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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. The program also provides Richmond Hill residents with the opportunity to purchase subsidized native plants kits and rain barrels, which can help improve the natural environment. 

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.

    Create a Beautiful Garden at a Low Cost!

    Native Trees, Fruit & Flowering Shrubs, Wildflowers & Rain Barrels Now on Sale!
    Richmond Hill residents can now pre-order native plant kits and rain barrels until May 8! For full descriptions and images of the native trees, fruit & flowering shrubs and wildflower kits that are available through the Healthy Yards Program, visit the link below. For rain barrel specs and the online order form, scroll down.

    2015 Healthy Yards Native Plants Kits [PDF]

    New this year, recommended designs for wildflower kits!
    Native wildflower kits consist of a tray of 16 sun-tolerant or shade-tolerant wildflowers and a recommended garden design. See below for recommended sun kit or shade kit garden designs and sample layouts. Pick a design that best suits your property and order the corresponding wildflower kit.

    Sun Kit Recommended Design

    Click to enlarge 
    Sun Kit Recommended 2D & 3D Designs [PDF]

    Shade Kit Recommended Design

    Click to enlarge

    Shade Kit Recommended 2D & 3D Designs [PDF]

    Purchase Information for Plant Kits
    Pre-order native plants by Friday, May 8, by completing the application form at the link below:

    Native Plant Kit Application Form [PDF]*

    *How to submit the application form: 1. Click on the link above. 2. Complete the form by filling in the fields. 3. Click the “SAVE” button at the bottom of the form to save the completed form to your computer. 4. Submit the form as an attachment in an email to

    Payment options and important information about the Healthy Yards Program can be found on the application form. Native plant kits are available to Richmond Hill residents only, limited to one large or small kit and/or one Wildflower Kit per household or while quantities last.

    Prices (*All Prices include HST):

    Small Kit (2 trees/shrubs) - $9.89
    Large Kit (5 trees/shrubs) - $24.01
    Sun Kit (Tray of 16 Sun-tolerant wildflowers) – $21.75
    Shade Kit (Tray of 16 Shade-tolerant wildflowers) – $21.75

    Rain Barrels Now on Sale!
    About half of all household water usage in the summer goes to outdoor uses such as watering lawns and gardens. You can save money by using rainwater instead of tap water wherever possible. Installing a rain barrel at the bottom of a downspout is a great way to collect and store water for your garden. Rain barrels can be purchased for $42 (including HST) online at the link below. There is a limit of 4 rain barrels per household or while quantities last:

    Rain Barrel Online Order Form

    Rain Barrel Specifications [PDF]

    Pickup Information for Plant Kits & Rain Barrels
    Native plant kits and rain barrels will be available for pickup at the:

    Healthy Yards Event at the Public Works Open House
    Saturday, May 23
    Richmond Hill Operations Centre
    1200 Elgin Mills Road East
    10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

    All residents are welcome to attend the Healthy Yards Event where they can:
  • Receive FREE wood chips
  • Receive FREE expert advice on backyard naturalization and organic lawn care
  • WIN gardening prizes
  • Receive a FREE tree (while quantities last, one per household, with proof that you live in Richmond Hill)

    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.

    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.

    LEAF brochure [PDF]

    For more information, please visit, call (416) 413-9244.

    Helpful 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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