Habitat At Home
What Is Habitat at Home?
Habitat at Home is the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) effort to encourage Washingtonians to connect with nature where they live. Both people and animals need habitat: somewhere with healthy food, clean water, shelter, and space to raise young. You can help create more habitat by bringing it home! By turning part of your yard into habitat, you're also reducing pollution and protecting our water.
While it may be surprising, turf lawns are a major source of polluted runoff. Lawn grass does a poor job soaking up rainwater, and they create almost as much runoff as paved surfaces. Lawn runoff carries pesticides, fertilizers, and pet waste with it, adding to the toxic stormwater mix flowing into Puget Sound.
By replacing your lawn with native and pollinator-friendly plants, you'll help reverse this trend! Plants do a much better job at absorbing rainwater, reducing the amount of runoff coming off of your yard. Native plants are also better adapted to our climate, so they require less water than grass. And by creating wildlife habitat, you're part of a growing network of urban habitat that benefits, people, pollinators, birds, and other animals.
Replacing your grass lawn with habitat is a great way to reduce your impact on Puget Sound while supporting pollinators and other wildlife. The Pierce Conservation District is here to help! Every year, our staff works with homeowners, schools, and community groups to design and plant pollinator gardens and create urban wildlife habitat on their property. These new gardens replace grass lawns, a major source of pollution, and beautify our community. Contact PCD today to set up a site visit with our staff to see how you can create habitat at home!
|Green Stormwater Mini-Grant||Get up to $4,000 and support to turn your lawn into habitat for pollinators and other wildlife||Apply for a mini-grant by Oct. 29|
|Watchable Wildlife Grant Program||Receive $5,000 to $30,000 for a project that restores habitat and creates wildlife viewing opportunities||Learn more and apply here|
|Habitat at Home Starter Kit||Get a starter kit from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to create habitat at home!||Fill out this form to get your starter kit|
Habitat at Home, formerly known as the Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program, is the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) effort to encourage Washingtonians to connect with nature where they live. Learn more about the program and get educational resources at their website.
This booklet from the Portland Metro is a great place to start when picking out native plants for your habitat!
Learn more about Selecting Plants for Pollinators in the Pacific Northwest with this guide.
For a site visit to your property, contact Melissa Buckingham
Water Quality Program Director
Phone: 253.845.9770 ext. 109
How It Works
1. Site Visit. District staff will meet you on site to discuss your ideas and options for replacing your lawn with native plants
2. Design Your Habitat. Working with district staff, design your habitat at home using pollinator-friendly and native plants.
3. Prep Your Site. Rip up the grass where you're creating habitat. Grass is very aggressive, so you'll either want to pull up your lawn's roots or smother it with a barrier and mulch. District staff can provide you a list of trained contractors and DIY tips for prepping your site.
4. Plant Your Habitat. Work with District staff to take advantage of wholesale plant prices to get all of the plants you need for your garden.
5. Enjoy Your Habitat at Home! Watch for pollinators, birds, and other wildlife visiting your new patch of habitat, and enjoy not having to mow and water as much.