Rye Healthy Yard Program

All photos are of Rye residents' natural and organic yards.

What is the Rye Healthy Yard Program?

Rye Healthy Yard Committee

  • Sabine Borgogni
  • Sue Drouin
  • Lori Fontanes (Co-Chair)
  • Elizabeth Garrett (Co-Chair)
  • Sara Goddard
  • Maria Guarnieri
  • Emily Hurd (Rye City Council)
  • Taro Ietaka (Rye Nature Center)
  • Amy Kesavan
  • Colleen Margiloff
  • Danielle Tagger-Epstein (Rye City Council)
Initiate an awareness campaign to educate homeowners about the harmful effects of pesticide/fertilizer use on lawns, while offering natural, safe alternatives
— Rye Sustainability Plan: Land & Water Use, Section 2.1
The first Rye Healthy Yard event was held at Wainwright House in February, 2016.

The first Rye Healthy Yard event was held at Wainwright House in February, 2016.

The Rye Healthy Yard Program seeks to promote awareness about the health and environmental benefits of using natural landscaping practices in our community. Learn more about how to transform your yard into a natural and open space that is healthy for all, and take the Rye Healthy Yard Pledge.

Why Do We Need Healthy Yards?

Our yards are an important part of our homes where we spend time with children, friends and pets. They can be beautiful showcases, but how we achieve that beauty can have a profound effect on our family and our natural surroundings. Creating a healthy yard is not just good for us; it’s good for all living things in our area.

healthy is good

Good for the community: Rye is home to many families; young children are especially vulnerable to the effects of chemicals and other pollution.

Good for the environment: As part of the Blind Brook Watershed, our storm water directly impacts an important estuary that supports all kinds of wildlife.

Good for your wallet: Natural yard care can be less expensive than conventional yard care. Get off the spray & pay treadmill and buy only what you need, when you need it.

Turn Your Yard Into A Healthy Yard

Landscape with native plants. Select species that t the sun, soil and water conditions in your yard. Healthy yards are complex systems that support people, plants and animals.

Healthy soil means healthy plants that can withstand pests and disease.Consider testing your soil to learn what you may need to improve it.

Water your lawn deeply when needed and at the right time of day.Use mulch and compost to help retain moisture and add nutrients to your garden beds.

In most cases, you don’t need chemicals to grow a beautiful garden. Avoid routine use of herbicides and fertilizers. Identify problems, then choose the least toxic solution.

Start now. There are many ways to achieve a thriving, natural garden but it starts with deciding to take action. Redefine perfection: A healthy yard is a beautiful yard.

Three Easy Steps to Take Today

Photo Courtesy of Sonja Bartlett

Photo Courtesy of Sonja Bartlett


Ask your lawn care professional to switch to organic or natural gardening techniques.


If you enjoy doing your own gardening, consult our website for tips and strategies.


Take the healthy yard pledge and help spread the word!

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