With the unusual influx of precipitation that Cheyenne has seen this year, RIC would like to highlight how important a robust urban canopy can be in the reduction of stormwater run-off.
Generally speaking stormwater runoff is water that flows over the surface of the ground. A majority of city ground is composed of paved surfaces such as roads, driveways, and parking lots that do not readily absorb water into the ground. As the water moves across paved surfaces, it picks up and carries a variety of pollutants such as bacteria, oil, trash, pesticides, and metals. The contaminated water is then funneled away in various means to our local creeks, rivers, and reservoirs.
Stormwater management is a strategy that was developed to reverse the negative effects of urban stromwater runoff. This practice helps mimic naturally occurring processes of non-urban environments. Native vegetation like trees and shrubs slows down the rate of stormwater runoff, and in doing so reduces the amount of pollutants within it, increases water quality, and reduces the potential of flooding and soil erosion. Tree roots also create soil conditions to better allow for the absorption of precipitation into the soil which aids in the replenishment of groundwater/well reserves.
RIC’s mission is to expand and diversify Cheyenne’s urban canopy. Our trees and their owners play an integral part in the continual growth of the City of Cheyenne’s stormwater management. The expanded urban canopy of Cheyenne will provide numerous benefits to our city now and in the years to come. For additional information and ways on how you personally can reduce stormwater runoff and further develop Cheyenne’s stormwater management, visit the EPA’s webpage below.