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Get Involved

As a resident, you have the power to help protect water quality in Lenexa by learning about keeping our water clean, changing habits at home and volunteering to protect water. Your involvement will help protect our water resources, not just for now, but also for the future.

Select a topic to learn more about how you can get involved:


Canines for Clean Water

Black dog wearing sunglasses

In 2015 there were 3,450 licensed dogs in Lenexa -- that's 1 dog for every 4.6 acres. If each dog deposits about a half-pound (on average) of waste a day, those 3,450 dogs will deposit almost over 600,000 pounds of waste in one year! Each gram of dog waste contains more than 21 million bacteria, and when bacteria accumulate in our streams, ponds and lakes, it can make the water unsafe for fishing and other recreation.

Pet waste is not a fertilizer. In fact, it actually carries diseases that are harmful to other animals and even humans. That’s why we need you and your best furry friend to be a part of the solution to help keep our water clean!

What can you do to help? 

If you are a pet owner, you can help by picking up after your pet and keeping your pooch on-leash when walking them near streams, ponds and wetlands. Help spread the word by sharing this important information with other dog owners in our community.

Show off your pooch’s clean water habits: Become an official “Canine for Clean Water” pet owner by agreeing to the above habits. Email communications@lenexa.com to receive your “Canine for Clean Water” bandana. Take a photo of your dog wearing the bandana and share it with us on social media using #CaninesForCleanWater.


Healthy yards

Maintaining a Healthy Yard

Maintaining a healthy yard is important to reducing polluted runoff that can harm the streamway system. Help keep the system clean by making some of these ideas part of your routine. With a few simple steps, you can make your lawn earth-friendly and save time and money.

  • Mow high and mow less often. Cutting your lawn higher (three to four inches tall) encourages a stronger root system and reduces evaporation.

  • Consider mulch mowing. Leaving your grass clippings on the lawn will return up to 25 percent of the needed nitrogen.

  • Landscape with native plants. Decrease the mowing area by planting native flower beds and shrubs. Native plants require little or no maintenance, and less water, fertilizer and pesticide than grass.

  • Avoid over-watering your lawn. Lawns need an average of one inch of water per week. Use a flow meter to determine the ideal rate for your lawn, and you’ll conserve water and save money on your bill.

  • Water lawns and gardens before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. to slow down evaporation. Don’t water on windy, overcast or rainy days.

  • Compost yard waste. Composting reduces strain on our landfills, water pollution and provides a nourishing additive for your garden.

  • Follow fertilizing instructions. Read labels on lawn chemicals carefully and always apply products sparingly. Make sure you are using the correct fertilizer by having a soil test to determine what your lawn really needs. Over applying fertilizers can result in harmful runoff into our lakes and streams.

  • Skip the P. Phosphrous, or “P,” is a significant nutrient found polluting lakes and ponds in Lenexa. While it comes from several sources, using P-free fertilizer will help reduce its presence in our freshwater.

  • Watch where you fertilize. Use caution on slopes and keep fertilizer off sidewalks so it doesn’t wash down storm drains.

  • Time it right. Allow proper drying time for liquid chemicals, and never use lawn chemicals before a heavy rainfall.

  • Ask questions. If you utilize a lawn care service, find out if they’re following green practices.


Healthy Yards Expo

We are looking forward to the 8th annual Healthy Yards Expo, which will be Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Shawnee Civic Centre.

People who attended the 2016 Healthy Yards Expo learned about making greener lawn care and gardening choices and visited with vendors who focus on environmentally friendly practices. Free soil tests were available along with vendors who offered a wide variety of plants, garden and art accessories. Representatives from Johnson County K-State Research, Extension Master Gardeners, and other plant societies were on hand to offer expert advice about attendees gardening concerns. Workshops on specific topics were held throughout the day.


Protect water quality

 Poor water quality can be costly to communities. Pollution degrades ecosystems and habitat, affecting aquatic life and wildlife. Polluted water costs more to treat, which results in higher water bills. The good news? It’s easy to protect and restore Lenexa’s watersheds, whether at home, at work or in the community. Get started today!

Protect water at home

Most homeowners think their actions won't have much effect on larger problems such as flooding, clean water in our streams or protecting wildlife habitat. The truth is, every homeowner and landowner can make a big difference in the health of our environment and in reducing polluted runoff to keep our streams, lakes and wetlands clean. You can help by following these simple tips:

  • Recycle used oil. Never place used motor oil in the trash or pour it down storm drains. Recycle used oil at a used oil collection facility, such as the Johnson County Hazardous Waste Facility.

  • Protect our streams. Mowing close to a stream’s edge damages roots that hold soil in place, causing stream banks to erode. Avoid mowing within 10 to 25 feet from the edge of a stream and keep lawn clipping and leaf piles off banks.

  • Sweep driveways and sidewalks clean. Remove debris and residue that could end up in a storm drain from concrete and paved areas around your house, including grass clippings, leaves and household chemicals.

  • Wash vehicles the right way. Either wash your car at a car wash that filters the wastewater or wash your car in a grassy area. Avoid washing your car on a driveway or in the street, where soap and grease flow into storm drains.

  • Don’t dump. Never put trash or yard waste down storm drains, on stream banks or in the street.

  • Report a problem. If you see something that might harm our natural waterways, call our Municipal Services department at 913.477.7880 or report it through the 311 Service Request System.

Protect water at work

 One of the most common types of pollution from businesses is contaminated runoff that comes from cleaning and maintenance activities. Implementing some simple practices can prevent water pollution.

  • Use your drains. Clean floor mats, filters and garbage cans in a mop sink, floor drain or proper outside area, not the parking lot, alley, sidewalk or street.

  •  Properly dispose of waste products. Use nontoxic cleaning products and recycle grease and oil, instead of pouring it into sinks, floor drains or into a parking lot or the street.

  • Dry cleaning is best. Use dry methods for spill cleanup, by sweeping and using cat litter instead of hosing. Have spill containment and cleanup kits available for possible spills on your property. To report serious toxic spills, call 911.

  • Keep a lid on trash. Keep dumpster lids closed and the areas around them clean. Do not fill them with liquid waste or hose them out. Call your trash hauler to replace any dumpsters that leak.

  • Sweep up driveways and sidewalks. Remove debris and residue that could end up in a storm drain from concrete and paved areas, including grass clippings, leaves, dirt and chemicals.

  • Prevent leaks. Use drip pans to catch leaks when pouring and draining fluids such as gas, hydraulic oil and transmission, brake and radiator fluids.

  • Follow safety guidelines. Be sure your employees are familiar with your hazardous materials response plan and are capable of implementing it. Store hazardous materials under cover or inside and keep liquid wastes segregated. Many fluids can be recycled as long as they are not mixed.

  • Compost or mulch mow leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste. Don’t blow, sweep or hose them into the street or gutter.


Volunteer for clean water

Two women standing by a signClean water is everyone’s business and we need your help to help out with some important community opportunities. We are currently seeking schools, businesses, community groups, families and individuals to volunteer in the following areas:

  • Stream cleanup - Tired of seeing your local creek or stream filled with trash? Sign up to host a stream cleanup. Your group will walk the length of a stream or river, collecting trash and recording information about the quantity and types of garbage removed.

  • Adopt-A-Spot is Lenexa’s cleanup and beautification program. Groups commit to cleaning the area they adopt three times a year for two years.

  • Vegetation management - Attention hikers, gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts: we need help with restoration activities in Lenexa’s natural areas. Help us maintain native prairie plants, remove invasive species, collect seeds or transplant native plantings.

For more information contact Ted Semadeni, to find out about volunteer opportunities or visit our main volunteer center to sign up today.