GFM Network News


Five tips for eco-friendly gardening

The word eco-friendly can be used in many areas of our lives: at work, at home, at play. Being eco-friendly in all these aspects is quite a simple concept with incredible opportunities for creativity. The bottom line is eco-friendly is all about working with nature, not against it. As gardeners we play an ever-increasing unique

How to create an inviting butterfly garden

With a little planning you can create an area to attract these pollinators

The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable species in North America but the numbers of monarchs have decreased significantly over the last 20 years. Why is this butterfly so important? Monarch butterflies act as pollinators. They act as natural pest control, playing an important role in their food cycle — acting as prey


Tips to help you protect your household water

The water that enters your home has a long journey from start to finish, and along the way, it can pick up a lot of contaminants. Once it reaches your municipal water treatment facility it is treated and distributed to the public. During this process chemical and physical processes are used to filter and disinfect

The importance of composting

Understanding how to make and use compost important as problem of waste disposal continues to grow

Compost is decomposed organic material, such as leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen waste. It provides many essential nutrients for plant growth and therefore is often used as fertilizer. Compost also improves soil structure so that soil can easily hold the correct amount of moisture, nutrients and air. It improves the texture of both clay soils

Saline soils, plant growth problems linked to tillage practices

Research on saline soils underway, but at least one cause points to over-tilling

Here in the Red River basin, most fields in crop production are tilled one or more times each year, whether with cultivators, disks or deep tillers. The resulting fields look well cared for — good farming is often associated with well-tilled fields. In many places in the basin, however, farmers are noticing areas of fields


Attracting wildlife to your yard

Keep needs in mind as you plan your landscape

Properly planned native landscapes can provide wildlife with various habitat needs. Selecting plants that provide food, cover and water can provide the needed habitat elements for many species that will visit your backyard. During the planning process wildlife habitat requirements need to be considered, and they will vary from year-round habitat for resident species to

Warren Upham: A man to know

We have known at least since the 19th century that we live in the bottom of an ancient lake bed here in the Red River basin. So how did this knowledge come about? Speculation about an ancient lake likely existed from early on. American Indians would have noticed the lines of deposits of earth, stone

Are you ready for the next big flood?

Few of us remember the Red River basin flood of 1950. Even fewer were prepared for the flood when it hit. The dry 1930s and modest flooding of the 1940s had lulled basin communities into complacency. Then, a winter of heavy snow followed by heavy spring rains resulted in flooding all along the main stem


Looking for that amazing tree

In these first days and weeks of summer here in the Red River corridor, our basin’s trees are fully decked out in their leafy finery. Not only do they protect living areas, fragile lands and riverbanks, but they provide glorious scenes for our winter-weary eyes. But how often do we take these grand living structures

How much flood protection is enough?

How much protection against flooding is enough? This question is often asked in the Red River basin. The Red River Basin Commission’s recent study, Long Term Flood Solutions for the Red River Basin (LTFS), found little consensus on the answer to this question. As a result, flood protection practices in the basin’s communities and municipalities