Flood Control Solutions for Property Owners
Association (RHA) is on a mission to
protect clean water in the north and south branch region of the Raritan
For more than 55 years, our goal
has been to protect the water you and your family rely on every day.
One of the
greatest threats to our water is contamination from stormwater runoff
flooding. Individual property owners can help alleviate these problems.
Even owners of small pieces of property can help prevent flooding
use of a rain garden. What is a rain garden? It is a low-lying
depression (typically 3 to 6 inches deep) with absorbent soils that
collect stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces and allow the runoff
slowly percolate into the soil.
Large or small, rain gardens should be planted with native plants. As a
rule, any plant described as Japanese, Oriental, English, etc. is
native to North America
and should be avoided.
In our area, native plant material range from the black gum tree (Nyssa
sylvatica) to arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentate) and garden
as bee balm (Mondarda didyma), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) and
blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia).
Property owners can also
help decrease flooding and
pollution through the size and care of their lawns. Rather than
striving for a
large carpet of green through the use of pesticides and herbicides,
the size of your lawn by 10% or more and allow your landscape to
natives. You can take a few simple steps to make your lawn healthier
able to absorb rainwater when it falls.
Headwaters Association Executive
• Use an organic, phosphorous-free fertilizer early each spring
• Set your mower to cut no lower than 3 inches
• Water infrequently but deeply
• Use hand tools to remove individual weeds
The best flood protection for a stream, however, is to be surrounded
good buffer area of woods, shrubs, wetlands, and grasses to intercept
contaminated runoff before it reaches the water. The less “groomed”
area is, the more it can perform its normal functions. If you are
enough to have a stream or pond on your property, don’t mow within
of the edge and allow the vegetation to grow to a height of about three
Vegetation allowed to grow along the banks of streams and ponds
erosion and the related silting in and flooding during heavy rain
Steep-banked streams require the hearty protection of shrubs and trees
provide shade, erosion control, temperature regulation, and food
If you are interested in beginning a flood control project like those
here, our website has a wealth of information about each of these
well as native plant lists, tips for growing organic lawns, and more
protection ideas. Visit www.raritanheadwaters.org,
and like us
on facebook for more conservation ideas. Join us!
Hunterdon County Rutgers
Master Gardener Helpline provides a
service every home gardener can take advantage of throughout the
season. Garden questions are as inevitable as weeds, and the Rutgers
Gardeners of Hunterdon are trained by Rutgers University
staff, as well as local horticulturalists, to answer questions and
county residents in a variety of ways.
Helpline volunteers cover a myriad of home gardening issues, including
providing the materials and information needed to obtain a proper soil
for analysis by Rutgers’ labs, soil pH testing, lawn care, and plant-,
and shrub identification with advice about the right plant for the
recommendations on deer-resistant plants, and disease diagnosis and
recommendations for treatment. They can also identify pests, and give
recommendations for Integrated Pest Management techniques.
You can phone the Hotline, at 908-788-1339, or e-mail questions.
You can also
take samples and questions to Building #2, at 6 Gauntt Place,
Monday-Friday, and 12:30-3:30pm,
A number of resources are
available for people interested in
managing and preserving our woodlands, in Tewksbury.
Stop by the Municipal Offices to request these items (or see the Web
• The Community Forestry Management Plan, which applies to the
public lands,Tewksbury's Master Plan, Scenic Roads Ordinance (#19-96)
Clearing Ordinance (#07-2002)
• Building Greener Communities: Planning for Woodland Conservation, a
available from the North Jersey Resource and Development Council Web
site (click on "Woodland Conservation Manual")
• Maps of trails and woodland features of the Township's Pascale Farm,
Whittemore Wildlife Sanctuary.
Other information on the Web, includes:
NJDEP Landscape Project
maps showing natural resources in our area
Information about the new "Highlands Water Protection
Act" is available on the NJDEP Web site.