesapeake Bay by reducing the amount of nutrients (Nitrogen and Phosphorus) entering the system has become increasingly important. One potential solution to this problem has been to manage the amount of nutrients that are being applied to the landscape. The agriculture community has been practicing this type of management for years. Recently, the focus has expanded to look at urban areas, specifically, lawns, athletic fields and golf courses. These often highly managed landscapes offer significant opportunity to address water quality impacts by matching the needs of the plants or turf to the amount of fertilizer being applied. The goal of this practice is to apply only the amount of fertilizer needed to keep the vegetation heathy and prevent runoff or leaching. The “Recommendations of the Expert Panel to Define Removal Rates for Urban Nutrient Management Recommendations” outlines 10 high risk conditions that can contribute to an increased rate of nutrient export for the site. Identifying these areas and engaging the landowners with outreach materials related to urban nutrient management, conservation landscaping, and/or tree planting may lead to the implementation of practices that can result in an increased annual nitrogen reduction rate from those lands.
This webcast will provide guidance on how to create a GIS targeting matrix for High Risk Lawns using the factors that are addressed in the Urban Nutrient Management Expert Panel Report. The webcast will also include how a similar GIS process can be used to target urban tree canopy outreach and projects. The resulting maps can help local governments and watershed groups focus their outreach efforts on those areas where the risk of nutrient export is the greatest.