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The chemical products you use on your lawn can enter our local waterways, even if you don’t live next to a stream or lake. Rain that falls onto your lawn picks up pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers then carries it to storm drains that drain directly to the Calapooia and Willamette Rivers. Pesticides and herbicides can cause algae blooms that harm fish and other wildlife.  Keeping your lawn healthy and beautiful doesn’t require chemicals. Keep reading to find how you can keep your yard fish-friendly!

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Yard

The best way to keep your yard free from pests and weeds is to maintain a healthy yard. 

Right Plant, Right Place Before planting look at how much sunlight your yard gets, what type of soil you have and amount of moisture. Then pick the plant that will grow best in those conditions. 

Plant native plants they are adapted to local conditions and often require less water. They can be great for pollinators too!

Maintain Sprinkler Systems Set your irrigation system to water 1” per week. Overwatering can lead to high water bills and wash chemicals into the storm drains. 

Sweep or rake up leaves and debris instead of pressure washing.

Put yard debris in your yard container or compost it. Never dump yard debris in ditches or water ways.

For more information check out our water conservation page


Compost and mulch can help keep your plants disease free

Place egg or oyster shells around plants to keep slugs away

Ladybugs, spiders, and lacewing all eat harmful pests


Chose hardy plants that can out compete weeds.

Manual removal is a great way to get rid of weeds and get exercise 

Pour boiling water or highly concentrated vinegar over weeds

Use organic compost and mulch - they are free from many weed seeds found in most compost and mulch. 


Aerate your lawn to allow moisture and nutrients to reach plant roots. It will help roots grow deeper and stronger, which leads to healthier plants. 

Mulch around your plants helps keep plants healthy, so they require less fertilizers

Compost helps keep soils healthy nutrients. Compost can be made at home with kitchen and yard waste.

If you must use pesticides or herbicides read the label carefully and use only as directed. Do not apply within 48 hours of the next rain event.

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