University of Maryland Extension

Bay-Wise Residential Landscape Management Program

Bay-Wise Residential Landscape Management Program


The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure and a vital part of the state of Maryland. Yet, the Bay is in trouble due to population pressures, from pollution and sediment runoff, which affect its watershed.

Most Maryland residents live within a half-mile of a drainage ditch, 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, the Chesapeake Bay and our environment.

The overuse and misuse of pesticides and fertilizers soil erosion and poor plant selections have all damaged Maryland's streams, rivers and the Bay.  Environmentally sound gardens and yards combined with sustainable gardening practices can help improve our water quality and conserve our natural resources for future generations.  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.

Bay-Wise Program

The Bay-Wise Residential Landscape Management program was developed by the University of Maryland as part of the Maryland Master Gardener program.  Its purpose is to provide information and guidance to help people create healthier gardens and landscapes using sustainable practices.


The goal of the program is to educate individuals who care for their lawns, gardens and/or landscapes and to certify private and public properties as "Bay-Wise".

Bay-Wise Certification for Your Garden

Bay-Wise Certification for Your Garden is available to all Harford county community members.

To have YOUR garden certified:

1. Call your Harford County Extension Office (410.638.3255) and ask for Joyce Browning

2. A Bay-Wise Yardstick brochure and instructions will be mailed to you or follow these links to upload the documents.

3. You will be contacted by Bay-Wise Master Gardener Volunteers and an appointment will be set-up for a home garden visit

4. On the day of your personalized home visit, the MG volunteers will help you fill out a Bay-Wise Yardstick Worksheet and discuss Bay-Wise home practices that would best suit your property

5. If your property passes the Bay-Wise inspection, then you will receive a sign to post on your property that says you are using "BAY-WISE" management practices

If you have any questions please contact:

For more information, contact:

Joyce Browning

University of Maryland Extension Consumer Horticulturist
Harford County Agricultural Center
University of Maryland Extension, Suite 600
3525 Conowingo Road,
Street MD, 21154 sends e-mail)
410-638-3053 FAX

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