February 15, 2023 Small Backyard Restoration with Big Results Every ecological restoration project presents its own set of unique goals and challenges. For this west metro landowner, soggy and sick turf grass made up a good portion of their backyard. The main project goal here was to take advantage of excess water drainage from a natural wetland and create an amazing backyard restoration and natural buffer. The client wanted a solution that would be low-maintenance, harbor high ecological diversity, and be aesthetically pleasing in order to pass HOA requirements. The first step in the design process was to select appropriate wetland species for the project. We assessed the hydrology of the wetland system and the soil type under the existing turf. With this being a smaller but high profile site, we selected lower growing sedge and wetland forb species for the areas with saturated soils. We were able to introduce over 30 native species in this restoration. This provided an array of color throughout the growing season and excellent pollinator habitat. By the end of the first growing season, the plants were well-established and the clients were pleased with the results. The natural buffer satisfied the rigorous HOA inspection. This project was the first backyard restoration on the wetland and it now serves as a valuable demonstration for the neighborhood. The clients are even now looking at working with the city to restore nearby public open space. This definitely falls under the category of “starting small and thinking really big”. Congratulations for taking the first step! Check out a few of the project photos to get a feel of the restoration process. (Before): Turf grass backed up to wetland causing lack of drainage in low spots. (Treatment & Removal): Turf grass was treated with herbicide and removed. (Plant Installation): Native plants were installed. (Plant Development): Project growth after 3 months time. If you would like to create a wetland or shoreland buffer, or just want to chat about incorporating native plants into your yard, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email or phone. We’re always happy to discuss options and help you create your own backyard natural area.