Talking Points

cover of talking points brochureYour voice can make a difference for your watershed. People are more likely to listen to their friends, family, and neighbors than to anyone else. The messenger can be just as important as the message. People also change their behavior in response to social norms. In other words, people are more likely to take small actions for stormwater issues if they see the people around them taking these actions and if they hear that others support these actions.

Our guide will give you talking points about stormwater, simple actions you can promote, and ideas for starting conversations.

You Can Make a Difference: Talking about Stormwater Action (PDF download)

Seasonal Outreach Calendar

As you engage with neighbors and community members, point them toward the behaviors that will have the greatest positive impact given the seasonal conditions. This outreach calendar can help you determine which stormwater management practices are most important to address in each month of the year. Also see the Seasonal Social Media Posts below for text and images you can share every month or help you talk with your neighbors.

Seasonal Stormwater Outreach Calendar (PDF download)

Seasonal Social Media Posts

To help you encourage friends and neighbors to take action, we’ve created content you can share through social media, or in newsletters, emails, and any digital space where you feel comfortable. Under each month below, copy the caption text, click the image link and download it, and share! You can also download the Seasonal Social Media Posts guide for the whole year.

Seasonal Social Media Posts Guide (PDF download)

Winter

December
Stormwater action social media post 12 for DecemberGet involved in local watershed initiatives. Share the December post to help your neighbors think about getting involved!

Download image for December post

Copy December image caption:
Consider getting involved with the Friends of Lake Wingra! They have a vision for the health of our watershed, and you can make a difference. Sign up for the monthly newsletter to learn more about their goals and how you can help. https://www.lakewingra.org/ #protectourlakes

January
Stormwater action social media post 1 for JanuaryLearn about rain gardens. Share the January post to share resources with your neighbors so they can learn more about rain gardens and start thinking spring.

Download image for January post

Copy January image caption:
Escape from the snow by taking some time to learn about rain gardens this winter! You can make one of your own by planting native plants that soak up the rain and help prevent flooding in our area. https://www.ripple-effects.com/rainGardens #soakuptherain

February
Stormwater action social media post 2 for FebruaryChoose native plants for your landscape. Share the February post to get the word out about the benefits of native plants.

Download image for February post

Copy February image caption:
You can make a difference for our lakes in your own backyard! Native plants help soak up the rain and prevent flooding in our area. Now is the time to plan how you can add those deep roots to your yard. https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/endangeredresources/nativeplants.html #SoakUpTheRain

Spring

March
Stormwater action social media post 3 for MarchOrder your native plants.
Share the March post early in the month so that neighbors have plenty of time to get their native plant orders later in the month.

Download image for March post

Copy March image caption:
Native plants make the best rain gardens, which are important sites where stormwater can soak into the soil. A garden of any size can make a big difference, so check out https://foamadison.org/ or https://www.ripple-effects.com/plantDane to pre-order native plants for pickup in May! The deadlines to order are usually in mid-March, so make sure to get yours in early. #SoakUpTheRain

April
Stormwater action social media post 4 for AprilRedirect your downspouts.
Help spread the word about this simple fix by sharing the April post.

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Copy April image caption:
Help rain soak into the soil instead of rushing directly to the storm drains that empty into and pollute our local lakes! Redirect your roof downspouts so rain can run into your yard or garden instead of onto a paved surface. Flexible downspout extensions are available at many hardware stores, so don’t wait to make this quick fix! https://ripple-effects.com/ #SoakUpTheRain

May
Stormwater action social media post 5 to share in MayPlant native plants, or support a local project.
Share the May post early in the month to encourage your neighbors to get out and get their hands in the dirt!

Download image for May post

Copy May image caption:
Once the risk of frost has passed, converting even a small corner of your yard to native plants can make a big difference for our lakes! Their deep roots help rain soak into the soil and protect against flooding. These resources will show you how to get started: https://www.ripple-effects.com/rainGardens. #SoakUpTheRain

Summer

June
Stormwater action social media post 6 for JuneSet up a rain barrel.
Share the June post to help encourage your neighbors to try it out!

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Copy June image caption:
Not only do rain barrels help prevent flooding from excess stormwater, they also provide a free source of water for your garden! Learn more about purchasing and setting up your barrel here (styles and colors vary): https://ripple-effects.com/rainBarrels. #SoakUpTheRain

July
Stormwater action social media post 7 for JulyEngage in healthier mowing habits.
To spread the word about adjusting the height of mower blades, share the July post.

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Copy July image caption:
Raising your mower blade height to at least 2.5 inches can help grow a full, dense lawn. This allows your yard to soak up the rain and helps prevent stormwater from carrying pollutants into our beautiful local lakes. More here: https://ripple-effects. com/yardAndGarden#lawn. #SoakUpTheRain

August
Stormwater action social media post 8 for AugustGet smart about fertilizer.
To spread the word about the consequences of improper fertilizer use, share the August post.

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Copy August image caption:
If yard and garden fertilizers are improperly applied, excess nutrients can wash into our lakes and contribute to algae growth that gets in the way of summer fun. Learn about steps you can take to minimize your impact if you do choose to use it: https://ripple-effects.com/yardAndGarden. #ProtectOurLakes

Fall

September
Stormwater action social media post 9 for SeptemberRecycle leaves the right way.
Help get your neighbors thinking about leaf recycling by sharing the September post.

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Copy September image caption:
When fall leaves wash into our lakes, they contribute excess nutrients that can lead to unpleasant algae growth and harm wildlife the following summer. Make sure you’re ready to recycle your leaves right, whether it’s by mulching them on your lawn or setting them out for pickup. https://ripple-effects.com/Leaf-free-Streets #LeafFreeStreets

October
Stormwater action social media post 10 for OctoberRemove leaves from the street gutter.
Encourage neighbors to sign up for the Leaf-Free Streets alert program! Text alerts are sent in October and November, so make sure to share the October post early in the month.

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Copy October image caption:
When leaves enter our lakes, they contribute excess nutrients that can lead to unpleasant algae growth and harm wildlife. Keep leaves off the streets to prevent this from happening! If you live in Dane County, you can sign up to receive alerts 1–2 days before large rain events. More here: https://ripple-effects.com/Leaf-free-Streets. #LeafFreeStreets

November
Stormwater action social media post 11 for NovemberCompost leftover yard waste in your own backyard.
Share the November post early in the month to remind neighbors of this option for dealing with yard waste.

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Copy November image caption:
What turns your garden green—nutrients—can also turn our lakes green! Keep nutrients out of our lakes and in your soil by composting any yard waste that hasn’t been collected. https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Recycling/compost.html #LeafFreeStreets