4 Types of Conservation Assistance (CAP) Projects

Sustainability has become an important concept, creating trends in various types of products, home design, as well as in landscaping. In fact, increasing sustainable landscaping among residents within Northern Virginia has become a key objective of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. Their Conservation Assistance Program (CAP) provides assistance and incentives to communities, places of worship, and homeowners for implementing conservation features within their landscapes.

While many of the features incentivized under CAP may be installed through a do-it-yourself route, having assistance from a skilled landscaping service can ensure it is constructed properly and up-to-spec. At Northern Virginia Landscaping, we have helped numerous residents install all kinds of landscaping features, including drainage, patios, softscape arrangements, and lasting flagstone walkway constructions. Our clients throughout Reston and Northern VA have shown satisfaction from our friendly and reliable service.

Below, we provide a few of CAP’s preferred landscape projects that we are able to assist you with:

Bayscaping Your Yard

Also known as “conservation landscaping”, bayscaping involves planting plenty of native trees and shrubs, as well as any type of meadow or wetland plants, in your yard. To learn more about specific plant varieties that are native to Virginia, check out the Plant NoVa Natives and Chesapeake Bay Native Plant Center’s websites.

Specifically, bayscaping is done best within the shaded areas of your property, where there are slopes, or where the ground is often wet/soggy due to a high water table in that area.

We recommend regularly watering,  pruning, weeding and mulching your plants adequately when needed, and to avoid using fertilizers or pesticides as a precaution against air and waterway pollution.

Additionally, in order to get the proper incentives and assistance with bayscaping your landscape, make sure you discuss the process with your local Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District.

Building a Rain Garden

Another excellent way to protect your landscape from runoff and erosion is by constructing one or several rain gardens within your landscape. These are bow-shaped plant arrangements that excess rainwater and runoff flow into in order to be reabsorbed into the soil.

This type of landscaping feature is ideal for flat areas within your property, especially if they have a low water table. When building a rain garden, make sure to place it far enough away from large trees to prevent any damage to their roots during construction.

Ideally, your rain garden should include native plants that are flood and drought-tolerant, as those will best absorb the excess water.

Installing an Infiltration Trench

An infiltration trench is another conservation project option you’ll want to try. It is a linear ditch filled with gravel, sand, and porous soil at the bottom that allows water to seep rapidly into the soil.

We recommend this option for homeowners who don’t desire a garden within their landscape, but would still like to benefit from an expertly-crafted drainage feature.

The trench is best installed in flatter areas within your landscape, as well as away from soils where there are likely larger tree roots. Additionally, check with the Soil and Water Conservation District to confirm if the underlying soil within your prospective area is able to retain excess water.

Making Vegetated Swales

Finally, you may also want to consider adding a vegetated swale to your landscape. This is a wide, shallow ditch covered in dense vegetation or grass. During heavy rains, it will stem the flow of rainwater, absorb runoff, and filter out any pollutants.

This type of construction is best used on poorly-graded properties, flat lands, or gentle slopes. Fill the swale with native plants that can withstand flood and drought climates, such as tall grasses or perennials.

Northern Virginia Landscaping: Flagstone Walkway Construction in Reston, VA

Conserving our home landscapes from erosion and runoff can help sustain them as well as keep our environment healthy and balanced for the future. These are just a few projects you can undertake to ensure this, and they are even incentivized by the local and state government. To get started on these projects as soon as possible, consider calling a professional to help you make a detailed plan for your project, so that it’s completed as  smoothly and efficiently as possible.

We have helped numerous residents construct all kinds of drainage installations, softscapes, and hardscapes including patios, fireplaces, and stylish flagstone walkway features. For those in Reston, VA and throughout Northern Virginia, we dedicate ourselves to ensuring their landscapes remain healthy all-year round.

Contact us at (703) 982-0100 for more information about services and how we can help you start your next landscape conservation project.

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