West Vincent Healthy Yard Recognition Program

Healthy Yards benefit our whole community. A healthy yard will have a positive effect on:

  • Air and water quality
  • Stormwater management
  • Biodiversity, supporting our wild pollinators, birds, amphibians, …
  • Health of people and pets
  • Dark skies
  • Enjoyment of outdoor spaces
  • Neighborhood aesthetics


This voluntary program was created by the West Vincent Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) to recognize our residents for the positive environmental steps they are already taking and to provide inspiration and helpful tips for residents who wish to have healthier yards.

How we care for our yard can have a significant impact on the health of our families, our pets, our community, and our natural world. Individual homeowners have the power to make a difference!

For questions about healthy yard topics or to make a personal consultation


email us at: eac@westvincenttwp.org


We love sharing what we have learned!

Complete the Healthy Yard Recognition Application! This fun and interactive application will take five – ten minutes to complete.


There are 21 qualities we believe a healthy yard would have. We invite you to see how many apply to your yard by filling out the application.


Scores of 15 or higher qualify for:

• A metal WVT Healthy Yard Lawn Sign (or digital certificate, or both)

• A certificate presented at a Board of Supervisors meeting and signed by the Supervisors in recognition of your healthy yard status


If you feel inspired to create a healthy (or healthier yard) (and we hope you do), feel free to complete the application as many times as you like, as you take steps towards a healthy yard and to improve your score!


You will find helpful information on all the topics on this web page to help you build and expand upon your healthy yard.

Our trees are the keystone upon which all nature depends.


Why? What do trees do?

  • Collect rainwater so roads and streams don’t flood
  • Cool air and water temperatures
  • Remove pollution from the air
  • Keep pollutants from getting to streams
  • Keep topsoil and sediment from washing away
  • Remove carbon dioxide from the air
  • Produce oxygen
  • Provide food and shelter for pollinators
  • Provide food and shelter for birds
  • Provide food and shelter for beneficial insects
  • Play a crucial role in the underground network of fungi and soil organisms, a network which stores carbon, unlocks nutrients, and creates new soil for the future


Several kinds of trees provide the highest benefit. They are “Keystone Plants,” plants that nature needs in our area to survive. The top trees are, in order – Oaks; Black cherries, plum and chokecherry; Birches; Cottonwood; Maples; Crabapple; Hickory; and Pine. Oaks support far more birds and butterflies than other species. Oak saplings are a favorite food of deer, rabbits, and voles, so be sure to protect any young oaks well so they don’t become someone’s dinner!


​To increase the environmental benefit of yard trees, consider underplanting them with native shrubs, ferns, and flowers! This combination provides more food and shelter for birds, butterflies, pollinators, and even fireflies! It means less lawn to mow, and it is a great place to put fall leaves instead of in the garbage. A well-designed planting can add beauty and interest to our yards.


If you would like suggestions on ways to do this, just ask your EAC! We are happy to help! Email us at eac@westvincenttwp.org.

If you are looking for high quality information on how to improve the health of your yard, here are two websites to check out:

Doug Tallamy’s Homegrown National Park

Dr. Doug Tallamy’s Homegrown National Park – Dr. Doug Tallamy is the University of Delaware professor who figured out that American homeowners have the power to make a significant, positive impact on our environment by choosing to care for our yards in ways that benefit nature and our communities.


His Homegrown National Park website is packed with tips for homeowners. Most of the time, doing what benefits nature also saves us money and time!


For instance, instead of spending lots of time and money spraying to kill mosquitos, Doug recommends putting out a container with water and a straw mosquito dunk. Sprays only kill adult mosquitos, and since they hatch daily, you need to spray unhealthy chemicals around your yard often.


The dunks in water entice mosquitos to lay their eggs there, the eggs don’t hatch, and you don’t have adults to kill! A win-win-win-win situation – cheaper, less time-consuming, healthier, and more effective. Another benefit is having more fireflies, butterflies, and bumblebees around, since they are also killed by mosquito spray.

National Wildlife Federation’s Garden For Wildlife

The National Wildlife Federation’s website is chockfull of resources, videos, tip sheets, and guides to providing a healthy home for nature at our homes. They base their information on Dr. Tallamy’s research.


Click here to access their page where you can enter your zip code and find colorful pictures and descriptions of the best plants for our area.

A healthy yard can save us money and time, while adding to the beauty and comfort of our outdoor spaces. A healthy yard can make a big difference in cleaning our water and air, catching rain to manage stormwater, and providing food and shelter for wildlife, birds, and pollinators. Research shows that trees improve the physical, mental, and social health of a community. Individual homeowners have the power to make a difference!