SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Walking along some of Springfield's Greenway Trails, you'll notice that it's been a while since the grass has been cut. That's not by accident.
"The storm water detention basins that are now urban meadows previously were being mowed bi-weekly, so those areas that are urban meadows are still going to get mowed, just on a reduced frequency. Instead of getting mowed weekly or bi-weekly, they are getting mowed about monthly," said Carrie Lamb, water quality coordinator for the City of Springfield.
The grass is being allowed to grow taller to help the environment.
"It's areas of city owned grass land that are being allowed to grow taller to provide environmental benefits including absorption of storm water which helps in reducing flooding, water quality benefits through natural filtration of pollutants, and then there's also air quality benefits as well," said Lamb.
The biggest benefits to this green space are its ability to reduce flooding and keep our water clean. That is something organizers with the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks say is more important than we might think.
"Something people might not often think about is the health of our waterways. How clean our water is in lakes and streams absolutely depends on how we take care of the land and what's laying around on the land," said Mike Kromrey of Watershed Committee of the Ozarks.
In addition to the city's efforts, home and business owners can also do things to help.
"Taking personal action is very important to reduce flooding and improve water quality. At your home, you might find where your gutter is going onto your driveway and put it onto your grass. Maybe you have an area that would make a good rain garden where your small watershed can actually drain to the rain garden, reducing runoff downstream and improving the water quality," Kromrey said..
"Water quality in the Ozarks is really up to individual people. We all have choices we can make on our yards, at our businesses and those choices can either positively or negatively affect our water resources," Kromrey said.
For more tips on how you can reduce storm water runoff at your home or business visit https://watershedcommittee.org