Bring nature into your yard by creating a Backyard Habitat. Native plant gardens provide food for
native animals and reduce stormwater runoff better than traditional lawns do.
Restore Natural Habitat
Habitat loss is the largest threat to plants and animals throughout the world. You can restore some of that lost habitat by creating a sanctuary for local animals and yourself! Native plants provide valuable resources for animals, such as food, shelter, and a place to raise their young. You can attract birds, butterflies and other animals to your yard by planting a variety of native flowers, trees, and shrubs.
Protect the Streams
Traditional lawns of shallow-rooted grass cannot absorb excess water from rain storms. Stormwater washes into storm drains, then into local streams carrying soil, fertilizers, and other pollutants with it. Native grasses and flowers have much deeper roots that can hold more stormwater in the soil, limiting runoff. Native plants are also adapted to local soil and weather conditions, so they require little watering and fertilizer.
Backyard Habitat Workshops
Come learn about the benefits of native plants and rain gardens from Rock Creek Conservancy. Attend a short course (approximately one hour) on the many benefits of native plants for local animals, stream health, and your wallet! Immediately following the course, gain hands-on experience by planting a demonstration garden completely with native plants. Check our events page for upcoming workshops.
If you would like to learn more about creating your own Backyard Habitat,
come to one of our workshops and also check out these resources:
Backyard Habitat Resources
Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection: Rainscapes
Rebate program in Montgomery Co., MD for landscaping that reduces stormwater runoff
District Department of the Environment: Riversmart Homes
Rebate program for Washington, DC for landscaping that reduces stormwater runoff
Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Wild Acres
Program from Maryland Department of Natural Resources with instructional factsheets
Audubon at Home: Conservation Gardening
Instructions for conservation gardening
National Wildlife Federation: Garden for Wildlife
Instructions and certification program for conservation gardens, schoolyards, and communities
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service: Backyard Conservation
Tip sheets that adapt agricultural conservation practices for your home
USFWS Chesapeake Bay Field Office: Bayscapes
Instructions for conservation landscaping
EPA Mid-Atlantic Region: Green Landscaping
Instructions for environmentally friendly landscaping
Native Plant Center: Plant List
Searchable list of native plants divided by plant type, sun exposure, soil, and rainfall