Environment & Conservation

Bishop Creek Watershed

Bishop Creek, one of Norman main waterways, is a spring-fed creek that meanders through urban Norman. It has many champions and stakeholders who care for it, and they came together to create a Watershed Based Plan to protect and improve this beautiful and historical creek. You can find a copy of this plan here. We hope you will take a moment to read through the plan. We also hope that you will join us in activities laid out by the plan to help this resource. Keep an eye out for those notices, and in the meantime, take these measures to help your community and Bishop Creek. Check out the website here: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/b50727f0931d41219df058d0a4e565a6

  • Help improve habitat - If you live next to the creek or a waterway, establish a “no mow” zone by not mowing all the way up to the water’s edge. This area is called the “riparian area” and provides crucial habitat to fish and bugs in the creek.
  • Reduce Runoff - Allow your downspouts to flow into your grass, a rain barrel, or even a rain garden! This gives the water a chance to infiltrate into the soil instead of flowing directly into the creek. This will reduce the pollutants that end up in the creek as well as the flow velocity.
  • Scoop Your Poop - Pet waste left on the street or lawn does not just go away or fertilize the grass. Pet waste contains bacteria and parasites, as well as nutrients, that can impair our waterways and affect human health. 
  • Pickup Trash - Litter can block or clog small waterways causing water to stagnate. This can lead to low oxygen levels which are harmful to wildlife. Fish and bugs can also become trapped in trash or mistake it for food.
  • Follow the Label - If you apply any chemicals in your garden (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc.) be sure to follow the manufacturer’s label! Avoid applying during the rain or immediately next to the waterway. Use only what you need and don’t over apply.

Energy Conservation Tips

  • Turn off all unnecessary lights, especially in unused offices and conference rooms and turn down remaining lighting levels where possible.
  • Minimize energy usage during peak demand hours from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Buy Energy Star appliances, products, and lights.
  • Turn off your computer monitor and printer when you aren't using them.
  • Set your computer to go into the energy saving mode when not being used for extended periods of time.
  • Carpool, walk, bike or take public transportation.
  • Recycle more, both at the office and at home.
  • Last One Out Turns Off The Lights.
  • Don't allow vehicles to idle for more than 5 minutes.
  • Adjust the thermostat when you leave at night or for the weekend.
  • Set printers and copiers to two-sided printing.

Water Conservation Information

A hand catching a drop of water







Never use your toilet as a waste basket.

Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth.

Take short showers instead of tub baths. Turn off the water flow while soaping or shampooing.

If you must use a tub, close the drain before turning on the water and fill the tub only half full. Bathe small children together.

Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it -such as watering a plant or garden.

Kitchen and Laundry:

Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.

Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin. Use a vegetable brush.

Do not use water to defrost frozen foods, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Use a dishpan for washing and rinsing dishes.

Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher.

Add food wastes to your compost pile instead of using the garbage disposal

Operate the dishwasher only when completely full.

Use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.


Sweep driveways, sidewalks and steps rather than hosing off.

Wash the car with water from a bucket, or consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.

When using a hose, control the flow with an automatic shut-off nozzle.

Avoid purchasing recreational water toys that require a constant stream of water.

If you have a swimming pool, consider a new water-saving pool filter.

Lower pool water level to reduce amount of water splashed out.

Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation when pool is not being used


Repair all leaks. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons per day. To detect leaks in the toilet, add food coloring to the tank water. If the colored water appears in the bowl, the toilet is leaking. Toilet repair advice is available at www.toiletology.com/index.shtml.

Install ultra-low flow toilets, or place a plastic container filled with water or gravel in the tank of your conventional toilet. Be sure it does not interfere with operation of the toilet’s flush mechanism.

Install low-flow aerators and showerheads.

Consider purchasing a high efficiency washing machine which can save over 50% in water and energy use.


A hand catching a drop of water







Detect and repair all leaks in irrigation systems.

Use properly treated wastewater for irrigation where available.

Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best). Do not water on windy days.

Water trees and shrubs, which have deep root systems, longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants which require smaller amounts of water more often. Check with the local extension service for advice on the amount and frequency of watering needed in your area.

Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only - not the street or sidewalk.

Use soaker hoses and trickle irrigation systems.

Install moisture sensors on sprinkler systems.


Have your soil tested for nutrient content and add organic matter if needed. Good soil absorbs and retains water better.

Minimize turf areas and use native grasses.

Use native plants in your landscape - they require less care and water than ornamental varieties.


Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth.

Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage movement of water to the root zone.

Raise your lawn mower cutting height - longer grass blades help shade each other, cut down on evaporation, and inhibit weed growth.

Minimize or eliminate fertilizing which requires additional watering, and promotes new growth which will also need additional watering.

Ornamental Water Features:

Do not install or use ornamental water features unless they recycle the water. Use signs to indicate that water is recycled. Do not operate during a drought.


Water Conservation Plan

Gray Water Information

Rain Barrel Construction

Low Water Use Plants Fact Sheet


Rain Sensors and Freeze Gauge Ordinance

How much should I water my lawn? 


Average monthly bermudagrass evapotranspiration (ETturf), precipitation, and requirement for supplemental lawn irrigation in inches.

Month Average Bermudagrass ETturf Average Precipitation Average Irrigation Need
April 4.8 3.0 1.8
May 4.8 5.4 0.0
June 5.4 4.6 0.8
July 6.6 2.9 3.7
Aug. 5.9 2.5 3.4
Sept. 4.3 4.0 0.3

Average monthly tall fescue evapotranspiration (ETturf), precipitation, and requirement for supplemental lawn irrigation in inches.

Month Average Tall Fescue ETturf Average Precipitation Average Irrigation Need
April 6.8 3.0 3.8
May 6.9 5.4 1.5
June 7.7 4.6 3.1
July 9.4 2.9 6.5
Aug. 8.5 2.5 6.0
Sept. 6.1 4.0 2.1

ReLeaf Norman

What is ReLeaf Norman?

  • A multi-year community-wide effort to replant trees in Norman
  • An education and awareness campaign to foster understanding of the benefits of the urban tree canopy
  • An investment in future generations

How can you participate?

  • Contribute $ to Norman Parks Foundation for purchase of trees
  • Send Check or Money Order to:

          Norman Park Foundation, Inc.
          P.O. Box 6523
          Norman, OK 73070

  • Volunteer at tree planting events
  • Help us chart our progress and let us know when you have planted a tree at trees@normanok.gov
  • Support your schools and churches in restoring lost or damaged trees