Native and drought tolerant are not alike! Native species connect the home landscape with our ecosystem giving birds, pollinators, soil microbes and wildlife more habitat and opportunity to thrive. Drought tolerant species will save water, yet might not provide this connectivity. Planting either native or drought-tolerant plants will keep more water in the aquifer and river during hot, summer months.

Native and drought-tolerant lawns and gardens are fire-wise, water-wise and are easy to maintain. Convert a Kentucky bluegrass lawn to drought-tolerant turf and use less water, less fertilizer and over time require less maintenance. Plant a small bed of native plants to create a pollinator haven.

River Homeowners Tips

  • Establish a “no mow” zone (an area where the grass grows freely) along the river preventing lawn-care applications from entering surface water.

  • Encourage the growth of native trees, shrubs, bunchgrasses, sedges, and rushes which protect stream banks from erosion and improve backyard wildlife habitat.

  • Plant native vegetation, such as willows and red osier dogwood along stream banks to provide shade for fish during hot summers when river temperatures rise and to protect against erosion during high flows.

Riparian Plant List