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Healthy Yards

Healthy Yards symbolThe Healthy Yards Program provides information to the public about creating healthy lawns and gardens using native plants, as well as alternatives to using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Native plant is a term used to describe plants that occur naturally and have existed for many years in a given area.

Why grow native plants?

  • They are adapted to local climate and soil conditions and therefore require less water and maintenance.
  • They improve local biodiversity by providing habitat and food for birds, mammals and insects.

    Each spring, Richmond Hill residents also have the opportunity to purchase native plant kits at a subsidized cost. Rain barrels are also available.

    2016 Native Plant Kit & Rain Barrel Sale
    The sale is now over. Thanks to everyone who participated!

    For more information about the Healthy Yards Program, please email or call 905-771-8800.

    Native Plant Selection Guides
    Backyard naturalization helps to increase urban forest areas, improve environmental health, decrease landscape maintenance costs, decrease the spread of invasive species and is naturally resistant to pests. Please refer to the Town's Native Species Selection Guides for information on which native plants are suitable for your property and aesthetic taste.

    Click here to download the Native Trees Brochure in PDF format

    Native Trees
    Brochure [PDF]
    Click here to download the Native Wildflowers Brochure in PDF format

    Native Wildflowers
    Brochure [PDF]
    Click here to download the Native Shrubs Brochure in PDF format

    Native Shrubs
    Brochure [PDF]

    For more information or to receive a free information kit on backyard naturalization, contact
    Backyard Tree Planting Program
    The Backyard Tree Planting Program is a partnership involving the Town of Richmond Hill, York Region and LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) which provides trees (ranging from 5 to 8 feet) to residents at a subsidized price. Costs range from $150 to $220 and includes a site consultation with a qualified arborist, one tree and full planting service. Shrubs, native garden kits, and edible garden kits are also available. Since 1996, LEAF has planted over 17,000 native trees and shrubs in residential backyards.

    For more information, please visit LEAF's website or call (416) 413-9244. 

    Get Certified! 
    The Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Backyard Habitat Certification Program recognizes the amazing efforts Canadians are taking to meet the habitat needs of wildlife, and allows individuals to have their property certified by officially designating their gardens as wildlife friendly. Whether you have a small patio or acres of land, your property may receive certification once specific criteria and established best practices are met.

    Visit the Canadian Wildlife Federation website for more information. There are also some helpful resources at the links below:

    Wild About Gardening
    Native Plant Encyclopedia

    Additional Resources
    Learn how to plant and care for a tree and/or shrub.

    How to Plant a Tree or Shrub [PDF]

    External Links

    The Lake Simcoe South Master Gardeners are members of Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc., a registered non-profit organization. Master Gardeners are volunteers that are trained and certified in horticulture to provide sustainable gardening advice to the general public. 

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