University of Maryland Extension

Bay-Wise Program


Most Maryland residents live within a half-mile of a storm drain, stream, or river. Most of those waterways eventually drain into the Chesapeake Bay.  What we do to maintain our own landscapes can affect the health of our local waterways (drainage ditches, streams, and rivers), the Chesapeake Bay, and our environment.  We all need to do our part to take care of our waterways and environment.  By changing a few simple landscape practices, you and your family can help keep Maryland communities healthy.

Our Master Gardeners, who have taken the 9 to 12 hours of advanced training in Bay-Wise Landscape Management, form a committee to plan Bay-Wise activities in and around our county. They:

1.  Perform one-on-one site visits to help county residents qualify to have their landscapes certified as Bay-Wise using the MD Yardstick,

2.  Hold classes and lectures for community groups,

3.  Teach youth in schools/community projects,

4.  Staff information booths at community events.


If you are interested in making your landscape more environmentally sound, follow these three steps:

1.  Download the appropriate MD Yardstick at

2.  Complete the MD Yardstick,

3.  Contact the Cecil County Extension Office at (410)-996-5280 to sign up for a site visit for certification.

Once the Master Gardeners certify your home landscape, you will receive a small sign to display in your landscape and a certificate.  Even if you do not have your landscape certified, you can still do plenty to reduce pollutants going into the Chesapeake Bay by following the suggestions in the MD Yardstick.  


These services are provided at no cost to county residents.  If you are interested in learning more about the program, visit  If you would like a MD Yardstick mailed to you, call our office at (410)-996-5280.

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2021. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.