Planned Natural Landscaping

Native plants benefit and support local birds and wildlife. Natural landscaping creates ideal conditions for hummingbirds, honeybees, and butterflies—all of which are extremely beneficial to our ecosystem and are currently in decline nationwide. There are many benefits to planned natural landscaping. Once established, native plants require little watering and upkeep and tend to resist insects. Homeowners can expect to save on costs associated with traditional lawns—watering, fertilizing, mowing, etc. Learn about how to incorporate native landscaping into your yard.

Planned Natural Landscaping Benefits


Native plant landscapes are resilient and self-sufficient. Once established, native plant landscapes need little watering. As a result, these plantings can save up to 90% of the costs of conventional landscaping maintenance by requiring less labor, water, fertilizer, pesticides, and mowing. 



Native plant landscapes provide habitats for pollinators, including butterflies, bees, and birds.  



Native landscapes provide better water infiltration by preventing stormwater from entering the City’s combined water system. During heavy rains, stormwater enters the system and can combine with sanitary waste, which results in combined sewer water that can overflow downstream. This contaminates the water system, resulting in health risks to residents, infrastructure, and natural habitats. Green stormwater infrastructure provides better water infiltration to help prevent this. You can improve your stormwater management by integrating a planned natural landscape, such as a bioswale or rain garden, or installing a rain barrel.

In addition, consider what you use on your lawn. Herbicides and fertilizers, if used improperly, can enter waterways and contaminate our drinking water. Consider organic herbicides and pesticides, or compost instead of chemical fertilizers.



Native landscapes benefit the City, particularly homeowners, by improving water quality, reducing pollution, and conserving water.

Native Plants

Our residents and business owners recognize that abundant natural plant life is crucial to maintaining a healthy, beautiful, and balanced environment. Because of this, the City of Ferndale has embraced native natural landscaping.  

Mayor Melanie Piana aided this initiative with the Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission, a volunteer-led City commission, in urging the City to amend the previous vegetation ordinance and introduce the idea of Planned Natural Landscaping.


This is a form of landscaping that is comprised of native vegetation found in Michigan.  



The City of Ferndale celebrated a successful first run of No Mow May in May of 2023. To the 700+ households who participated, thank you for supporting pollinators and the environment! Now, we're bringing it back for 2024.


No Mow May is a voluntary program that supports pollinator habitats by mowing less or not at all for the month of May. This is a voluntary program, and no citations are issued during this time. Code enforcement promptly resumes in June. ‍


Delay mowing of lawns through the month of May to allow emergence and maturation of pollinators that overwinter in grassy open spaces and below trees. Additional benefits include:

  • Increases available early-season flowers that provide pollen and nectar for pollinators.
  • Reduces compaction of soil from lawnmowers and allows greater infiltration of stormwater.
  • Reduces emissions from fossil fuel-based lawnmowers.
  • Reduces noise pollution from lawnmowers.
  • Allows property owners some additional leisure time to consider planting a planned natural landscape and incorporate more native flowers onto their property.

Do you have to do this? No, you can choose to adhere to your normal lawn maintenance schedule. You can also celebrate Low Mow May—whatever you prefer. Regardless of your mowing activity, please bee a good neighbor and refrain from reporting other lawns to code enforcement. 


Do you have to sign up to participate? No, but we do strongly encourage it to help us track the environmental impact of the program. Sign up at


Why is this important? Lots of reasons: Decreasing lawn mowing means pollen-producing plants for bees and other pollinators can grow and thrive. Not mowing also reduces soil compaction which promotes greater stormwater infiltration. This also reduces emissions and noise pollution, which is very critical to the environment. And, the best part, you get to take a month off of mowing. Focus on another area of your garden, or even consider planting a natural landscape. 


Is the City doing our part? Yes, our Public Works team will be refraining from mowing a small portion of Geary Park. 


Thank you for your participation in the program! Please contact Zero Waste Manager, Logan Applebee at for any questions or concerns.