Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

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The Natural Gardens at Pacific Community Park provide an opportunity to view natural gardening techniques in action, see native plants in the landscape and take inspiration home to your own garden.

The demonstration gardens are meant to show different ways to practice earth-friendly techniques at home. Natural gardening reduces the use of synthetic chemicals to increase beneficial organism activity, enhance habitat and wildlife areas, and contribute to the overall health of the community. There are eight beautiful backyard example gardens that fit any yard size or preference. The gardens are located at NE 18th St & NE 172nd Ave in Vancouver, WA (Click for Google Map).


The gardens

Edibles and Herbs:   Naturally growing your own food puts you in control of what you put in your body and can also save money on grocery bills. Growing edibles, including varieties you might not find at the grocery store, promotes a healthier lifestyle by allowing you to eliminate harmful pesticides and enjoy fresh produce in season. Growing your own is not only more sustainable, but it can also be fun and rewarding! Brochure for Edibles and Herbs Garden can be found at the bottom of the page.

Wildlife Gardening:   Wildlife gardening refers to creating an environment that is inviting to various forms of local wildlife. These landscapes usually provide food, shelter and water for wildlife, and offer a mixture of meadow, woods and wet areas. By creating a garden that attracts stunning wildlife, you will be helping to restore habitat and biodiversity in commercial and residential areas. Wildlife gardens act both as a benefit to the wider environment and as a source of natural biological pest control in your garden. Brochure for Wildlife Garden can be found at the bottom of the page.

Beneficial Insects and Compost:   Attracting beneficial insects to your yard will help naturally combat pests and encourage the pollination of plants. The addition of certain plants to your garden will help to attract a healthy population of these insects and reduce the need for chemical pesticides. Compost can reduce the need for chemicals as well, as it is a great way to organically fertilize your plants and ward off weeds. Composting also decreases the amount of solid waste we produce, promotes healthy plant growth, and restores nutrients in the soil. Brochure for Compost and Insects Garden can be found at the bottom of the page.

Native Plants:   Native plants are adapted to our environment, so once established they are pest and disease-resistant and require little extra water and maintenance. Gardening with native plants helps to lower water bills and time commitments, as well as provide erosion and flooding control. Since they’ve spent thousands of years getting used to regional conditions, they will thrive without much care and contribute positively to the environment. Brochure for Native Plants Garden can be found at the bottom of the page.

Dog Friendly:   Creating a dog-friendly garden means using plants that are safe for your pet to ingest and building a landscape that accommodates its needs. Keep in mind that dogs require some shelter and space to run. Filling your yard with hearty plants that are also non-toxic to dogs is lower maintenance for you, and safer for your pet. Brochure for Dog-Friendly Garden can be found at the bottom of the page.

Lawn Alternatives:   Alternatives to a traditional lawn can create a more varied and productive landscape that does not require the same level of maintenance as grass turf. Decking, ornamental grasses, and various rocks are low maintenance choices that are practical and still aesthetically appealing. Consider your growing conditions and whether the area will need to tolerate foot traffic when selecting appropriate varieties. Brochure for Lawn Alternatives Garden can be found at the bottom of the page.

Xeriscaping:   Xeriscaping refers to gardening and landscaping which does not need additional watering. This self-sustaining yard option stays attractive year around and does not require supplemental irrigation. Xeriscaped yards can save money, and there is a variety of interesting plants that can be incorporated such as succulents, native wildflowers, ornamental grasses and rock garden plants. Brochure for Xeriscaping Garden can be found at the bottom of the page.

Rain Garden and Vegetated Bioswale:   In nature, soil and plants store, filter and release rain water into local waterways. You can model this natural process and reduce the amount of pollutants coming from your property by creating a rain garden. Reducing pollution, attracting wildlife, easing flooding, and helping to restore the aquifer are just some of the benefits from this eye-catching garden. Consider how water drains on your property when selecting the best location for a rain garden, and use a variety of plants that have appropriate water needs. Brochure for Rain Garden can be found at the bottom of the page.


Clark County Public Health oversees this site and relies upon volunteers to assist with maintenance and improvements. If you'd like to help out, please email [email protected] for more information.

For even more ideas...

Visit the City of Vancouver's Backyard Wildlife Garden located at the Water Resources Education Center. You can discover many new ideas and see a lot of wildlife!

You might also enjoy visiting the Wildlife Botanical Gardens in Brush Prairie. Naturescaping of Southwest Washington is a non-profit, all volunteer group dedicated to educating and encouraging homeowners to create wildlife sanctuaries in their own backyards. They have a demonstration garden as well as workshops throughout the year! 


Related: Community Gardens | Natural Garden Tour


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