Building community from the ground up... one yard at a time.
Yard Ethic is a community-wide effort that starts with your yard in the form of a call to action for individuals and businesses to care for their yards in a way that supports a healthy community of people, plants and wildlife.
Certify Your Lawn A pledge & practice
The Yard Ethic community is a group of individuals dedicated to responsible lawn care. Becoming certified is easy! Implement new practices that save money, beautify your yard, conserve water, reduce stormwater pollution and create habitat and you may qualify for Silver or Gold Level certification.
See if you check the boxes to make your lawn Yard Ethic certified.
HEalthy yard components the key to a yard ethic lawn
The Yard Ethic program follows a checklist of tasks which are essential to a healthy, sustainable and environmentally friendly lawn. Implementing these practices is not only a path to becoming a certified Yard Ethic community member, but also a way to save money and beautify your property long term.
test your soil know your dirt to save dollars
Healthy soil is the foundation to a healthy yard. When too much lawn fertilizer is applied, it can wash off when it rains and contribute to harmful algae blooms in streams and lakes.
Receive a free soil test and start building healthy soil in your yard.
Plant Natives An ideal home for pollinators
Native plants are adapted to the local climate and provide important food sources for bees, butterflies and birds who in turn pollinate our human food supply.
Learn how to select native plants for your yard.
Build a rain garden or bioswale Pretty with a purpose
Rain gardens and bioswales are shallow depressions filled with native plants designed to slow, spread and soak up stormwater from roof gutters, driveways or other areas.
Learn how to design a rain garden or bioswale for your yard.
Plant a Tree the lorax would agree
Trees clean and cool the air, absorb rainwater, lower energy costs, build soil and provide shade and wildlife habitat. See if you are eligible for a free tree through Neighbor Woods.
Learn about tree benefits and resources for planting trees in your yard.
compost your organic waste from dish to dirt
Composting keeps organic waste out of the landfill and produces valuable compost that improves soil health in your own lawn and garden. Join our home composting program or use these tips to get started composting today!
Harvest the rain A resource reservoir
Conserve drinking water and reduce stormwater runoff by installing a rain barrel or larger rainwater harvesting system. Receive a rebate of 50 cents per gallon, up to $300 per property through the Right as Rain program.
Rebates & assistance helping towards certification
Many of the certification checklist components can be achieved with a helping hand of relevant programs provided by the James River Basin Partnership and the City. Specifically, eligibility and participation in the following programs could result in progress towards a Yard Ethic certification.
Free Soil Testing for lawns
Over application of lawn fertilizer is a waste of money and results in excess nutrients washing off into streams and lakes where it causes unsightly and harmful algae blooms. Receive a free soil test through Lawn Steward to find out what your soil really needs for a healthy, green lawn that won’t harm our waters.
Visit James River Basin Partnership to apply for your test.
Rain Garden partnership with the city
Blooming Blvds is an opportunity for property owners to manage a rain garden in partnership with the City. Be a part of city beautification and increased flood control efforts as we work to provide plants, construction and expertise for residents to successfully care for rain gardens located in public right-of-ways near their homes within city limits.
Call 864.1979 with questions or to determine your eligibility.
Trees clean and cool the air, absorb rainwater, lower energy costs, build soil and provide shade and wildlife habitat. Earn your Yard Ethic certification simply by having a specific percentage of tree canopy coverage in your yard. In fact, you can boost the tree canopy in your yard by planting new native or fruit/nut trees. Consider using the Neighbor Woods program and you may be eligible for a free tree - purchased and planted by the City.
Dish to Dirt home composting program
Dish to Dirt is a home composting program provided by the Solid Waste Management Division of the City of Springfield’s Environmental Services Department. It provides residents in the Ozarks Headwaters Recycling and Materials Management District (Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk, and Dallas counties) with composting education opportunities, resources for composting materials, tips, how-to and more.
right as rain - rain barrel rebate
Rainwater harvesting is a great way to conserve drinking water, reduce stormwater runoff, and save money on your water bill. Greene County and Christian County residents are eligible for a rebate of $0.50 per gallon on rain barrels and larger rainwater harvesting systems, up to a maximum rebate per property of $300.
Commercial & professionals Not a resident, no problem
Yard Ethic, at its root, is a call to action for responsible lawn care that benefits the property owner, neighborhood and community at large. We currently only support certification for residents, but commercial properties and landscape professionals can still participate in different ways.
As a landscape professional, you can help us spread the word about Yard Ethic practices to your customers. Join our mailing list for future educational opportunities.
commercial business locations
We do not currently have a way for businesses to participate in Yard Ethic certification, but don’t let that stop you from implementing Yard Ethic practices to care for and maintain your lawn. In fact, here are a few things to consider as you start:
- Do you have parking lot landscape islands where trees have died and need replaced? Parking lot trees are an important way to reduce stormwater runoff, provide shade for your customers, and make your property more attractive.
- Some common landscape plants are considered invasive. View the Grow Native Top 10 List of Invasive Plants. (pdf)
- Even if your landscaping doesn’t contain invasive plants, consider replacing non-native plants or adding native plants. Learn more about native plants.
- Work with your lawn care professional to take a soil test before fertilizing.
- Reduce the use of pesticides including “weed and feed” products.