University of Maryland Extension

Bay-Wise Gardening

Most Maryland residents live within a half-mile of a storm drain, stream, or river.  Those waterways eventually drain into the Chesapeake Bay. What we do to maintain our ownlandscapes can affect the health of our local waterways (drainage ditches, streams, and rivers), the Chesapeake Bay, and our environment.

Since 2000, Bay-Wise committee members have taught Anne Arundel residents how better water quality can be achieved through smarter gardening.

Our committee, comprised of Master Gardeners, focuses attention to the education of Anne Arundel County residents on gardening practices that protect the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. We are working to create a community of sustainable gardeners.

We teach these healthy practices several ways, but most often by visiting with residents in their own yards, helping them to improve their gardening experiences. Using a tool we call the Yardstick, we review environmentally sound stewardship practices and provide residents with a valuable packet of information. Residents whose practices earn 36 inches or more (on the Yard’stick) are certified as Bay-Wise and may post a Bay-Wise sign showing their good stewardship.

For more information on Bay-Wise practices, visit our Bay-Wise site. To request a yard visit and start spreading the Bay-Wise philosophy in your own neighborhood, please email us at

Download a Yardstick and see how your yard measures up!

Yardstick for Landscapes
Yardstick for Vegetable Gardens

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