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Bumble Bee in flowerHabitat Haven backyard certification program

Building habitat one yard at a time

side garden habitat


Backyard Certification

How it works: As a pilot program, we are starting with residential yards in the Eugene-Springfield area of 1/2 acre or less.

  • Step 1. Sign up at Enrollment is offered on a one time sliding scale fee which covers some of the cost. Download the enrollment form here and email to
  • Step 2. Site technicians will visit your yard to discuss your goals, provide detailed recommendations and resources including native plant discounts at local nurseries. You will receive a written report within two weeks of your site visit.
  • Step 3. At your own pace, remove invasive weeds, plant native plants, and transition to eco-friendly gardening practices. We continue to support you along the way.
  • Step 4. When you are ready for certification, we visit your site.
  • Step 5. Proudly display your certification sign and let your neighbors know that healthy habitat begins at home!

Resources List for Habitat Haven

Certification Criteria for Habitat Haven

Why join Habitat Haven?

Join the Habitat Haven community to make your yard friendlier to birds and pollinators. You can help to create the habitat and connectivity that birds and pollinators need to thrive. We encourage the use of environmentally friendly practices like planting native plants, removing invasive weeds, eliminating or reducing the use of pesticides and conserving water.

Together we can restore our yards to to havens that make our community healthier, provide resources to wildlife, and make our cities more climate resilient.

American Lady Butterfly
American Lady Butterfly on aster patch

Why use native plants? Native plants and pollinators evolved together. Native plants from your area provide the best food and host plants for pollinators. And native plants, once established, often require very little or no summer water and tend to do better without fertilizer.


Why remove invasive weeds like ivy and shiny geranium? These plants take over and smother native plants and do damage to our forests and natural spaces.


Bee on California Poppy

Why not use pesticides? Pesticides often harm pollinators and birds. Birds need caterpillars and other insects to feed their young. Even when chemicals don‘t kill native bees, for example, they can prevent them from reproducing and thriving.




Bigleaf Lupine

What is a host plant? Butterflies and moths need a host plant to lay eggs on and for the caterpillars to eat when they emerge. These are native plants, like our native white oak, Serviceberry, and many others. Many butterflies need a specific plant, like the Monarch needs milkweed.




Stream violet

What does healthy soil do? Soil that is rich in organic matter holds water, helps prevent run off, and feeds our plants. Leaving leaves helps create healthy soil.




Longhorn and sweat bee
Longhorn and sweat bees

Is Lawn bad? Lawn is nice for playing on, but turf grass is a monoculture that doesn‘t benefit nature, and often uses a lot of water, fertilizer and pesticides. We can tell you how to reduce your lawn and grow native plants, which is much more satisfying and better for your environment!



With thanks to Upper Willamette Soil, Water and Conservation District for their support!

Photos courtesy Evelyn Sherr (Chipping Sparrow by Dennis Arendt)