A sustainable landscape protects human health and water quality in Birch Bay. Using sustainable landscaping techniques in your yard and garden can have many positive benefits including:

        • Creating an attractive landscape that works with nature to manage stormwater runoff and supports natural environmental systems by mimicking the function of vegetation and soil in a natural forested condition.

        • Saving time and money by minimizing the amount of water, fertilizer, pesticides, and time needed for yard care.

        • Attracting birds and beneficial insects to your yard that in turn help control unwanted pests.

Gardening Green: Sustainable Landscaping Classes

Whatcom County Public Works offers a free Sustainable Landscaping Class through WSU Whatcom County Extension every fall. The class typically includes six day time sessions. Participants learn practical information and simple actions to make landscaping more self-sustaining. The class incorporates presentations, demonstrations, hands-on experiences, a native plant walk, and tours of sustainable landscapes. Class size is limited and preregistration is required. For more information contact Sue Taylor at (360) 671-3891 or

Examples of Sustainable Landscaping Techniques

Composting - Using compost as a fertilizer or mulch in your yard helps the soil absorb rain, reducing stormwater runoff and improving difficult clay soils.

Native Plants - Native plants are naturally suited to our climate and once established will don't require any watering. They are also naturally resistant to pests and do a good job of slowing down stormwater runoff.

Visit the WSU Whatcom County Extension website for more information.

WSU Master Gardener demonstrating proper planting technique.

WSU Master Gardener Jill Cotton demonstrates how to plant native plants.