“Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.” - Albert Einstein

Aquinas College

Residential Irrigation


Rain Garden
Photo courtesy of Rain Gardens of West Michigan

A typical single-family home uses an average of 101 gallons of water per person per day for both indoor and outdoor usage; water for irrigating lawns and gardens making up largest portion of this total (American Water Works Association). Native landscaping involves using plants that are naturally suited or have evolved to a particular climate. Employing such local varieties in our lawns and gardens can reduce and likely even eliminate the need for irrigation, chemical treatment, and cutting.

This is a win-win residential landscaping plan that saves individual time and money, often produces a landscape that is more aesthetically pleasing, and provides habitat for native animals and insects. Equally important is the reduction in use of our finite water resources, petroleum fuels for lawn mowing, and petro-chemical fertilizers and pesticides!


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Fact sheet

The EPA fact sheet contains all kinds of useful information on native plants, including case studies, plant lists, weed laws, and a how-to-guide.

Water-Wise Landscaping

Nearly half of residential water demand in the United States is dedicated to sprinkling our lawns and gardens. This site is brought to you by the Virginia Cooperative Extension of Virginia State University and offers tips for planning and creating a water-wise lawn. Click here to find out how you can make a difference in your own backyard.

Wild Ones

The organization is a national not-for-profit with a mission to educate and share information with members and the community at the "plants-roots" level and to promote biodiversity and environmentally sound practices. The Wild Ones site contains an explanation of the benefits of native landscaping, as well as a guide to selecting native plants.

Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo by Carol Y. Swinehart, courtesy of Michigan Sea Grant Extension
Site by CMC/GrandNet