New Albany is a community dedicated to green space and growing in harmony with nature and several waterways.

The Rose Run creek flows through the heart of our city, with leisure trails making it accessible to residents at multiple places. Rocky Fork Creek in Rocky Fork Metro Park is another a natural amenity enhancing the beauty of New Albany. Over the years, the city and private developers have restored parts of streams, but all residents can take action to make sure the streams are clean and healthy by adding native plants to their yards.

Critical parts of stream health are the stream's trees, bushes and other plants growing on its banks. This vegetation is called a stream buffer, and it protects the stream by cleaning and shading the water and holding the soil in place.

Trees and shrubs are important to have near the water because their roots are deeper. They can filter more water than turfgrass and prevent more erosion. Their shade cools the water, making it healthier for animals living in the stream. Colder water also stops algae from growing.

Buffers can protect more than just streams.

Plants growing near other water sources, such as ponds and lakes, improve the quality of the water.

You even can reduce standing water and runoff in your yard by planting trees that love water, such as sycamores, river birches and swamp white oaks.

If you're looking for a shrub that likes water, consider arrowwood viburnum or buttonbush. Such grasses as switchgrass, fox sedge and soft rush. Flowering plants for wet soils include tall ironweed, swamp milkweed, monkey flower and spotted joe-pye weed.

Make sure to plant species that are native to Ohio so birds and wildlife have food to raise their young and a habitat to live in.

April 15 planting day

Families are welcome to join city workers from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 15, at Rocky Fork Creek in Thompson Park, 5600 Thompson Road, to plant trees, shrubs and grasses along the creek's buffer and celebrate Arbor Day.

Parking is available in the first lot entering the park from Thompson Road.

All event information is available at newalbanyplantingday.eventbrite.com. For questions, email bmacchi@newalbanyohio.org.

Rosalie Hendon is interning with New Albany's public-services department. She is a dual master's student at Ohio State University, studying public administration and environment and natural resources.