Demonstration houses (DHs) are the backbone of the Como Curb Cleanup project. DHs own or rent property in the Como neighborhood, which means the stormwater that flows along street gutters that border their property ultimately drains into Como Lake or the Mississippi River. DHs take responsibility for periodically (once a week) removing any leaves that accumulate in this gutter area throughout leaf drop season, October through November. By doing this, DHs are setting the leadership example of “curb cleaning” and influencing other neighbors to do the same. Because we collaborate community-wide we are able to synchronize and maximize our collective phosphorus pollution prevention impact.
If you would like to be a 2017 Demonstration House SEND AN EMAIL to Janna@ComoACN.org and include your NAME and STREET ADDRESS.
What exactly does a DH do?
- Display a DH lawn sign in your front yard.
- Once a week, during October and November, demonstrate the household practice of removing accumulated leaves from street gutters that border your property. Your curbs don’t have to be leaf-free 24/7. Weekly removal of any accumulation is plenty.
- Keep this practice simple, otherwise you might avoid doing it. Sweeping or blowing accumulated curb leaves up onto your boulevard until you’re ready to manage the leaves in your yard is perfectly appropriate. Removing leaves from the street gutter before stormwater flows along this path is the crux of this practice.
- When you are ready to tackle yard leaves, you have options: MOW over them to create lawn mulch, RAKE and COMPOST them in your backyard, TRANSPORT them to a Ramsey county yard waste site, or have them HAULED away by your trash company.
- At the end of leaf drop season (when we get our first significant snow) the CACN leadership team will contact you so you can report the length of curb area you cleaned. From this we will calculate our aggregated impact.
Demonstration House Lawn Bag. Each demonstration house will be given a 135-gallon capacity lawn bag to help manage your leaves. You can use the bag as a leaf composting container in your backyard. The bag “weeps” so moisture will eventually drain out and your leaves will shrink significantly. Or use it to transport leaves to Midway yard waste. If you prefer, you can make a smaller leaf composter (or row of them) out of chicken wire. Here’s a video that shows you how: simple leaf composter.
We thank you in advance for joining with your fellow neighbors to reduce the phosphorus flowing from our neighborhood streets into our beloved Como Lake and Mississippi River! Both are already degraded due to excessive nutrients, so taking this on as a citizenship responsibility is an excellent way to make a difference for a cleaner and healthier lake and river.