The Ecology Action Center’s Yard Smart program is a voluntary effort to help reduce synthetic pesticide use, conserve natural resources, and make room for wildlife. This encourages yard care practices that are safe for children, pets and the environment.
The Yard Smart Program aims to recognize local homeowners who use ecologically-sustainable practices in their yard care. Yard Smart Certification acknowledges that the homeowner realizes their lawn, garden, and landscaping decisions affect the health of the whole community.
How you can be Yard Smart
- Create a yard that is safe for children, adults, pets, wildlife, and all living things
- Avoid or minimize using synthetic pesticides and high-nitrogen fertilizer
- Conserve natural resources like water and fossil fuels
- Support native diversity in plants and wildlife
- Create a yard that does not pollute the air, soil, or water
- Work with, not against, nature
Sign up and take the pledge to be Yard Smart. The Ecology Action Center offers Yard Smart certification in three different categories:
- Chemical-Free Yard
Homeowners with Chemical-Free Yards avoid aesthetic use of synthetic pesticides, which can harm humans, wildlife, and the environment. They also avoid use of synthetic ammonia fertilizers, which can contaminate groundwater and kill beneficial micro-organisms in the soil. Pesticide use has also been linked with various forms of cancer and other serious health issues. This certification is sponsored by the organization Living Upstream.
- Easy on the Earth Yard
Homeowners with Easy on the Earth Yards use organic practices that reduce waste and conserve natural resources like water and fossil fuels. They minimize lawn areas and promote a healthy, diverse ecosystem in their yard. In the event synthetic pesticides are needed, homeowners practice the Integrated Pest Management Approach of using the least toxic pesticides as a last resort.
- Wildlife Habitat Yard
Homeowners with Wildlife Habitat Yards provide the basic requirements for wildlife to survive and flourish. They encourage a diverse wildlife population by landscaping with native plants, supplying adequate food and water, and providing a variety of shelter areas.
How being Yard Smart helps our watersheds
All the pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and other chemicals that are used in our gardens and on our lawn are washed into storm drains when it rains. The contaminated water then flows into our watersheds, and in turn pollute the water that we drink.
Eliminating the use of harsh synthetic pesticides and chemicals and becoming Yard Smart will lessen the amount of pollutants in our water supplies.
You can find these applications with additional information about the Yard Smart program on the Ecology Action Center’s website.