Project: Reduce Turf

Spend less time mowing, more time enjoying.

Grass is great to play on and nice to look at, but lawns are not the best thing for the environment or your pocketbook. Mowers and fertilizer are major sources of pollution, and lawns can drink shocking quantities of water.

By reducing lawn to less than 40% of your landscape, you’ll save significant time and money on equipment, gas, fertilizer and maintenance. Replace that grass with native plants, which are adapted to the climate and maintain their appearance all summer, and your yard will look great and be a haven for butterflies, birds, and other wildlife.


Earn rebates of $250 to $750 for replacing lawn with native plants and for planting trees through the Montgomery County RainScapes program.

Montgomery County “Leaves for Neighborhoods” $25 coupon towards the purchase of a tree costing $75 or more.

$25 coupon from the State of Maryland for planting a tree costing $50 or more from the Marylanders Plant Trees Recommended Tree List.

If you live in Rockville, get $1 for every square foot of turf removed (up to $750) through the RainScapes Rewards program.

If you live in Rockville, you may be eligible for a $150 rebate per tree through the RainScapes Tree Canopy Rebate Program. Maximum reward is $600.

Do you have a question about reducing the amount of turf in your yard? Submit your question and we’ll post it!

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This Project

Green Points
Green Impact


One hour of grass cutting generates the pollution equivalent of 100 miles of driving a car.


  1. jason lange

    choosing the appropriate species can save you up to 13 mows per year and also significantly reduce water use and green waste – send me an email if you would like to know more about our lawn training programs here in Australia. Great site!

  2. John Hudson

    Rain barrels can only be used to help water the lawn in the summer. The don’t protect the streams in the winter? Rain gardens work all the time.

    Where can I buy rain garden sand and rain garden mixture.

    Many invasive plants grow in our area as well as native plants. I think that it should be emphasized that native plants support the local wildlife. Doug Tallamy said that if a bird flies across the Chesapeake Bay and flies to a house with grass lawn and all plants that are not native then there is nothing there for the bird to eat. An common elderberry bush feeds 48 species of birds.

    Above it says, “Replace that grass with native plants” and later it says, “and your yard will look great and be a haven for butterflies, birds, and other wildlife.” It says nothing about adding organic material to the soil to help the soil tp absorb the water. Not all native plants attract butterflies, birds.

    Does anyone have the native plants listed by area code?

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