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Towns and built-up areas are part of a healthy watershed, healthy people, and a thriving local economy. Whether you own, rent, or manage property in town or another type of built-up area, you can make an impact through environmental landscaping and best management practices on your property. These practices can have many benefits:

  • Filter sediments, nutrients, and other contaminant from stormwater runoff that enters storm drains, and local rivers and lakes
  • Reduce the potential for flooding, while conserving water
  • Recharge groundwater aquifers
  • Protect and restore native biodiversity (i.e., diverse native plants, birds, fish, butterflies, and other wildlife)
  • Improve air, water, and soil quality
  • Contribute to quality of life and human health.

What actions can I take?

There are many ways to contribute to the health of your property, neighbourhood, and watershed:

  • Plant native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses
  • Use environmental lawn maintenance practices
  • Avoid the use of chemical fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides
  • Work with environmentally friendly materials, such as permeable paving and sustainably harvested wood
  • Leave a minimum of 3 feet of natural vegetation along creeks and lakes, and plant native shrubs, flowers, and grasses to help protect the shoreline
  • Conserve water by planting drought tolerant species, and using rain barrels or cisterns
  • Create a rain garden
  • Remove invasive plants that enter your yard; and
  • Reduce or eliminate pollutants, such as litter, oil spills, and overuse of de-icing salt.

Additional Resources

We can help

Knowledgeable staff can help you take action!

  • Not sure where to start? Schedule a free onsite consultation and receive personalized advice for enhancing your properties and protecting water quality.
  • For training opportunities and workshops, please see our events page for current listings.

Programs and Services

Access programs and services to help you take action:

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 Seedling Program

Purchase native trees, shrubs, and grasses for your projects 


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 Scugog WATER Fund

Apply for a grant to help with projects on your property in Durham Region within the Kawartha Watershed


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 BlueScaping Program

Learn more and be part of this exciting new approach to landscaping!




 Native Plant Distribution Program

Learn more about the Native Plant Distribution Program.