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Midvale Heights Community Association
This web site is provided by the Midvale Heights Community Association for the residents of Midvale Heights.
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Current Midvale Messenger: You can access the September - October 2018 - Midvale Messenger 1.85M pdf file by clicking on this link
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by Tim Kuhman (Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Edgewood College and Friends of Lake Wingra board member)
Every autumn as the days get noticeably shorter and the trees throughout my neighborhood begin to drop their leaves, I watch as frustrated homeowners tackle the Sisyphean task of raking those leaves off their yards and out of the streets. They rake and re-rake as the wind blows their neat piles around and new leaves continue to fall incessantly for weeks or months. For some, this task is all about maintaining a neatly manicured lawn. While others realize that being a good steward of our Madison lakes requires vigilant raking of leaves so they don’t end up in the storm water drains and, ultimately, in the lakes where they decompose and release their nutrients into the already nutrient-laden lake water, leading to an overabundance of aquatic plants and algae. Regardless of the reason, raking all those leaves is viewed by most as an obligation.
I, on the other hand, see opportunity in all those falling leaves! Instead of feeling the burden of having to dispose of them, I think of the benefits and beauty they will bring to my flowerbeds the following year as leaf mulch. Turning those leaves into mulch takes little more effort than raking them into piles for the city to pick up, and keeping those leaves on your property means you won’t need to purchase mulch or fertilizer for your flowerbeds ever again.
Leaf mulch is my preferred form of mulch for flowerbeds: it is easy to spread, looks nice, substantially reduces growth of weeds, and decomposes to provide valuable nutrients and organic matter that continually improves garden soil. While it was once possible to purchase leaf mulch in the Madison area, it is no longer being sold by garden centers due to the risk of spreading the recently introduced Asian jumping worms. However, by collecting the leaves from your own property and turning them into leaf mulch, you can simultaneously help protect our lakes from excess nutrient inputs and produce high-quality leaf mulch that will improve your flowerbeds and save you money.
The City of Madison has created a website dedicated to information and updates about local flooding. The website is regularly updated with maps, road closures and other information for motorists and property owners. Please use this site to stay safe and informed!
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